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How Often Do Truck Accident Cases Go to Trial?

May 10, 2021

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After big truck accidents, many victims face mountains of debt and weeks or months of lost paychecks while they recover, if they ever recover! But even though they have the possibility of getting compensation from the at-fault party by calling a lawyer, the legal process is simply too intimidating for many to follow through—especially if they think there’s a chance they’ll have to go to court.

However, insurance companies ALSO don’t want to go to court. That means that most cases settle long before anyone sees the inside of a courtroom or even before an actual lawsuit is filed. Instead, insurance companies analyze every claim and potential claim and decide on what’s best for their bottom lines. And sometimes, that means paying a quick settlement—but that’s not always the case.

Factors that Make Insurance Companies More Likely to Settle before Trial

It’s difficult to pin down exactly how many truck accident injury claims go to trial, or what the chances of your truck accident claim going to trial are. However, many lawyers can make educated guesses about the chances based on a few factors:

  • How much evidence there is—When there’s plenty of evidence showing that a party or parties involved with the crash, such as the truck driver or trucking company, were negligent, insurance companies often know they’ve already been beaten. That means they’ll be much more likely to settle rather than face a judge and jury that’s unlikely to take their side.
  • How little they can get away with paying—When insurance companies believe they can get away with paying “lowball settlements,” they’ll do so. They know that victims need immediate compensation and don’t always know how much their claims are worth, especially when injuries cause lifelong partial or total disability. They’ll make quick offers knowing that victims can’t pursue more money down the road if they accept.
  • How much fault lies with the claimant—Many truck accident victims played no part in their crashes, but some may share partial fault. And although Ohio follows the “modified comparative negligence law,” which means that even partially at-fault victims can get compensation, insurance companies relish this technicality and may be more likely to fight back to the courtroom.
  • How reputable the representative law firm is—Insurance companies know which law firms fight for their clients and which firms are out to make a quick buck—or are incompetent. When insurance companies know that claimants are represented by aggressive advocates, avoiding a trial becomes their priority.

When Are Truck Accident Claims More Likely to Go to Trial?

All personal injury claims have the potential to go to trial when insurance companies refuse to pay victims the money they’re owed. But truck accident claims may be more likely than other types of personal injury claims because of a few reasons:

  • The damages are extensive and expensive—Physics dictates that people in 4,500 lbs. passenger vehicles are highly likely to suffer severe injuries when they’re involved in collisions with 80,000 lbs. semi-trucks. The worse the injuries, the greater the medical costs, and the longer the gap without paychecks. When insurance companies are on the hook for big money, they’re more likely to fight.
  • Insurance companies are pressured to not settle—The trucking industry is among the biggest in the U.S. And a single truck can have many parties associated with it, including a multi-billion-dollar trucking company and a multi-billion-dollar distributor. The insurance companies representing those parties—not to mention the driver—are unlikely to easily fork over settlements to victims, and they may be pressured to fight at all costs.

With Our Lawyers on Your Side, You Don’t Have to Be Afraid of Going to Court

Most personal injury law firms try to avoid escalating injury claims to court, and we’re no exception. It’s easier on all parties to get settlements long before lawsuits are filed. However, we don’t hesitate to use the legal process to our advantage when insurance companies refuse to cooperate.

When you call Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, you’ll get a legal team that doesn’t take no for an answer. But we’re not just bullheaded, aggressive lawyers. We also care deeply about our clients, and we’ll work hard to ensure you’re comfortable and well-prepared for every step of your claim, including if it goes to trial.

Contact us today for a free consultation. It’s our goal to make the process as easy and restorative as possible for you and your family.

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