You do not necessarily have to go to court for a truck accident to receive compensation. There are some situations where a truck accident victim is able to receive a settlement offer from the party who caused the accident. This could be from the driver, the driver’s employer, or an insurance company that provided a policy for the truck involved in the accident.
Often times, the trucking company and driver do not want to go to court any more than you do. The insurance company may also prefer to provide a settlement instead of having to deal with the time and expense of preparing for a trial. Taking a case to trial can be more time consuming, expensive, and drawn out compared to agreeing on a settlement.
Although a settlement may seem convenient and like the best option for you, there is no guarantee that the other party will settle. An insurance company may refuse to accept liability for the accident, or the settlement that they offer may be much lower than what your damages are actually worth.
Settling Your Truck Accident Case Out of Court
If you are able to gather enough evidence to show that the trucking company or driver is at fault for your accident, you may be able to avoid going to court. The trucking company’s insurance provider will also need to see evidence of fault in order to provide you with a settlement. Gathering enough evidence to support your claim can be a detailed process, which is why many parties choose to work with a lawyer.
Some of the things that you or your lawyer will need to establish as part of the settlement negotiations process include:
- The trucking company and/or driver acted carelessly
- This carelessness caused your injuries
- Proof of your injuries and damages, such as medical records and bills
There are many different types of evidence you can gather to prove these facts. 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
- Consults with an accident reconstructionist
- Consults with medical experts
- Copies of your medical records
- Testimony from a lifecare planner
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Going to Court After a Truck Accident
If you end up having to go to court after a truck accident, it is important to file your claim as soon as possible. In Louisiana, an accident victim only has one year from the date of the accident to file their claim in court, according to CC Art. 3492.
During trial, your lawyer will present all of the evidence they were able to gather to show that the trucking company and/or truck driver did not act appropriately and that they caused you to suffer injuries. If the court or jury concludes that you have provided enough evidence to establish these things, then you will be awarded compensation for your injuries.
This is different from a settlement because a settlement typically involves a discussion between the parties outside of court. You can ask for any amount of compensation in the settlement and usually must provide some evidence to support your claim that the other party is liable for your injuries.
Expenses You Can Claim in a Settlement or Lawsuit
There are many different expenses that you can claim as a truck accident victim. You can claim these damages in a settlement discussion or during trial. It is important to keep track of all of your expenses regardless of the route that you pursue. This will help you ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation that you may deserve.
A few examples of damages that may be available to a truck accident victim in a settlement or at trial 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 expenses related to the accident
A Lawyer from Our Firm Can Help Pursue a Settlement
If you would like to pursue a settlement in your truck accident case, you can work with a personal injury lawyer from our firm to make sure that you protect your rights. It can be extremely difficult to 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
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can assist you with figuring out whether you have to go to court for a truck accident. For a free consultation with a member of our team, call us today at (337) 777-7777.