A commercial truck accident can burden victims with vehicle repair costs, medical bills and lost wages. To receive compensatory damages, they can either go through with litigation, or they can see if the other side will settle out of court. Civil law in Ohio, as in other states, allows for out-of-court settlements via alternative dispute resolution. ADR methods include negotiations, mediation and arbitration.
There are several benefits to settling out of court, one of them being that victims can save a lot of time and money. Civil trials can become drawn-out affairs, and they make it hard for both sides to be completely honest and open. With ADR, though, the other side will be less defensive and be open to hearing the victim speak. The environment is a confidential one with neither side admitting to any fault.
ADR can lead to amicable agreements, but victims will have to agree to some provisions. For example, in a binding agreement, people cannot pursue another claim related to the accident or the injuries they incurred. Victims also must not publicly hold the other party liable for negligence or recklessness. A major disadvantage is that the amount of compensation compared to what might be awarded in court is lower.
Before filing claims for truck accident injuries, victims can speak with Columbus, Ohio, truck accident injury lawyers familiar with alternative dispute resolution. Attorneys could even act as mediators, negotiators or arbitrators, providing impartial advice when necessary. Victims can ask about whether to get the settlement in a lump sum or regular payments.
Most personal injury lawyers can also strengthen their clients’ cases with evidence gathered by investigators. This evidence could include the trucker’s work log, eyewitness testimony and police reports, and it could show that the driver was drowsy, distracted or engaging in some other negligent behavior.