Orlando Truck Accident Attorney Weighs In
Truck accident cases are among some of the most lengthy ones a personal injury attorney will ever encounter due to their complex nature. Since trucking cases can drag on for months or even years, it’s not unusual for people to wonder whether or not they should settle or take a case to trial. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so it pays to think about both options very carefully before making your decision.
Advantages of settling out of court
A few of the advantages to settling out of court include:
• Getting a case over with quicker
• Reducing the amount of legal fees and other expenses associated with a case
• Allowing you to predict the outcome, which is not possible if you have a jury trial
• Allowing you to ask for other types of relief such as an apology
Disadvantages of settling out of court
There are also some disadvantages to settling, with the biggest one being that you may receive less money than if you went to court. Even so, when you consider the amount of time and expense involved in litigation, a lower settlement might nonetheless be a better option.
Trucking companies are not always sued simply so the victim can recover damages. Some lawsuits are brought in an effort to change public policy so that others will not be injured in a similar manner. If your goal is to instill a change that would prevent trucking accidents in the future, settling may not be in your best interest.
A settlement essentially ends legal proceedings, and may not be appealed. For this reason, it’s imperative you understand exactly what an offer entails. Your attorney should carefully scrutinize any settlement offers you receive and advise you of the advantages and disadvantages of each one so you can make an informed decision.
How are Settlements Obtained?
A settlement offer may be made at any time during legal proceedings. They are more likely to occur during the discovery phase, which is when each side assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the other party. It’s also common for a settlement offer to be made just before heading into a courtroom for an actual trial. You may actually receive multiple settlement offers while the case in ongoing.
Mediation and Arbitration
While settlement offers are sometimes made voluntarily, they can also occur through mediation or arbitration. Mediation occurs whenever both parties come together with assistance from a mediator to settle their dispute. Arbitration typically takes place in front of an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators who act as judges in making their decision. Mediation and arbitration both allow you to resolve a matter quicker, but are also more difficult to appeal if you are dissatisfied with your outcome. There is also some concern that big corporations such as insurance companies have the upper hand when it comes to choosing an arbitrator, which could mean the odds may be stacked against you from the beginning.
Weighing your Options
Before deciding whether you should settle, consider whether the offer adequately compensates you for the losses you have incurred. See our article on figuring out what your truck accident case is worth for more detailed information on this. You should also think about the amount of time that might be involved in taking a case to court. If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident and are in need of representation, please call our law office today at (800) 360-7015.