Do Semi-Truck Accidents Always Go To Trial In Ohio? | Call us 24/7
Not all semi-truck accidents go to trial in Ohio. In fact, most of them probably do not. A successful settlement negotiation allows all parties involved in a commercial vehicle accident to avoid a lengthy and expensive trial. If the details or settlement offer cannot be agreed upon, the case may go to trial, leaving the court to decide the appropriate resolution.
Certain conditions increase the chances that an accident case will go to trial. In general, the more complex a case is, the more likely it will proceed to court. Cases become more complicated when more money and more people are involved. There may be multiple liable parties involved in your semi-truck accident case in Ohio. The at-fault parties may refuse to offer you a fair settlement. If this happens, your case may go to trial.
Claiming Higher Damages
Insurance companies and large corporations are not keen on paying out large sums of money. Unfortunately, large commercial vehicle accidents typically leave victims with severe or catastrophic injuries. You may need weeks or months of costly rehabilitation following your semi-truck accident. You may not be able to work and face a loss of income. Your claim for damages may be higher due to current and future losses resulting from your injuries.
If the compensation you’re asking for exceeds what the insurance company is willing to pay, the insurer may look for ways to minimize the impact of your injuries and offer you much less than your case is worth. A lawyer knows how to negotiate for your full amount of damages and will not hesitate to take your case to trial if needed.
Multiple Liable Parties
In some cases, if liability is in question, the case may proceed to trial. Semi-truck accidents often have multiple liable or potentially liable parties due to the nature of the commercial trucking industry. A driver, trucking company, staffing agency, loading company, or parts manufacturer could be at-fault for the collision. With so many parties in play, blame can be shifted or shared. Either way, if it can’t be agreed upon, the court will decide.
To avoid potential discrepancies with liability, it’s important to establish negligence from the outset of your personal injury claim. It is worthwhile to hire an attorney to help you with this process. An Ohio semi-truck accident lawyer would be able to investigate your accident and collect the necessary evidence to show who is responsible and who must pay.
Photos, videos, crash reports, witness testimonies, trucking logs, driver service histories, and other supporting documentation should be presented with the demand letter for compensation to help reduce the chances of going to trial.
What to Expect at Trial for Your Semi-Truck Accident in Ohio
At trial, the trucking company’s legal team and their insurance carrier will do what it takes to win. They may drum up your driving record, spotlighting any citations, violations, or arrests you may have. They may attempt to discredit you by making you look dishonest and unreliable.
They may also downplay your injuries or allege that they were pre-existing. Sharing the blame is also common. The opposing side may claim you had a hand in causing the accident. If they can convince the court successfully of shared fault, your compensation may be reduced under Ohio’s modified comparative negligence laws, per Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.33.
An attorney from our firm, familiar with Ohio’s laws and statutes, can prove the at-fault truck driver or other liable party has full blame for your accident and related injuries.
A Lawyer Will Work to Settle Your Semi-Truck Accident Case Outside of Court
Despite the time it may take to work out the details, settling your case outside of court is by far the more expeditious route to resolution. It is also far less expensive for all parties than litigating in court.
Another key benefit for trucking companies is that the settlement agreement is confidential unless each party agrees to make it public. If the trucking company (or other defendant) wants to keep news of the accident to a minimum, it behooves them to offer a fair settlement upfront rather than risk a trial where details become public.
Finally, a settlement is usually the definitive end to a case. When terms are agreed to and contracts are signed, the case is officially closed. There’s no appealing the decision, retracting the agreement, or demanding more money later.