You do not necessarily have to go to court to receive compensation for a truck accident. There are some situations where a truck accident victim can recover a payout from the at-fault party through their insurer instead. In a Lafayette, LA, truck accident, this could be the driver, the driver’s employer, or an insurance company representing the truck’s owner.
Often, the trucking company does not want to go to court any more than you do. The insurance company may also prefer to settle instead of dealing with the time and expense of preparing a case and going to a trial. This is especially true when there is strong evidence to support the claim against their policyholder.
Settling Your Lafayette Truck Accident Case Out of Court
If you can collect enough evidence to show that the truck driver caused your accident, you may be able to avoid going to court. Having strong proof of negligence and liability will encourage the insurer and liable parties to negotiate. The driver’s employer will be vicariously liable in most cases.
Gathering enough evidence to support your claim can be a time-consuming and complex process, which is why many victims choose to work with a car accident lawyer. Some of the things that a lawyer must establish to move forward with a claim or lawsuit include:
- The trucking company and/or driver acted carelessly.
- This carelessness caused your injuries.
- There is proof of your injuries and damages, such as medical records and bills.
Types of Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
Many different types of evidence may prove the elements listed above. A few common examples include:
- A police report prepared after the accident
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Inspections of the vehicles involved in the crash
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Surveillance footage from the area
- Records from the trucking company
- The driver’s employee record
- Accident reconstruction
- Testimony from medical experts
- Copies of your medical records
Without solid evidence, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to convince the liable parties and their insurers to agree to a fair and just payout. Because both parties must agree on a truck accident settlement, you will need to have proof of negligence and liability, as well as documentation of your damages.
While it is understandable that you would like to avoid court, there is no guarantee that the other party will agree to settle for a fair amount. You do not want to accept if the settlement they offer is much lower than what your damages are worth. When this occurs, taking the case to trial may be a better option.
You May Need to Sue the Trucking Company, But You May not Go to Trial
If you do need to sue the trucking company and/or another liable party, this does not necessarily mean you will go to trial. You could file a lawsuit for several reasons, including:
- The insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement.
- They blame you for the crash.
- You are running out of time to file.
In Louisiana, an accident victim only has one year from the date of the accident to file in a civil court, according to CC Art. 3492. If you sue because the deadline is approaching, you may still be able to reach an out-of-court agreement before your trial date arrives.
Taking a Truck Accident Case to Court
If the case does go to trial, a lawyer from our team will present the evidence to show that:
- The trucking company and/or truck driver did not act appropriately; and
- That they caused your accident and injuries.
If the court or jury concludes that you provided enough evidence to establish these things, then you will get compensation for your injuries.
A court award is different from a settlement because a settlement involves a discussion and agreement between the parties. You can ask for any amount of compensation in the settlement and accept or reject any offer put forth. However, you will likely still need evidence to show the insurer why you believe your case is worth what you are demanding during negotiations.
Expenses You Can Claim in a Settlement or Lawsuit
There are many different expenses that you can claim in a truck accident case. It is essential for you to keep track of all your costs and losses regardless of whether you hope to settle with the insurer or not. This will help you document the recoverable damages and prove the compensation you need to pay your bills.
Recoverable damages that may be available to a truck accident victim include:
- Medical expenses
- Future estimated medical care costs
- Repairs for your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Missed paychecks
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Any other costs related to the accident
You may also be able to seek damages for the wrongful death of a family member who died from truck accident injuries, under CC Art. 2315.2. These could include expenses left to your family, costs related to the burial and funeral, income losses, and intangible damages.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help You Reach a Settlement
You may be able to pursue and secure a settlement in your truck accident case with help from a personal injury lawyer on our team. We can protect your rights, as well as figure out what your case is worth, how much compensation you should request, and whether the other parties are playing fairly.
Your lawyer will perform a variety of tasks on your behalf, including:
- Gathering evidence to show that the other parties are at fault
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Calculating how much your case is worth
- Answering your questions about the legal process
- Consulting with experts to help build your case
- Preparing for trial if necessary
- Ensuring you meet all applicable timelines
Our truck accident law firm provides free case reviews for victims of these crashes. You can learn more about your rights and the services an attorney from our firm can provide during this consultation. We encourage you to act quickly to get a lawyer on your side after a Louisiana crash if you hope to settle the case without suing the liable parties.
Speak to Our Team About Your Case for Free Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we may be able to help you settle your case out of cour. Alternatively, we could take your lawsuit to trial to seek a fair payout. Either way, we handle truck accident cases based on contingency fees.
For a free consultation with a team member from our Lafayette office, call us today at (337) 777-7777.