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What to expect when you settle a truck accident claim

It finally happened. You were driving in the left lane next to a tractor-trailer. The trucker did not see you in his blind spot and changed lanes. He hit you and caused you to crash into the concrete median. Not only did you total your car, but the accident seriously injured you as well.

You have missed weeks of work, you need to purchase a new vehicle, the medical bills are stacking up, and you are facing months of rehabilitation. The accident was not your fault and trucker's (or his employer's) insurance should certainly compensate you for your injuries and other damages. An experienced personal injury attorney in the West Virginia area can help you file a claim to recover your expenses.

After being injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and the damage done to your car. One of the ways to do this is to file a lawsuit in civil court. It is possible that the insurance company that covered the driver may try to settle the suit out of court. This is one of the most common ways that lawsuits are settled. An informal settlement usually helps both parties save both time and money.

However, there are advantages and disadvantages of settling out of court. Read below for what you can expect if you decide to accept an out-of-court settlement.

Settlement defined

A settlement occurs when you and the insurance company reach an agreement outside of court. Methods such as arbitration, mediation, and negotiation are typically used to reach a settlement. While arbitration is considered a binding process, mediation and negotiation are not. Your attorney can help you through any of these processes.

Advantages of a settlement

It is usually cheaper and faster to settle a lawsuit with one of the alternative dispute resolution methods mentioned above. Since these methods do not require an admission of fault, they are usually less contentious and it is easier to reach an amicable settlement. A neutral third party typically facilitates these types of settlements. However, you can still retain legal representation to ensure that your interests are protected.

Disadvantages of a settlement

If you accept a settlement, you will most likely have to surrender your legal right to pursue any other claims connected with the accident. It is also possible that you might receive much less from the settlement than you otherwise would have received if your case had been successful in court. In addition, agreeing to a settlement means that you will not be able to publicly hold the driver or his employer accountable for the accident. You may also be forgoing a just verdict.

Two major types of settlements

There are two major types of settlements that are usually used. One is the lump sum and the other is structured. A lump sum settlement means that you will receive the entire amount of compensation you greed upon at one time. With a structured settlement, you will receive regular payments over a specified time period.

Before trying to reach a settlement on your own with the driver's insurance company, contact a West Virginia personal injury attorney to review your case. Negotiation with a trucking company's insurance can be extremely difficult and complicated. Receive the proper guidance to protect your interests.

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