Accidents suck. Nobody likes to get injured or lose property and then spend potentially huge amounts of money fighting for your rights. While our legal system here in the United States is pretty good - trucking companies know that they are usually on the losing end of any discussion that involves them being the potential cause of an accident. That's why it is very common for their representatives to offer you a generous amount of money in exchange for you agreeing to not pursue further legal action.
This isn't limited to semi trucks either. I was involved in an accident last year with a commercial delivery driver. Frankly, the amount of money being offered caused me to seek professional counsel to ensure I didn't misunderstand something. While these numbers seem enormous to most victims, the settlements are very carefully determined by corporate lawyers to prevent an even larger amount of money from being spent on months in court and potentially an even bigger damages settlement.
After an accident involving a truck, you may receive a settlement offer from the trucking company. While this can be an attractive solution for many as it offers a quick resolution to the situation and allows them to move on with their lives, there are important considerations one should consider before accepting such an offer. Considering these issues carefully is essential in ensuring that all costs associated with the incident have been accounted for and that you don’t sign away any rights to future claims or legal actions.
The first thing to consider is who will be responsible for medical bills related to the accident. All medical expenses should be completely covered - past, present, and future. Be sure to read through all details of the settlement offer carefully before agreeing. Some companies may attempt to reduce their overall financial liability by excluding certain types of care. This may include ongoing physical therapy sessions, prescription drugs, or mental health care for instance.
Second, find out what kind of compensation will be offered for property damage or lost wages due to the truck accident. It is often expected that any repair or replacement costs associated with your car (or other possessions) will be fully covered by the insurance company – but make sure you investigate before signing anything!
Additionally, if you were unable to work while injured, then ensure you get appropriate compensation in return so that your family’s financial hardship can be alleviated during this difficult time.
Third, ask yourself if you are comfortable giving up any rights which may have allowed for further legal action at a later date if necessary - such as filing a lawsuit against the truck driver/company itself. The settlement offer should clearly state whether or not this option is available after signing – it is important for your protection and security down the line that these details are made clear before answering any questions about acceptance!
Finally, always consult with trained legal professionals before making decisions regarding a settlement offer from a trucking company following an accident. For example, a firm such as Laborde Earles law firm truck accident lawyer team can get you the proper support where and when needed.
You might consider an offer for 10, 20, or even $30,000 akin to winning the lottery. It's not. Finding out that you have neck pain that causes headaches for the rest of your life and causes you to miss work on a regular basis can lead to 100's of thousands of dollars in lost earning potential, therapy bills, and prescription drugs, for instance. Each case is unique and so you should absolutely talk with a professional before accepting any offer. Personal injury attorneys are best equipped to advise on how much compensation is fair and what long-term risks could arise should you choose this path versus another one, like litigation or arbitration proceedings.
Accepting A Settlement Offer Can Be The Right Choice
In our case, after considering all the factors involved and speaking with my primary care physician, Heather and I decided that it was worth accepting the company's offer and thankfully, we haven't had any further medical issues. The compensation was commensurate with the damages and we ultimately made the right decision.
Our choice isn't the right one for everyone!
Accepting a settlement offer from a trucking company after an accident requires careful consideration and evaluation of all related details, including who will pay for medical bills; how much compensation will be offered for property damage & lost wages; whether legal rights are waived upon signing; and consulting with trained legal professionals beforehand. Taking these steps will ensure that all bases have been covered when deciding what course of action is best in order to protect yourself and your family now and in future scenarios!