If a person is hurt in an accident involving a truck or commercial vehicle, they’re usually entitled to compensation. Personal injury suits are filed in civil courts to seek legal judgment, but parties can choose to settle out of court at any time during the process. In this article, injured parties can find out how settlements work, and they can learn the pros and cons of settling a claim out of court.
Legal settlements are reached when parties arrive at an agreement without the court’s help. Some settlements are reached with alternative methods such as mediation or arbitration. While mediation is non-binding, arbitration is legally binding and it replaces civil trials. In many cases, damage claims from trucking accidents can be resolved through these alternative methods, and a product liability lawyer in Tuscaloosa County, AL can enter negotiations even if the case is already in the courts.
The Advantages of Settlement
Reaching an out-of-court settlement is an attractive proposition because it’s usually cheaper than taking a case to trial. Negotiations are less adversarial in nature because parties can confidentially present their cases, and neither party has to admit fault. When a party is less defensive, they can rationally discuss difficult issues and are more likely to reach an amenable settlement.
While a settlement is preferable in most cases, there are some drawbacks to settling out of court. They include:
• The plaintiff relinquishes their legal right to take further action on the claim.
• A binding agreement precludes rights to trial.
• Settlements are often worth less than a potential court award.
• Settling means that an injured party gives up their chance to hold the defendant publicly liable.
There are two types of settlements: structured and lump sum. Structured settlements are paid in installments over a certain period, while lump sum payments are given all at one time. Settlement funds are taxed according to classification, so the choice of settlement type can affect a client’s tax liability.
While settling a trucking accident case out of court is usually preferable to a long, drawn-out case, the process can still be complex. An injured party should call a lawyer who handles trucking accident cases, both in court and with alternative methods.