When should you settle a truck accident?

Trucking accident lawsuits can unexpectedly spiral out of control. Maybe you were expecting an open and shut lawsuit against the driver and his employer. But upon further investigation into the paperwork, you find out that there was a mistake in the repair schedule for the truck. There is myriad ways that these lawsuits can develop. That is why sometimes settling seems like the fastest and safest option.

The first question is when should you settle? Typically, the earlier you settle a lawsuit, the more favorable an outcome you can extract. But, this is not always true, especially if you believe that more investigation could reveal damning evidence. It is a gamble to settle early because you may find that smoking gun, like an incomplete maintenance log on the truck's brakes.

The next question you will need answered is, "what kind of settlement should you look into?" Traditionally, settlements were one-time lump sum payments. However, your other option is a structured settlement; wherein the plaintiff could receive regular pavements throughout a specified time frame. Whether a lump sum or structured settlement is better depends on your financial situation.

If you do agree to a settlement, the trucking company will probably want some concessions from you. Generally, these may include such things as a promise not to sue them for the same claim again or an agreement not to release the terms of the settlement to the public.

If you were recently offered to settle your truck accident claim or lawsuit, then you should probably speak to an attorney before you respond or take any action. Settlements do often require that you sacrifice some of your legal rights for the ease of an immediate payout.

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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