You do not have to go to court for a truck accident in most cases. Most truck accidents in New York settle out of court. The process generally involves the victim or their attorney:
- Investigating the collision and gathering evidence
- Filing an insurance claim based on the liable party’s insurance policy
- Presenting evidence to show negligence, liability, and the value of the case
- Seeking an appropriate settlement agreement based on the evidence
- Negotiating a settlement
To agree to a settlement, the insurance company will need to accept that their covered truck driver caused the accident and that the policyholder—usually the driver’s employer—is legally liable. They will also need to accept that the victim suffered a certain amount of losses because of the accident. More precisely, even if they don’t accept these contentions as being true, they must have reached the position as a business decision, that going to court to fight these allegations will likely cost them much more than settling the case.
Understanding What Happens When You Need to File a Civil Suit in a Truck Accident Case
In some truck accident cases, our attorneys need to file paperwork and begin legal action against a trucking company or another liable party to receive compensation. This may involve filing your claim in a civil court. There are a few reasons why this could become necessary:
- The insurer denied the claim and says the truck driver is not responsible for the accident.
- They allege that looking at the circumstances from a comparative negligence perspective that you were the primary or even sole cause of the accident.
- They refuse to agree to a just payout based on your losses because they simply disagree with the valuation of damages.
We sometimes also need to file a negligence suit if we are running out of time to go to court under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules (CVP) §214. In such a case a suit may be started, among other reasons, to preserve your rights. If we have to file a civil suit in your case, our team will:
- Make sure you understand what is happening and what to expect
- Prepare you for your appearance in court, if necessary
- Present a strong case on your behalf
- Represent your family’s best interests to the judge and jury throughout this process
Not All Truck Accident Lawsuits Filed Go to Trial
Even if we file a personal injury lawsuit against the trucking company, you may not have to go to court for your truck accident case. Just because we file the paperwork does not mean your case will go all the way to trial. In many cases, our clients never need to make a court appearance, even when we have to take legal action.
Many trucking companies will recognize the likelihood of losing their case in court after being named a defendant in a lawsuit. This can inspire renewed interest in reaching an out-of-court settlement agreement. Settling the case for a known, agreed-on sum is generally a better idea for a defendant without a strong defense than going to trial. At trial, a judge or jury will decide, possibly awarding more than the settlement, on top of legal fees the defendant will need to pay.
For this reason, filing civil action may encourage the insurance company to offer a more just settlement or push them to accept that their policyholder caused the accident and is responsible.
Recovering Damages in a Truck Accident Settlement or Trial
If you work with Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. on your truck accident case, you will see that our team members act as passionate advocates for our clients. We will update you on the status of your case throughout, identify the liable party or parties, communicate with all parties for you, gather evidence, calculate a value for your case and fight relentlessly to win the best possible case outcome for you.
During our investigation, we will collect proof to present to the insurer or in court for all the necessary elements in your case, including:
- The truck driver’s negligence
- Vicarious liability of their employer under New York State law
- Your case value
We will seek a financial recovery for you that fairly compensates you for the various damages you are facing, including:
- Treatment and related medical care costs
- Lost wages and other income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Additional expenses paid out of pocket
- Pain and suffering damages
- Other related non-economic losses
To build a solid case and increase your chances to win a satisfactory settlement, our Long Island truck accident lawyer might initiate a separate investigation. The legal team might hire accident reconstruction experts – crucial in truck accidents –, collect witness testimonies, double-check official reports, and depose experts in various fields – doctors, engineers, mechanics, people working for the trucking company, etc. In general, when entities are presented with compelling evidence that support a plaintiff’s case, they are more willing to reach a favorable settlement outside the courtroom.
We also pursue wrongful death damages for those who lost a loved one following a New York traffic accident. If such a tragedy is what has led you to this page, please accept our condolences. Please also allow us to offer our services to your family. We consider it a privilege to represent the surviving family members of victims in truck accident wrongful death. We are determined to win the compensation you need and the justice your departed loved one deserves.
Let a Truck Accident Lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. Help You
Let a Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. team member assess your truck accident case for free. We meet people on Long Island and around the New York metropolitan area to discuss their truck accidents and injuries. You can reach Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. now at (516) 932-0400.