Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

The pros and cons of truck accident settlements

Virginia truck accident victims the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company if they believe that negligence was to blame for the accident. Going through the civil court system can cost victims a lot of time and money, though, which is why they often strive for a settlement out of court.

Settlements can be reached through alternative dispute resolution methods like negotiations, mediation, and arbitration. Both parties will be able to hold confidential discussions where they candidly but peaceably speak about the facts of the accident, who they believe is responsible, and how much the potential settlement should be. Neither party makes any admission of guilt. The main difference between the methods is that negotiation and mediation are non-binding, whereas arbitration usually is.

There are some drawbacks that victims need to keep in mind before opting for ADR. They will, for example, have to agree to never pursue further claims related to the accident or the injuries. They will not receive a just verdict, and they will also be prevented from publicly holding the defendant liable. Settlements are generally much lower than they would be if victims obtained a jury verdict.

Before filing, victims can speak with a lawyer about which ADR method is best for their situation. Lawyers could negotiate on behalf of victims or act as the neutral third party during mediation. They could also hire investigators to find proof of trucker or trucking company negligence. Perhaps the accident arose because the trucker was drowsy or reckless; whatever the case, the investigators can bring together work logs, police reports, and evidence found at the crash site to strengthen the claim.

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