If you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle and made a claim for compensation, you may want to try and reach a settlement. A settlement prevents you from having to go to trial, which can be stressful, unpredictable and expensive.
Settling in, or out of court bring their own set of problems that you may need to overcome in order to receive the damages you deserve. Here are some of the key issues you might face when trying to win a commercial accident settlement.
- Proving Fault.
- Multiple Defendants.
- Lack of Public Knowledge.
- Limited Budget.
To be successful when trying to reach a settlement, you need to try and have enough evidence in your favor that the defendant would know they’d lose if they went to trial.
In Mississippi, you’ll need to prove that another driver was at fault for your injuries if you want the best chance of reaching a settlement. If you’re partially to blame for your injuries, then the Mississippi systems uses the ‘pure comparative negligence’ rule.
This particular rule allows the court to award you damages as long as you are less than 100 percent at fault. The court will decide how to blame you are and deduct your damages accordingly. Even if you are 95 percent at fault for your injuries, you can still receive five percent of the damages.
Trucks have to adhere to a number of strict federal and state regulations that cover the weight of the rig, the amount of rest the driver receives and how often the truck needs to be maintained.
If you can prove that one of the statutes was broken which resulted in the collision, then you’re more likely to be offered a settlement by the defendants. Proving that a regulation has been breached can be very difficult and if you don’t have enough proof, then it’s unlikely that a settlement will be reached.
With commercial accident settlements, claims are often brought against multiple defendants. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the collision, here are just some of the defendants that may face claims.
- The driver of the vehicle.
- The company that employs the driver and owns the vehicle.
- The manufacturer of the vehicle.
- Any third party that’s carried out repairs on the vehicle.
- Any third party that’s responsible for the condition of the road.
With so many potential defendants, claims can be lengthy and complicated. It may be clear that you’re not at fault for the collision, but the defendants still want to go to trial so that a court can decide who exactly is at fault and the percentage of damages that they owe.
It is possible for you to settle with one of the defendants but take the others to trial to determine the balance of the damages. If you’re hoping to reach a settlement with a commercial organisation, then be prepared for a lengthy process as they consult their legal teams and decide the best course of action.
Lack of Public Knowledge
In some instances, you may believe that it is in the public’s best interest to hear explicit details from the case. One or more of the defendants may have committed serious mistakes that you think the local population should know.
Choosing to reach an out of court settlement denies you the chance to tell the general public exactly what happened and who’s to blame. Every case is different so the decision lies with you, but some events deserve public awareness and a transparent legal challenge.
If a large scale commercial organisation is involved, they may want a quiet settlement so their public image isn’t damaged and their sales aren’t affected.
However, a settlement does provide stability as there’s never a sure way of knowing how a judge and jury may react to your case. Settling out of court prevents any appeals that can be costly and take a long time.
By reaching a settlement, you’ll avoid the expensive attorney fees that going to trial would bring. That doesn’t mean that trying to reach a settlement is cheap. There’s no guarantee that defendants will settle quickly with some cases reaching settlement on the courthouse steps moments before a trial is set to begin.
This can mean that the whole process is lengthy and you need to be aware of the budget you have available for legal fees before actively pursuing a commercial accident settlement. Some lawyers only take fees if the settlement has been successful so it’s important to know early on if this is the case.
Claim for Compensation with Coxwell & Associates
Pursuing a settlement can be a complicated process so it’s important to receive the best possible legal advice. Download our free guide by clicking on the button below for all the information you need when making a claim.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.