A serious truck accident can leave a victim and his or her family utterly devastated, in multiple ways. Physically, of course, a victim may suffer significant harm that leaves him or her with pain and suffering, disfigurement, temporarily or permanently disabled and with the need for extensive medical care. This, in turn, can cause financial losses in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, the stress and anger of the situation can be overwhelming.
Many truck accident victims pursue legal action as a way to try to recover their damages. A victim can certainly choose to take a matter to trial, but there is usually an option to try to negotiate a settlement prior to any litigation. There are many ways to try to resolve a lawsuit, including mediation and arbitration. Mediation and negotiation are non-binding, whereas arbitration is binding. On e should note, however, that there are advantages and disadvantages to each process.
Generally speaking, though, why would a victim want to try to negotiate a settlement? First of all, it can be quicker and cheaper than taking a case through litigation. Second, these processes are confidential in nature, allowing the parties to be honest about their positions. This can spur discussion and, oftentimes, favorable outcomes for all parties involved. Third, alternative dispute resolution routes often involve a neutral third party, such as a mediator, allowing the parties to receive unbiased, outside feedback on the situation and the status of negotiations.
Though alternative dispute resolution may be beneficial for those pursuing a claim against a negligent trucker and truck company, it is not right for every situation. Therefore, those who want to fully consider his or her options in order to make an informed decision that is right for them may want to seek legal guidance. This will help ensure the victim fully evaluates the available options while also protecting his or her rights and interests.
Source: FindLaw, "Trucking Accident Settlements: What to Expect," accessed on Aug. 12, 2016