There is no clear-cut immediate answer of whether you have to go to court after a truck accident. If you receive a court summons, then you have to go to court. If you decide to sue the other party for damages, you may have to go to court. Only time will tell if you have to go to court or not.
What Happens After a Truck Accident
After you are involved in a truck accident, many different scenarios can play out. Usually, if you or the other driver contact the police, the police will come to the scene of the accident and speak to the parties involved and complete a report. If injuries or fatalities are involved, paramedics can treat the injured parties as necessary and fill out medical records.
In a personal injury case involving a car accident, drivers can agree to have insurance companies pay for bills and associated damages. Drivers can receive compensation from the truck driver’s insurance company or their own insurer, depending on the state’s insurance laws. Sometimes, people may want to pursue the case further and take the personal injury case to court.
When an insurance company refuses to make a settlement, you may end up going to court. You may also end up going to court if an insurance company offers a settlement and you refuse it.
Likelihood of Going to Court for a Truck Accident
Injuries or Fatalities Involved
The chance of going to court for a truck accident becomes higher when there is more at stake. A truck is a big, heavy vehicle that is more likely to cause injuries or fatalities to passenger car occupants, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). When injuries or fatalities occur, many costs begin accruing. Future costs are also a possibility, such as for rehabilitation or loss of work. To protect their interests, a party involved in the truck accident may want to sue.
The truck driver or the insurer may claim you bear some or most of the liability for an accident, even if your negligence did not contribute to the accident. You may need to go to court to dispute this argument if you cannot settle the matter beforehand. This is why police reports and medical records are so important. Documented evidence will help point to what happened and who was at fault.
If the truck involved is a commercial truck, the company that owns the truck will want a mechanic or garage to document damage as well as faulty mechanical safety features of the involved vehicles for their records. According to one study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the most associated factor assigned in large truck accidents was brake problems. Brake problems may entirely shift liability for an accident elsewhere.
You are also more likely to go to court if disagreement is preventing a resolution. If the parties or their insurance companies cannot agree to a fair settlement, it may need to be decided in court. Insurance companies know all about calculated risks, going to court is not in their best interest because the outcome now lies in the hands of an unpredictable jury.
Insurance companies and lawyers usually try hard to work together for a settlement that is acceptable to all involved parties. However, the parties will want to ensure that the settlement covers all of their costs, both short-term and long-term.
Costs Involved After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, the costs that begin accruing can be significant and may include:
- Insurance deductibles
- Car repairs or replacement vehicle
- Rental cars
- Medical bills
- Missed paychecks
- Funeral costs
Costs that you may not think are a possibility can crop up later when least expected. You will want to be prepared by protecting your interests. You do not want to ever accept an insurance settlement just to avoid having to go to court. Be prepared to file a lawsuit in order to cover all of your necessary costs.
Protect Your Interests After a Truck Accident
You may end up having to go to court after a truck accident, whether you want to or not. In order to protect your interests, it is a good idea to have a lawyer on your side. A lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you figure out your options for compensation and the factors that can impact your claim or suit.
Call (800) 235-0444 as soon as possible after your accident so that we can protect you and your interests. You can be secure and have peace of mind knowing that you have someone standing beside you ready to help in case you do end up going to court.
You do not have to worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. We do not charge or receive any fees until we win a settlement for you. Our consultations are free.