All kinds of motor vehicle accidents can lead to serious injury, but truck accidents are especially dangerous. Simply because of their size and weight, large trucks are much more likely to cause serious injury or death when they collide with smaller vehicles. Those injured in a truck accident may suffer serious injuries that render them disabled, disfigured, facing a long recovery, burdened by medical expenses, and unable to work. If the truck driver or trucking company is at fault, then the victim may be able to recover compensation by filing a lawsuit, but that process can be long, expensive and difficult.
There is another option that truck accident victims can try to take advantage of: settlement negotiations. Before taking the matter to trial, the parties can sit down and try to reach an agreement. Since these negotiations are confidential, the parties involved are often less adversarial. The process is often much quicker than litigation, meaning that, if an agreement is reached, the victim may be able to receive compensation and be able to move on with his or her life quicker.
Though there certainly are advantages to negotiating a settlement, there are also disadvantages. By accepting an agreement, a victim gives up his or her right to pursue legal action against the trucker and the company for which he works. Also, and not insignificantly, settlements often leave a victim with less compensation than may have been awarded if the matter succeeded at trial. Lastly, settling through negotiation means that the negligent parties do not admit wrongdoing and they therefore will not be held publicly liable.
Though settling a truck accident claim may be right for some, it may not be right for everyone. To make such a decision, it might be helpful to discuss the matter with a Massachusetts law firm experienced at handling negligence in these types of cases. A lawyer may be able to discuss with a victim the possibility of imposing vicarious liability, the likelihood of success at trail, and the timeframe within which the victim wants the matter to be resolved.