Do Most Truck Accident Cases Go To Trial?
The truth is, misconceptions exist around lawsuits and how they are conducted. Often, people assume every case takes place in a courtroom and involves lawyers dramatically presenting arguments to a judge and a jury. In reality, few cases go to trial, and most matters settle outside of the courtroom.
Cases involving motor vehicle accidents, including truck accidents, can often be resolved during the settlement process. While this usually requires a series of legal negotiations to clarify events, circumstances and the extent of injuries and necessary care, it can often result in a resolution and settlement acceptable to both parties, preventing the case from going to trial. In the event complex details and legal issues cannot be negotiated or resolved, a trial may be conducted, allowing the court to provide the resolution and result that the parties were unable to achieve.
In either circumstance, having an experienced truck accident attorney, armed with the legal experience and knowledge of settlement strategies, can be the best way to prepare for the situation.
Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases
In commercial vehicle accidents, these cases tend to be more complex and challenging than regular auto accidents, and can result in trial. In these cases, even the seemingly simple detail of determining who is at fault can be difficult to establish.
In an auto accident, usually one driver or the other is responsible, whereas truck accidents can have one or more guilty parties, such as the trucking company, the driver, or a third-party product manufacturer. Establishing fault may require experts to testify on specific matters such as air brake adjustments, steering, speed, driver fatigue, maintenance, etc., to evaluate whether the accident was caused by a defective part or the actions of a negligent truck driver.
The sheer size of commercial trucks also contributes to these accidents resulting in more severe damage and injuries than other types of accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Of the approximately 475,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2016, there were 3,864 (0.8 percent) fatal crashes and 104,000 (22 percent) injury crashes.” These statistics demonstrate how dangerous and deadly large commercial vehicle accidents can be.
While these cases can have more difficult issues to resolve, it doesn’t mean settlement is impossible. However, it is important to understand the type of legal action that can be taken.
If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck and end up filing a claim, it is always in your best legal interest to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney before you begin any settlement negotiations. During the negotiation process, a truck accident attorney will argue your case with the trucking company, its legal team, and its insurance carrier, and present evidence to support your claim.
According to a study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), clients represented by a personal injury attorney received settlements that were 40% higher than those made to clients who did not have attorney representation. In other words, your chances of obtaining a higher settlement amount can greatly improve when a knowledgeable attorney is on your side.
What to Expect If Your Case Goes to Trial
If all else fails and the trucking company or responsible party are unwilling to come to a reasonable settlement, the case may need to move to trial so you receive the money deserved for your injury and damages. Attempting to represent yourself against a trucking company armed with legal representation, and a large insurance company, could jeopardize your ability to recover the compensation you may be entitled to. An experienced and aggressive truck accident attorney can establish a strong court case, and help prevent the trucking company from trivializing your injuries or taking advantage of you.
The process of filing a lawsuit and going to trial can be complicated, stressful, and intimidating. However, with the help of an accomplished and committed attorney, you no longer have the worries of complex insurance details, the legal process, and presenting your case alone in trial.
A Resourceful Law Firm That Can Get You Results
Dunnion Law has served truck accident victims across California since 1975. Our extensive experience with truck accident cases have given us the knowledge and strategic resources to defend our clients against the drivers and insurance companies attempting to minimize the severity of the damage and injuries they’ve caused.
In combination with their experience and legal strategies, our truck accident attorneys use investigative and technological resources to build solid cases that improve our client’s ability to maximize compensation. Our team’s fearlessness and commitment to handling difficult legal cases are the reason we have successfully won more than $400 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle, Dunnion Law can help you get the results you deserve. Call our California offices at 877-438-4357 for a free consultation. One of our skilled attorneys can give you the legal protection you need.
Author: Jeff D. Stewart, Esq.