The Truck Accident Claim ProcessBy Stewart J. Guss on December 30th, 2016
Any involvement with the legal system can be confusing, especially if you have not had much experience with lawsuits or courts before. For this reason, many truck accident victims do not know how to go about seeking compensation for their losses from the party that caused their accident. Because truck accident cases can be so complex and can involve many different federal regulations, it is imperative to have an experienced truck accident lawyer handling your case and guiding you through the process. The following is a brief overview of the legal process of a truck accident case.
It is always important to have your situation evaluated by a skilled attorney, as you may have legal rights of which you are unaware. An attorney will listen to your version of the events that occurred and may conduct additional research in the accident in order to best advise you whether or not you have a valid claim.
Trucking companies are required to have extensive insurance policies and many injured accident victims are able to recover through an insurance claim. These insurance companies tend to offer low settlements at first in hopes that you will unknowingly accept it and then lose the right to seek additional recovery. A skilled attorney will closely review any offers and will present evidence in negotiations to see if it is possible to obtain the settlement you deserve from an insurance claim.
Filing a Lawsuit
In some cases, an insurance company may refuse to offer a fair settlement or your losses may be too substantial to handle through the insurance directly. In these cases, your attorney will carefully prepare a complaint for personal injury to file in civil court. This initiates the lawsuit process and must be done in compliance with all local and state legal rules and procedures.
The next step of litigation is referred to as “discovery” and it involves both sides collecting information and evidence from the other to build their case and develop arguments. Discovery also helps facilitate settlement negotiations as you learn whether or not the other side has evidence to support its claims. Discovery can include the following and more:
- Document requests
- Requests for other physical evidence
As mentioned above, discovery can give you leverage to engage in settlement negotiations. If the other side realizes that your attorney has built a strong case, it may be willing to offer a favorable settlement to prevent going to trial. Most cases are resolved in this stage of the process.
If the trucking company refuses to offer a sufficient settlement amount, your case will proceed to a jury trial. Both your attorneys and the attorneys for the trucking company will present their arguments and supporting evidence and the jury will decide whether or not you should be compensated.