Denver residents who suffer injuries as a result of a truck driver’s negligence often seek to be compensated for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes, these cases go to trial and a jury makes an award to the victim.
Other times, however, the victim and the truck driver or trucking company (or, perhaps, the trucking insurance company) will agree to a settlement. A settlement means that the victim agrees to drop the lawsuit in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of compensation. What should victims expect in a trucking accident settlement?
Alternative dispute resolution — the process of attempting to reach an out-of-court settlement — has a number of advantages for truck accident victims. It is usually quite a bit quicker and cheaper than litigation. Victims and truck company representatives will work with a third-party mediator who is experienced in truck accidents. They can exchange information without admitting fault. As opposed to litigation, the non-confrontational mediation environment often helps parties assess difficult matters with greater objectivity.
Having said that, there are some consequences to resolving a lawsuit through a settlement. Victims typically give up the right to file any further lawsuits related to the truck accident in the future, which may hold true even if the extent of the injuries turns out to be greater than at first understood. They may also have to settle for less than they might otherwise have won at trial. And because neither party admits fault in a settlement, victims cannot attempt to claim publicly that the truck driver or company did anything wrong.
When discussing a possible settlement in a truck accident lawsuit, an experienced legal representative can help make sure victims understand what they are giving up in exchange for the settlement and whether the amount of the settlement is reasonable and fair. The discussion in this blog post is provided as general information only, not as specific legal advice.