Should I Settle My Chicago Truck Accident Case?

Friday, July 21, 2023

Should I Settle My Chicago Truck Accident Case?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

With over 400,000 personal injury claims annually, only about 4% proceed to trial.

Knowing whether to settle or go to court depends on the circumstances behind your truck accident case. If you have suffered injuries, a truck accident attorney at Malman Law can advise you on your next steps.

What is Involved in a Truck Accident Settlement?

When you file a claim with a truck driver or a trucking company, you are filing a claim with their insurance carrier.

If you suffered injuries and your vehicle sustained damage, then you will be filing two separate claims: a property damage claim and a personal injury claim. Your truck accident attorney will prepare a demand package to send to the insurance company, which will include documentation supporting your claim. As part of your demand letter, the attorney will calculate your total damages. These are losses for which you are requesting compensation.

The insurance company will most likely counteroffer. You have the choice to accept their offer or counteroffer again. This process continues until both parties can agree to a settlement amount.

Insurance Settlement Offers

It is unlikely that the at-fault driver’s insurer will pay the initial amount you are requesting in your demand letter.

While calculating property damage is more straightforward, a personal injury claim can be ongoing. There may be complications that arise from your initial injuries. Even if you are ready to settle your property damage claim, an open personal injury claim may cause the insurance company to stall negotiations.

An insurance company’s first offer does not account for lost earning potential or future medical expenses. These expenses can be more challenging to gauge but do need to be factored into your total damages.

Taking a Settlement: Benefits and Drawbacks

You may take a settlement at any point in the litigation process. While some cases settle early on, others may settle hours before the trial begins.

Benefits

Taking a settlement can save you:

  • Time: cases resolve more quickly than at trial
  • Money: going to trial involves additional court costs
  • Stress: you have more control in settlement negotiations and can take time to consider a settlement offer

As of January 1, 2014, Illinois law requires that all claims seeking monetary damages involving personal injury, property damage, wrongful death, or other tort actions be resolved quickly. The defendant must provide written confirmation within 14 days if he or she chooses to settle.

If your attorney is able to negotiate a fair settlement offer, then taking a settlement may be in your favor.

Drawbacks

Once you accept a settlement, there are three major drawbacks:

  • You will no longer qualify to accept a higher settlement in the future
  • You release the defendant from any liability by signing a release waiver
  • You may receive less money than if you chose to take your case to court

A truck accident attorney will be able to determine which approach will give you the best results. You should never accept a settlement offer without first speaking with an attorney.

A Chicago Truck Accident Attorney Dedicated to You

Every step of a personal injury case involves an attorney’s time and dedication. Even if your case is not brought to trial, we will give your truck accident claim the personal attention that it warrants. Know that you are in good hands. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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