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What You Should Know About Going to Court After a Truck Accident

How to Prepare For Trial When a Truck Accident Settlement Cannot Be Reached

Not all truck settlement cases reach a settlement outside of court. When negotiations are unworkable, and a settlement agreement cannot be reached, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer with a successful track record, and who is prepared to go to trial. Alternatively, if you are satisfied with the settlement offer, and if you are not willing to withstand the delay of a trial, you may wish to refrain from going to court with your case. At the end of the day, complex truck accident cases are best dealt with when an experienced truck accident lawyer is by your side.

With over 60 years of experience, Munley Law has earned a national reputation for our significant verdicts and settlements and for our expertise in the most complex areas of personal injury law — we have all the resources and preparedness to fight for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Why Would You Take Legal Action in a Truck Accident Case?

truck accident lawyer daniel munley standing in a courtroomThe legal process can be intimidating; insurance companies may offer quick, minimal, settlement claims to the injury victim to get the lowest settlement possible. By hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer who is able to negotiate and secure valuable evidence, chances are that you are able to receive greater compensation in court.

Some scenarios that can prompt victims to go to court include:

  • The insurer denies your claim and indicates that the truck driver is not at fault.
  • The insurance company indicates that you were at fault for the accident.
  • The insurance company disagrees with the damages estimate and refuses to fairly compensate you appropriately.

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, passenger vehicle occupants are more likely to experience fatal injuries than the occupants in a commercial truck. In 2020, 97 percent of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle were occupants in the passenger vehicle.

After a truck accident, costs for damages and medical care can prove to be challenging. Truck accidents often create significant damage, and the aftermath can involve a long path to recovery, along with pain and suffering. Costs to account for typically include:

  • Insurance deductibles
  • Car repairs or replacement vehicle
  • Rental cars
  • Medical bills
  • Psychological care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Assisted care
  • Lost income
  • Funeral costs
  • Non-economic losses
  • Pain and suffering damages

The cases that go to trial typically determine that the value of appropriate compensation is much higher than what the insurance company is willing to offer. When a case goes to trial, the jury will ultimately decide based on presented evidence and testimonies. Often, should the insurance companies not deal fairly, the jury will ultimately determine what is fair.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Settling a Truck Accident Outside of Court?

Truck Accident Lawyer Dan Munley examines the wreckage of a truck accident

Studies show that there are over 5,000 deaths per year caused by truck accidents and over 100,000 injuries. Truck accident victims endure trauma from their accident on many levels, making managing financial compensation, on top of recovery, overwhelming. Recovery can be physical, financial, and mental, and can involve lifestyle changes. Finding some normalcy and a foundation are highly desirable at these times; vulnerability is at its peak. If a settlement agreement presents itself quickly and is accepted just as quickly, chances are the settlement offer does not include any future expenses. However, a settlement out of court is quicker and it can help to pay your immediate bills.

Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best option in these complex cases. Only a truck accident attorney who understands and who has mastered these types of negotiations can hold some real negotiating powers with truck accident settlement negotiations. Mediation, negotiation, or arbitration are rendered here, and most cases do result in an out-of-court settlement.

The advantages of settling out of court:
  • Quicker turnaround
  • Money in your pocket sooner
  • Less legal fees
  • Less stressful, should the idea of court make you nervous
  • Can proceed with recovery and put the truck accident behind you
The disadvantages of settling outside of court:
  • Quick turnaround may indicate fewer negotiation efforts and a minimal compensation payout for your truck accident claim
  • Possibly settle for a fraction of the compensation you were entitled to
  • You may not have anticipated future recovery and lifestyle changes appropriately, and you can run out of money to support the extended care and life changes
  • Once you have accepted a settlement, you surrender your legal right to seek additional legal claims against the liable party, pertaining to the truck accident case
  • If you have not hired an experienced attorney and are negotiating with trucking company insurance representatives, the chances are good that you may not receive what you are entitled to

As a truck accident victim, you have the legal right to compensation for your injuries. However, trucking accidents often involve multiple responsible parties and insurance companies, and obtaining that compensation can be a nightmare. Without a truck accident lawyer by your side, you’re likely to be bullied out of a fair settlement. The typical trucking company has plenty of attorneys and insurance representatives ready to render a settlement in their favor. This is why seeking counsel for your truck accident case is your best move; don’t speak with the insurance company until you first speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Always be Ready to Go to Court for a Truck Accident

If negotiations are at a standstill, and should there be multiple liable parties involved not willing to satisfy your financial recovery for your suffering damages, secure a truck accident lawyer. An attorney with truck accident expertise is familiar with negotiating with trucking companies’ insurance providers. Doing so also shows that you are not eager to accept the first offer, you have experienced representation with a winning track record, and that you will bring the truck accident to court, if necessary. If all else fails, it may be time to act quickly and initiate a personal injury lawsuit. Your truck accident case attorney will make certain that all is executed and evidence is procured for court:

  • Through investigation of the accident scene, truck driver’s vehicle, and your vehicle
  • Accident reports
  • A thorough investigation of the trucker’s log books and the trucking company records
  • Black box and all electronic logs
  • Expert, eyewitnesses, and accident reconstruction professional testimonies
  • Medical records and receipts

Truck accidents require immediate, thorough investigation. Only an experienced tractor trailer accident lawyer will know what questions to ask and how to find the answers. Trucking companies usually have large insurance policy limits to ensure that their drivers and companies are protected; although this indicates that there are more parties up to bat for them and ready to go, it also indicates that there is a higher settlement to be sought, should you have an experienced lawyer.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?

Truck accident attorneys Dan Munley and Marion Munley examining evidence

If you’re in an accident with a tractor trailer, the truck driver may be held as the liable party. However, more often than not, the case will involve multiple parties. Typically, when a truck driver is deemed an employee, the victim can sue both the driver and the trucking company. Defendants to a trucking lawsuit may include the:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • The parent company of the trucking company
  • Manufacturer of truck parts
  • Commercial truck owner
  • Third party maintenance and service company
  • The driver of other motor vehicles involved in the crash
  • Automobile insurance companies

Under federal law, truck owners and truck drivers must have regular inspections and maintenance for their vehicles. If the certified truck inspectors fail to notify or detect potential safety issues, the truck can malfunction and cause an accident. You can hold a certified truck inspector liable if he or she failed to perform certain tests or alert owners and drivers to a vehicle defect.

Experienced truck accident attorneys, like our team at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, rely on the specific details of each case to decide who will be the best designated plaintiff(s) to claim, and which defendant(s) should be named in order to obtain the full recovery that a trucking accident victim deserves.

How Do I Find an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer?

According to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), clients represented by a personal injury attorney received 40% higher settlements than those made to clients who did not have attorney representation.

Truck accident lawyers can handle all aspects of your personal injury truck accident claim and make sure you receive the compensation you need. Truck accident lawsuits do require a thorough investigation, the opinions of expert witnesses, and the creative use of discovery procedures after the suit is filed.

Two of our partners, Daniel Munley and Marion Munley, have served as Chairs of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. Both Marion and Daniel Munley have also been certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and serve on the Board of Regents for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. They frequently travel around the U.S. to educate other lawyers on truck accident litigation. No personal injury law firm in Philadelphia is more qualified to handle your truck accident case.

How Can I Afford a Reputable Truck Accident Lawyer?

Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys charges truck accident clients on a contingency basis. That means that our attorney is only paid if your personal injury lawsuit reaches a settlement or favorable verdict. This makes it possible for anyone to hire the best possible legal representation. It gives you equal access to the justice system and representation of the same caliber that insurance companies, transportation companies, and other defendants can hire. Once your truck accident case is settled or reaches a verdict, we will take a percentage of your settlement to pay for our services.

It Can Take Longer to Reach a Settlement

Because damages are often much higher and there may be several parties at fault in truck accident cases, the settlement process may take longer than average. There may be a lot of negotiating involved between the insurance company and your truck accident lawyer. If a resolution cannot be met during negotiation, your lawyer may advise going to court in an attempt to get the compensation you deserve. However, if your lawyer can reach a fair agreement with the insurance company during negotiation, you’ll ultimately end up getting the financial recovery you need and deserve.

The truck accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are recognized nationwide as leaders in trucking accident law. No firm is more experienced, or more successful in helping truck accident victims achieve the justice they deserve. We have obtained more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We are committed to getting you and your family the compensation needed to get you back to your life.

Why Should I Choose Munley Law for My Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will defend your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated. We have consistently been named among the Best Lawyers in America, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in PA, and have been rated by our peers as outstanding attorneys.  Our lawyers are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an honor given to less than 1% of lawyers nationwide in recognition of our overwhelming success in receiving the highest settlements and verdicts for our clients. Our firm specializes in personal injury cases and our attorneys have tried thousands of personal injury lawsuits in the following areas: automobile accidents, trucking accidents, bus accidents, auto recalls, medical malpractice, workplace injuries,  premises liability, product liability, and wrongful death lawsuits.  Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has the knowledge, the power, and the expertise to get you what you deserve. Call us today for a FREE consultation.

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