How Is a Truck Accident Claim Resolved?
Once a lawsuit has been filed against a truck driver, trucking company, and/or any other parties that you believe were responsible for causing the accident, many injured parties are not aware of how the legal process works from there. Movies and television would have us think that every single case ends up in a dramatic trial in front of a judge and jury. However, the truth is that the very large majority of personal injury cases are able to be resolved long before a trial ever commences. In fact, commonly reported statistics show that 95-96 percent of of claims are settled outside of the courtroom. This often leads to the question: just how are truck cases resolved if they do not go to trial?
Negotiations with the insurance company
Some truck accident cases never even make it to the lawsuit stage as they may be able to be settled with the insurance company of the truck driver or trucking company. While many offers from insurance companies are insultingly low, an experienced truck accident attorney can use their adept negotiation skills to demonstrate the true nature and value of your losses and to show that you have substantial evidence of negligence that caused the accident. In light of such evidence, some insurance companies will concede and offer you the full amount you deserve for your losses. This can often be the case if your injuries and losses are relatively straightforward.
Your case may involve many other types of losses that are not so concrete and for which the insurance company will not agree to compensate you. These may include:
-Estimated future medical expenses
-Estimated future lost income and benefits
-Physical pain and suffering
-Loss of enjoyment of life
If you have any of these losses, your case will likely not be settled with insurance and will have to proceed to the lawsuit stage.
Alternative dispute resolution options
In order to keep court dockets from clogging and to help people avoid the time, cost, and energy involved in a trial, our legal system has many different methods available to resolve disputes in a truck accident case. The two primary methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)1 are as follows:
Some courts will require that parties in a case go through ADR prior to taking the legal process any further. Often, with the help of your experienced truck accident attorney, you may be able to come to a favorable agreement through ADR.
If ADR proves unsuccessful in resolving your truck accident case, your claim will often proceed through the litigation process. Your attorney will work to gather persuasive evidence that the defendant acted negligently and, therefore, should be held responsible for your injuries and losses. Such evidence can be used to engage in settlement negotiations intermittently throughout this process.
Often, the defendant will put forth an initial settlement offer that is too low. Your attorney will then use evidence of both their negligence and your losses to show that you have a strong case at trial and to prove the true amount you deserve. The two sides may go back and forth several times with negotiations and, at times, may not reach an agreement that is adequate for you until right before trial. However, most cases are able to come to an agreement at some point before jury selection for a trial begins.
A small percentage of cases are unable to come to an agreement that will cover your losses in the pretrial stages. In such cases, your truck accident attorney will represent you at trial in front of a jury that will hear the evidence and make a decision on how much to award you for your losses.
Please call an experienced truck accident lawyer in Clearwater for a free consultation today
Whether your case is settled pretrial or has to proceed into the courtroom, the experienced Clearwater truck accident attorneys at the Dolman Law Group will provide zealous representation to ensure you receive just compensation for your injuries and losses. Call our office today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation to discuss your truck accident.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756