A trucking accident occurs when a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle collide. As a result a person may suffer serious injuries or even die. The injured person can sue the responsible party for the trucking accident. If the person dies in the trucking accident, their family member may file a lawsuit on their behalf. This is called a wrongful death claim.
A Truck Accident can be Settled Out of Court Instead of Trial
Once a truck accident lawyer files a lawsuit in county court, the case can be settled in one of two ways. The case can go to trial. This means the plaintiff, who is the injured person, and the defendant presents their cases to a jury or judge. The judge or jury decides who is liable for the trucking accident. If the defendant is found responsible, the plaintiff receives damages. Damages include medical bills, funeral bills or lost wages.
The other option is to settle out of court. A settlement is a negotiated agreement between the plaintiff and defendant. In exchange for a lump sum of money or series of payments, the plaintiff stops pursuing their lawsuit.
Types of Trucking Accident Settlements
A trucking accident settlement has two options: lump sum payment or a series of payments. A lump sum payment means the plaintiff receives the negotiated settlement at one time. The second option is a series of payments called a structured settlement. A structured settlement is paid in a series of regular payments over a determined time period. Trucking accidents are taxed according to classification. Thus, it is important to understand how much money will be deducted from the lump sum or structured payments to determine which is best.
The Downside of Accepting a Trucking Accident Settlement
Most trucking accidents are settled outside of court. The advantage of accepting a settlement is the injured person receives the money immediately. However, there are some disadvantages to accepting the settlement such as giving up all rights to sue the defendant. This means if the person didn’t receive enough money to pay their accident-related expenses, they can’t sue the defendant again.
Another downside is the defendant may provide a low settlement offer. A plaintiff won’t know if the offer is too low if they don’t have a lawyer. A lawyer will fight for the amount of money their client needs.
This is done via offers and counteroffers. A counteroffer occurs when one party turns down an original offer and then suggests their own offer. For example, a defendant may offer a plaintiff $3,000. The plaintiff decline that offer and provide a counteroffer of $13,000.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney is Helpful in a Settlement
Negotiating a settlement is tricky and should be left to a lawyer. An injured person should seek the assistance and advice of a trucking accident attorney. An attorney will calculate the correct amount an injured person needs to pay their accident-related expenses such as hospital bills.