Settlement or Trial: Which Is Right for Your Truck Accident Case?

Settlement or Trial: Which Is Right for Your Truck Accident Case?
Calendar icon November 27, 2023
Settlement or Trial: Which Is Right for Your Truck Accident Case?

Summary:

  • Deciding to take your truck accident lawsuit to trial can have significant implications for the amount of compensation you recover
  • Parties may choose to proceed to trial based on disputes over liability or damages so a judge or jury can provide an unbiased assessment of the facts
  • A plaintiff’s willingness to take their truck accident lawsuit to court should be informed by their financial situation, tolerance for a lengthy process, quality of personal injury attorney, and other factors 
  • The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled in negotiations because going to court is expensive and requires a high level of commitment

As the personal injury claims process unfolds, you may have to make a decision between settling your truck accident claim or escalating to a trial. This is a potentially life-altering choice for many families because it can heavily influence the amount of compensation recovered. It can be difficult to make an informed decision without the benefit of prior legal experience. 

At Cellino Law, our truck accident lawyers are equipped with over six decades of knowledge of legal procedures and insurance company tactics, making us formidable negotiators. We can provide valuable insight into the merits of your options to help you determine the best method of recourse. To schedule a free consultation, call (888) 888-8888 or fill out our online form.

Why Truck Accident Lawsuits Go to Trial

If you have been put in a position to choose between accepting a settlement for your truck accident claim in negotiations or bringing a truck accident lawsuit, it is likely due to a disagreement over liability or the value of your damages. A trial empowers an impartial judge or jury to determine a fair resolution to your New York truck accident claim.

Taking a personal injury claim to trial can be a time-consuming and risky move. Generally, either the defendant believes that they have a strong enough case to overcome your accusations of negligence, or they are hoping to use the threat of going to trial to pressure you into settling for the offer on the table.

A defendant may choose to go to trial if:  

  • They believe your truck accident claim is not supported by the facts of the case and fails to meet the burden of proof
  • They have reason to think you have exaggerated your injuries or the value of your damages
  • They are convinced comparative negligence should be a factor in your settlement because you also contributed fault
  • They contend that third-party liability reduces or eliminates their own liability
  • They are unwilling to pay out a large truck accident settlement on principle
  • They want to avoid setting a precedent of settling cases like yours to minimize their future exposure to litigation

Typically, the legitimacy of your claim will be determined long before you reach the trial stage, but complex cases may demand the additional scrutiny of a judge or jury. As the plaintiff, you may also decide that a trial is your best option if you think that the defendant is not offering you a settlement that accurately reflects the value of your damages and the severity of your injuries.

Factors to Consider When Deciding If You Should Accept a Truck Accident Settlement

New York truck accident statistics demonstrate that collisions involving semi-trucks can result in catastrophic injuries for passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and other road users. Medical treatment can become a heavy financial burden, physical injuries may take an emotional toll, and it will likely be necessary to take time away from work to recover and receive medical care.

These burdens can complicate your pursuit of a fair truck accident settlement. Some plaintiffs are exhausted by the experience and opt for an expedient resolution, while others become more determined to maximize their compensation. There is no one right answer. You should keep the following questions in mind as you and your truck accident attorney discuss your options.

  • Does the defendant’s current truck accident settlement offer reasonably cover my long-term costs?
  • Do I have sufficient evidence to support seeking a larger settlement for my truck accident claim?
  • How long am I willing to wait to receive my settlement?
  • Am I prepared to risk losing out on any compensation if the trial does not go my way?
  • Is my personal injury lawyer qualified to take my truck accident case to court, and am I willing to start over with a new attorney if they don’t have the necessary experience to succeed?

The tradeoff of accepting a truck accident settlement in negotiations instead of seeking a trial is that you may receive less compensation than a court would have ordered, but you are spared the lengthy truck accident claims process requiring a substantial investment of resources and effort.

What to Expect If Your Truck Accident Claim Goes to Trial

Taking a truck accident lawsuit to court is used as a last resort. Only about 5% of personal injury claims ever reach the trial stage. Generally, both the plaintiff and the defendant are motivated to compromise during negotiations to avoid the additional time, expense, and public exposure that a trial typically entails. As a result, the experience of going to trial is an enigma to most plaintiffs. 

In a typical truck accident lawsuit, the process begins with your personal injury lawyer filing a case with the appropriate court, stating the claim against the defendant, relaying the facts of the case, and identifying your damages. This is followed by the discovery phase, where both sides seek information to build their arguments. It may involve depositions, written statements, and document requests.

From there, a jury is selected, the plaintiff presents their case to the court, and the defendant offers a rebuttal. The parties can still settle before a verdict is issued. A judge and jury can resolve a truck accident lawsuit by ordering the defendant to fully or partially compensate the plaintiff, dismissing the plaintiff’s case, or awarding additional compensation in the form of punitive damages.

Why You Should Trust Cellino Law to Negotiate Your Truck Accident Claim

There is a high likelihood that the defendant in your truck accident lawsuit is an insurance carrier that has a seasoned legal team representing its interests. To offset this advantage, you need an equally capable team to advocate for your truck accident settlement. Cellino Law has the resources, record of results, and determination required to maximize your compensation.

Our six decades of experience serving injured New Yorkers has made us an authority on navigating the personal injury claims process, including fighting for fair settlements at trial. We encourage you to check out our client testimonials for a preview of the kind of treatment you can expect from our dedicated truck accident attorneys.

Contact Cellino Law About Your New York Truck Accident Today

At Cellino Law, our team of personal injury lawyers understands it may be necessary to take a truck accident lawsuit to court in order to obtain a fair settlement, and we welcome the challenge. Our trial experience can significantly benefit you as you seek maximum compensation for your New York truck accident lawsuit.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled truck accident lawyers by giving us a call at (888) 888-8888 or completing our online form as soon as possible to avoid missing New York’s filing deadline. Our team of personal injury lawyers will explain our comprehensive services, discuss the benefits and disadvantages of going to trial, and estimate what your truck accident claim is worth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I still have to pay my truck accident lawyer if I don’t receive a settlement?

Personal injury lawyers are paid based on their performance. If your truck accident attorney was unable to settle your claim -in negotiations or in court- you are not responsible for paying their contingency fee because there is no settlement to recover the fee from. 

This arrangement protects injured plaintiffs from spending money to hire a personal injury attorney only to receive no compensation at the conclusion of the process. It also serves to motivate the personal injury lawyer because the greater the settlement they negotiate, the larger their contingency fee.

If I take my truck accident lawsuit to trial and don’t recover any compensation, can I file another claim?

In many cases, you would not be eligible to file another truck accident claim based on the same case if your truck accident lawsuit was dismissed at the trial stage. Cases that are dismissed with prejudice cannot be refiled, but those that are dismissed without prejudice may be refiled at a later date or appealed. 

You may have grounds to refile your truck accident claim under certain circumstances, such as a case where your personal injury lawyer committed legal malpractice, significant new evidence of the defendant’s negligence has come to light, or there was misconduct on the part of the judge, jury, or defendant.

What is the difference between a truck accident claim and a truck accident lawsuit?

A truck accident claim is a case brought against the insurance carrier of the negligent party who is at fault for your truck accident injuries. Claims are resolved between a plaintiff, the defendant, and their legal representation. A truck accident claim becomes a truck accident lawsuit when it is taken to court and a judge or jury decides what damages, if any, will be awarded to the plaintiff.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.

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