Going to court is not always necessary to receive compensation as a victim of a trucking accident that was caused by the negligence of the truck driver or company. Often, disputes are resolved before the parties involved end up in court, through different methods of negotiation. In many cases, settling out of court saves everyone involved time and money.
Victims of truck collisions might choose to use alternative methods to settle disputes such as negotiation, arbitration or mediation. If the parties choose arbitration, they are usually bound by the settlement reached during the process since it takes the place of a civil trial. Negotiation and mediation are not binding methods. Sometimes, an alternative method of settling the dispute is used even as formal litigation continues.
As with all things, there are advantages and disadvantages to using alternative methods. The advantages include reaching a settlement in less time and for less money, as well as more amicable negotiations where the two parties can rationally and calmly discuss the facts of the accident and no one has to admit fault. The disadvantages might include a lesser settlement, plaintiffs having to give up the the right to further litigation over the case and the liable party not having to publicly accept fault for the incident. Victims of accidents might receive either a lump-sum or a structured settlement as compensation. Structured settlements are smaller payments over a prescribed amount of time, while lump-sum settlements are paid in one large payment.
For most parties involved, the advantages of alternative methods to settle a claim usually outweigh the disadvantages. However, victims of a trucking accident might seek the guidance and advice a personal injury lawyer might provide about their options, as well as the types and amounts of compensation they might expect to receive depending on the method used.