Injury lawsuits are usually filed in a US civil court in order to seek judgment over compensation for damages. However, before or in the course of litigation, some parties on opposing sides of a lawsuit tend to seek a resolution for the dispute through an out-of-court settlement. This often helps them save money and time. You will find details about how truck accident settlements work and the potential pros and cons of settling a legal claim out of court.
Truck Accident Settlements
A settlement is arrived at when two or more opposing parties reach an agreement. An out-of-court settlement is often arrived at by using ADR (alternative dispute resolution) methods. Mediation and negotiation are non-binding ways of reaching a deal, whereas arbitration is one of the binding processes which take the place of a civil trial. Usually, it is possible to resolve a claim for compensation, for damages which resulted as a direct consequence of a trucking accident, using ADR methods.
How Out-of-Court Settlements Can Also be Advantageous
Arriving at a settlement through alternative dispute resolution can be tempting because it is usually much quicker and cheaper than seeking a court resolution. ADR is less adversarial in relation to litigation, because the parties can present their positions more confidentially, and there is no fault admission by either party. If they are less defensive, the parties would be able to rationally and calmly discuss contentious matters in a better way.
Parties relying on ADR would be able to talk in a frank manner about the facts revolving around the truck accident, who they feel is responsible, their stance on damages, etc. They would also be able to get a neutral third party’s objective opinion. In some instances, they can regulate the amount of legal stance revealed to others, and yet get the insights from a neutral third party, who is trained and experienced in dealing with accident matters.
Some Potential Disadvantages of Settling a Truck Accident Claim Out of Court
Although it is usually preferred over litigation, there are downsides to settling an accident claim outside of the purview of the court. Below are some of the main ones.
- The plaintiff party should agree to give up his or her legal right to pursue a further claim in relation to the accident or injury.
- A settlement might just be less than the amount which the plaintiff party would have won had they taken the issue to court and been successful therein.
- A binding settlement deal precludes the legal right to an accident trial.
- Settling the matter outside of the court also means the injured party forgoes the chance to hold the defendant liable for the latter’s harmful actions, and to get a just public verdict.