Drivers of semi-trucks in Florida are duty-bound to drive with due care, and this means making sure they are properly trained to handle their vehicles, that they obey traffic laws and that they don’t speed. Unfortunately, truck drivers are often incentivized by their employer to make as many deliveries as they can as quickly as possible. This often leads to truck accidents, which can be catastrophic events.
The damages a person can receive in a truck accident can be extreme. If the motorist is lucky to survive, they may still suffer serious injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages due to an inability to work. And, should a motorist be killed in a truck accident, their loved ones may be in a difficult situation financially.
However, not every truck accident case reaches a jury trial. Sometimes, they are settled out of court. There are plusses and minuses to deciding to settle a truck accident case rather than take it all the way through the trial process.
One advantage to settling in a truck accident case is that it often saves money for the victim and leads to a swifter resolution than if the case went to trial. Moreover, settlement negotiations are kept confidential, and neither party has to admit fault. This may lead to less adversarial conversations, facilitating a result that is agreeable to all. Having the opinion of a third neutral party, such as a mediator, can also help.
However, there are some disadvantages to settling a truck accident case. First, once a settlement is approved by the court, the victim can no longer pursue a lawsuit with regard to the truck accident, including going to trial based on the same incident. In addition, it is possible that the amount of compensation settled on would be less than what the victim would have received if they were successful at a trial. Moreover, since settlements are kept private, the truck driver and truck company will not be held publicly accountable for their actions.
As this shows, there are plusses and minuses to settling a truck accident case out of court. It is not a decision to be made lightly. Therefore, truck accident victims may want to make sure they have legal representation, as a truck and bus accident injury lawyer may be able to help them achieve a fair and appropriate settlement, or conversely, can represent the victim in trial if necessary.
Source: FindLaw, “Trucking Accident Settlements: What to Expect,” Accessed Aug. 26, 2017