If you are injured in a truck accident, often you are entitled to recover for your medical bills and property damage. There are times when filing a lawsuit might be necessary, but generally, if you can make a settlement out of court, it not only saves you time but it can save you money on attorney fees. There is a time before a case is escalated to trial where negotiations are made to try to find a settlement between the two parties. It is possible to make a settlement before a case has to go to trial.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to finding a settlement when you are in a truck accident in Los Angeles. When the advantages of finding a settlement outweigh the potential for the advantages of escalating an accident to go to the court, it is always a good idea to, at a minimum, consider taking a settlement. It is imperative, however, before you accept any truck accident settlement, that you have it looked over by a team of Los Angeles truck accident lawyers.
Why settlements are sometimes preferable to a trial
Often, reaching a settlement or agreement through the process of ADR is highly advantageous over escalating the case to a trial. In truck accidents, it is sometimes preferred because each party is allowed to state their case confidentially, and there is no need for an admission of guilt by either party for an agreement to be reached. If the parties are less contentious, then it is possible for them to speak openly and in the presence of one another, which can cut down on the time that it takes to reach an agreement.
ADR is when both parties can tell their experience of the accident and to have a third, and neutral, party sort through the details to find out what really happened and to decide what a fair settlement looks like.
There are also some inherent disadvantages to settlements:
- The plaintiff typically has to agree that they cannot pursue any further action against the other party related to the injury or incident
- If the settlement is binding, then the plaintiff gives up their right to a trial
- There are times when the settlement offer is substantially lower than a person would receive if the case continues to trial
- When a settlement is reached outside of court, there is no fault ascribed, which means that the at-fault person does not have to take responsibility for the accident
What are the various types of settlements?
There are two different types of settlement agreements that can be made. There are structured or lump-sum settlements. A structured settlement means that the payout is made through regular payments over a specified amount of time. A lump-sum payment is where the plaintiff receives the entire amount of the settlement in one payment. Since settlements are taxed according to their different classification, the type of settlement you agree on can significantly change the amount of money you receive and how much you have to pay taxes on.
If you are involved in a trucking accident, it is never good to make a settlement on your own without having a Los Angeles attorney to protect your interests. Even if you go the settlement route, it is imperative that you never sign anything until you know for sure that you are getting what is rightfully yours. Once you sign a settlement agreement, there is no way to undo it or to claim any injuries or damages that you discover after the settlement has been signed and reached.