A semi-truck accident can dramatically affect a Virginian’s life. From significant physical injuries, to lost wages, to expensive car repairs, an injured Virginian may be wondering how to rebuild. Some Virginians may choose to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent truck driver or truck company. Some injured victims may wish to take their case to a trial, while others may determine that a settlement is in their best interests. It can be helpful to understand some of the advantages and disadvantages that exist for truck accident settlements.

A plaintiff who resolves his or her claim through settlement will receive either a lump-sum or a structured settlement. In a structured settlement, a plaintiff will receive regular payments over a set period of time. A lump-sum settlement gives a plaintiff the settlement funds in a single payment.

Parties may reach a settlement through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation, negotiation or arbitration. Through alternative dispute resolution methods, parties do not admit to fault, and they present their positions in a confidential setting. They may be able to obtain a resolution more cheaply and more quickly than if they proceed to trial, all the while in a less adversarial setting.

One potential pitfall to resolving a legal claim through settlement is that a plaintiff typically must agree that he or she will not pursue any further legal action related to the truck accident. Additionally, a settlement prevents a plaintiff from publicly holding a truck company liable for its actions. Furthermore, it is possible that a settlement may be less than a court-ordered award.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or truck company, you may wish to pursue a lawsuit. An attorney can discuss with you your legal options, including potential settlement options and the attending pros and cons.

Source: FindLaw, “Trucking Accident Settlements: What to Expect,” accessed Feb. 19, 2016