When you are in a truck accident, you probably have many questions swirling around in your mind afterward. How severe are my injuries? How long is it going to take to recover? What are the costs of my medical care? Will I get “back to normal” again? These questions and more can be incredibly distressing for victims of truck accidents. With so many considerations to take into account, many plaintiffs want to get through legal proceedings after a truck accident as expediently as possible. For some, that might include the possibility of settling a lawsuit instead of taking it all the way to a trial.
Unfortunately, there is no set timetable for how long it can take a truck accident lawsuit to settle. A settlement offer can land on the table at any point during legal proceedings right up until the jury hears opening statements in a case. Since every truck accident lawsuit is unique in its facts, legal questions, and plaintiff’s needs, it is unavoidable that settlement offers might appear at different points in a lawsuit or at no point at all. Fortunately, our lawyers are experienced truck accident attorneys who can navigate you through the process of settling a truck accident lawsuit, no matter how long it takes.
Call our Maryland truck accident lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free analysis of your situation.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Sadly, it cannot be predicted how long it takes to settle any given case. Settlement offers could appear right after a lawsuit is filed or right before trial, so it could take weeks to settle a case or it could take years.
What is a Settlement in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
A settlement is a way to resolve a lawsuit without going to trial. When parties settle a case, nobody is found liable in a court of law. However, part of the settlement agreement can include an admission of wrongdoing by one of the parties.
Generally, one party will make a settlement offer, and then both parties will talk about it and negotiate a settlement agreement that both sides are comfortable with. If you receive any settlement offers in a truck accident lawsuit, our Aberdeen truck accident lawyers can go over the pros and cons of accepting the offer, possible points to negotiate, and other important information. Ultimately, the decision on whether to settle your truck accident lawsuit or go to court is in your hands.
Why Parties Settle Lawsuits
There are as many different reasons for settling a lawsuit as there are lawsuits. These factors could be legal concerns, like the strength of a party’s claims or defenses, or they could be concerns that are not related to law, like loss of reputation or the length of time a trial will take. We will go over some of the primary reasons parties choose to settle truck accident lawsuits below.
One of the main reasons a party could choose to pursue a settlement agreement is that they think their claim or defense is not very strong. A defendant that feels they are very likely to lose may try and settle a case in order to get a better outcome and avoid the embarrassment of losing at trial.
This is not to say that every defendant who offers to settle a case is afraid they are going to lose. Many defendants offer to settle because it is expedient, or they believe it is more cost-effective.
It is important that you do not consider a settlement offer a sign of weakness. The only thing that should be considered is whether the settlement will get you all the help that you need after a truck accident. It does not matter if you are “winning one over” on the defendant by going to trial. If a settlement is the best offer that gets you everything you need to recover after a truck accident, you should seriously consider accepting it.
Certainty of Outcome
Another very common reason why parties settle cases is that they get to decide the outcome. In a settlement agreement, both parties have negotiated to a set of terms they both find acceptable. This is very different from what could happen at trial. There is no way to tell what verdict a jury will render. Even the most skilled, competent, and diligent attorneys cannot guarantee any outcome at trial. This level of uncertainty could be concerning to plaintiffs as well as defendants, so in instances where a sure thing is desired, the parties can choose to settle the case without worrying about a wildcard trial outcome.
Some parties will settle lawsuits because they believe that the public fallout from a trial, successful or otherwise, is not worth it. This is especially true for large companies that have a public reputation to maintain. For example, if a tire company advertises incredible safety and reliability in its products, but one of them broke and caused a truck accident, the company might wish to settle to avoid undercutting its image, having come to the conclusion that the cost of a settlement is less than the cost of losing business or reputation.
Another related reason companies or individuals can choose to settle is to avoid certain information going public that the settling party would like to keep private. This could range from embarrassing personal information to trade secrets and other information a company wishes not to be made public. Many settlement agreements have a provision outlining that all information about the case is kept confidential and cannot be discussed in public.
Our Maryland Truck Accident Lawyers are Here to Help
To have a free initial consultation, call our Bel Air truck accident lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.