Do Most Truck Accident Cases Settle?

 

Generally, most accidents involving a large truck settles out of court. However, this assumes that both parties to the lawsuit agree and understand how the accident happened and who was determined to be at fault.

Truck accident cases have the potential to be more complicated and to involve more issues than auto accidents. Often, it is necessary to retain experts to give their opinions on issues such as air brake adjustments, steering, speed, driver fatigue, maintenance and “no zone” accidents. Moreover, truck accidents, more than auto accidents, lend themselves to potential defective products cases. These cases also require expert testimony.

When a case involves more complicated issues and facts, they frequently take longer to settle. Some of them even require a trial to sort out the issues. Cases where the fault is hotly contested also do not settle often.

Many people erroneously assume that if a big truck is involved in a serious accident with serious injuries, then the truck driver must be at fault. However, statistics prove that this is not a valid assumption. Most accidents involving a large truck have some component of fault on a motorist operating a passenger vehicle.

Motorists frequently do not understand the limitations a truck places on its driver’s ability to respond to a sudden emergency. Motorists also wrongly assume that a truck can see them when they make sudden unsafe lane changes. Because of the size of trucks, it is true that they usually cause more damage and injuries. However, this is not an accurate measure of fault.

Federal law also requires that trucks carry larger insurance limits than most passenger cars are required to carry. This means that in a serious accident, more money is at stake. When more money is at stake, the insurance company is more likely to authorize it attorneys to defend the case more vigorously. This means that truck cases do not settle as quickly as some auto cases.

Since many states only require auto owners to carry minimum limits of $10,000 in coverage, cases which involve injuries clearly in excess of this minimum settle very quickly for payment of all of the policy proceeds. This happens less in truck accident cases where some minimum limits are $750,000.

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