Most semi-truck accidents settle out of court prior to trial, but there are some claims that go all the way to trial. In general, some of the factors that help determine whether or not a case goes to trial include the following:
- Liability: In cases where it is undisputed as to which driver was at fault, the claim is more likely to settle before trial. However, especially in semi-truck accidents that cause serious injuries, liability is often disputed. One possibility is that both drivers firmly believe that the other driver was 100 percent at fault. Another possibility is that one driver acknowledges partial responsibility for the crash, but believes that the other driver was also partially responsible. Here in Texas, the 51 Percent Bar rule would apply in that situation, meaning that you are eligible to receive financial compensation as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault for the crash. The total damages that you receive will be reduced in proportion to fault. For example, if you suffered $1 Million worth of damages due to your serious injuries, but you were found to be 30 percent responsible for the crash, then you could be eligible to receive $700,000.
- The number of defendants: While the driver of the truck is one possible defendant in a semi-truck accident claim, the trucking company and the manufacturers of various parts on the truck are also potential defendants. Naturally, each one of the defendants is often inclined to deny responsibility and claim that, if anyone, one of the other defendants was at fault.
- How clear it is that your injuries were caused by this accident: In general, the more severe your injuries are, the more you will be eligible to receive in financial compensation. Some semi-truck accident cases are more clear-cut, as the victim is rushed to the hospital with a serious injury that was clearly caused by the crash. On the other hand, sometimes a pre-existing condition may worsen due to an accident, or new medical complications may arise several weeks or months after the crash. In these cases, the defendant is more likely to dig in its heels and refuse to settle for an amount that you believe is fair.
- How averse the defendant is to going to trial: On principle, some defendants may refuse to acknowledge fault and settle with you out of court. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some defendants may have a significant interest in settling out of court for a variety of reasons: they may not have the budget to afford a lengthy litigation and trial, they may fear being forced to reveal confidential trade secrets under oath, or they may want to avoid the negative publicity that could arise from a trial.
Hiring the Right Lawyer is Crucial
One step our attorneys at Angel Reyes & Associates strongly recommend that you take is to contact an experienced Dallas semi-truck accident lawyer as soon as possible following your crash. As part of your free consultation, we can review the circumstances of your crash and review all of the options you have for pursuing compensation.
The right lawyer can help you increase your chances of reaching a fair settlement out of court and avoiding going to trial. However, if trial becomes necessary, then working with an experienced attorney will leave you well-equipped to achieve a desirable outcome.
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Over the last 30 years, our attorneys at Angel Reyes & Associates have recovered almost $1 Billion in settlements and jury awards on behalf of our clients. We also take pride in our 98 percent client success rate.
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, call Angel Reyes & Associates or fill out our easy online contact form to book a zero-cost case review. Our clients do not owe us any attorney fees unless we win their case.