Oklahoma drivers that have been injured in an accident caused by a commercial truck may have a case for monetary damages. In some instances, a trucker’s insurance company will acknowledge the truck driver was at fault and negotiate a settlement with the injured driver. The settlement process may not be intuitive for the injured driver, however.
A settlement is an agreement between the two parties to forgo a trial. Typically, the responsible trucking company will agree to make a monetary payment to the driver in exchange for dismissing the lawsuit. These settlements can be negotiated directly between the parties or through other avenues such as mediation.
The advantages of a settlement are obvious. For the injured driver, they can put an end to the unknown outcome of a possible trial and can start planning on how to use the financial settlement to help them get back on their feet. These settlements can take different forms including lump-sum payments and structured settlements. A lump-sum payment involves the trucking company cutting a single check for the entire settlement amount. A structured settlement involves multiple payments over a set period. Typically, lump-sum payments are for less money than structured settlements. The trade-off is deciding on getting less money now or more money over the long term. The needs of every party to a settlement are different.
Truck accidents can be traumatic. The long and often confusing process of negotiating a settlement with the trucking company doesn’t make a tough time any easier. Even in cases where a trucking company takes responsibility, it may still be wise to consult a lawyer. An attorney with experience handling truck accident cases may be able to guide an injured driver through the settlement process and help them understand what to expect.