Knowing what unfolds after a truck accident is crucial for everyone involved. Though not common, there are situations where the truck driver may end up in court.
If the accident results in hefty medical bills or significant damage, resolving the matter can get complicated. In such cases, you might find it beneficial to have a truck accident lawyer if the situation goes to trial. These legal experts specialize in dealing with the complexities of truck accident cases, ensuring you have the right support for a fair resolution.
To get a handle on the entire process, check out this guide. It covers all the key aspects you should be aware of when dealing with the aftermath of truck accidents, providing valuable insights to navigate the legal landscape effectively.
How Often Do Semi-Truck Accident Cases Go To Trial?
Most semi-truck accident cases are settled before they reach trial. Settlements typically happen through negotiations between the parties involved – such as the trucking company, the insurance company, and the injured parties or their legal representatives.
However, some cases of truck accidents do proceed to trial if the parties involved cannot reach a settlement or if one or both parties cannot agree on fair compensation for the damages. The case goes to court in such instances, and a judge or jury decides the outcome.
Reasons Your Truck Accident Case May Go to Court
Here are some of the main reasons why cases around semi-truck accidents might proceed to court
Serious injuries from a truck accident can lead to significant medical expenses, long-term care needs, or permanent disabilities. In such cases, pursuing a trial may be necessary to obtain compensation that covers these substantial damages.
Low Settlement Offer
Sometimes, the initial settlement offered by the insurance company or the at-fault party may be unreasonably low and insufficient to cover the full extent of damages. In some cases, the injured party may choose to go to court seeking a more significant compensation amount.
Disputed Liability and No Settlement Offer
When fault or liability for the accident is contested, and the responsible party refuses to offer a settlement or denies accountability, going to court may be necessary.
If there’s a disagreement about who was at fault or if the other party refuses to take responsibility, a trial might follow to allow a judge or jury to determine liability.
Factors to Consider in Your Semi-Truck Accident Case
All truck accidents are unique, and their cases differ. However, here are some of the most common considerations for trials involving commercial vehicle accidents.
Extent of Injuries
Assess the severity and extent of injuries suffered due to the accident. This includes immediate injuries, long-term consequences, and impact on your quality of life. Severe injuries often result in higher compensation.
Evidence at the Scene
Evaluate the evidence available from the accident scene, including photographs, witness statements, police reports, and any available video footage. Substantial evidence can significantly support your case, which is why it’s so crucial that truck drivers know what to do after a semi-truck accident.
Liability and Fault
Determine who is at fault for the accident. Investigate if the driver, trucking company, maintenance team, or other entities hold responsibility. Clear liability strengthens your case.
Understand the insurance coverage of the involved parties, including the trucking company’s insurance policy limits. This can affect the compensation you might receive.
Lost Income and Future Earnings
Calculate lost wages due to the accident and any potential impact on future earnings or employability. This includes considering both immediate and long-term financial losses.
Statute of Limitations
Be aware of the time limits within which you must take legal action. Failing to file within the statute of limitations can bar you from seeking compensation.
Seek guidance from experienced truck accident attorneys. The right truck accident lawyers can help navigate the complexities, protect your rights, and ensure fair compensation.
What Happens if My Semi-Truck Accident Claim Goes to Trial
If your semi-truck accident claim goes to trial, both parties present evidence, witnesses testify, and lawyers argue the case before a judge or jury.
The court evaluates the evidence, listens to testimonies, and tries to determine liability and appropriate compensation.
How Long Do Cases Take to Settle?
How long a case takes to settle can vary significantly depending on factors like the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries, the willingness of both parties to negotiate, and court schedules.
Some cases settle relatively quickly, within a few months. However, more complex cases might take a year or more to reach a settlement. Cases that proceed to trial can be extended by several months or even years.
Pros and Cons of Going to Trial
- Potential for higher compensation
- A trial offers a definitive legal resolution when there is a dispute
- Going to trial ensures that your right to pursue legal action is maintained
- Trials can be very time-consuming
- Trials involve legal fees, court expenses, and expert witness fees, which can be expensive
- Outcomes in trials are uncertain
Pros and Cons of Settling Out of Court
- Time and cost savings
- Settlements provide a degree of predictability
- Parties have more control over the outcome and terms of the settlement agreement
- Possibly lower compensation
- Once settled, the case cannot be brought to trial
As a truck driver, you should always be prepared for worst-case scenarios. Having a good truck accident attorney available can make your life a lot easier – whether an accident case goes to trial or not.
If you find yourself in an accident and need to purchase a new vehicle, then getting the right financing is essential. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial to see how easy our semi-truck financing process is.