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What You Need to Know Before Accepting a Truck Accident Settlement

When you are injured in an accident involving a commercial truck through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation. In some cases, you may receive a settlement offer from the trucking company’s insurance provider fairly quickly. While this may seem like an awesome turn of events, particularly with how much money the insurance company may be offering, be forewarned: there are some things you need to know about settlements before you accept one. Failing to understand what you’re accepting could lead to a pretty big mistake that could affect you for the rest of your life and lead to serious losses.

Here is the information you need to know about settlements before you accept one.

What Is a Settlement?

A settlement is essentially an agreement between the plaintiff and defendant in a legal matter that puts an end to the case outside of court. In other words, a settlement is a guaranteed outcome where both parties agree to the terms in order to bring an end to the matter. Settlements can be beneficial in this way: if you simply want to put an end to the issue and believe the terms the other side is offering are fair and agreeable, then a settlement may be the ideal option. Likewise, the defendants in these cases can also benefit by controlling the terms of the settlement and avoiding the possibility of a judge and/or jury awarding a massive verdict to the plaintiff.

There’s a huge trade-off in this regard, however: by agreeing to a settlement you waive your right to appeal for further compensation at a later date. Settled cases can’t be re-opened, and whatever terms you agree to in the initial settlement are binding. This is particularly dangerous in injury cases because a settlement may not necessarily be large enough to provide for medical treatment, lifestyle adjustments, and other losses that you may experience as a result of the accident.

Beware Early Settlement Offers!

If you receive a settlement offer from a trucking company’s insurance provider not long after the accident, don’t simply sign it and accept what they’re giving you. Odds are, the insurance company is under-cutting you significantly in hopes of trying to end the case before you can continue the legal process and potentially become a bigger financial liability to them.

Here’s why: after an accident the trucking company’s insurance will send an investigation team to the scene to collect evidence. If the evidence doesn’t look good and it’s almost a certain outcome that the trucking company is going to be found liable, the insurance company is almost certainly going to get hit with a massive financial burden. In order to lessen this burden, the insurance company will quickly offer a settlement to the injury victim and try to convince them that accepting it is the best route forward. In many cases, this early settlement offer may seem appealing to the injury victim, often because it seems like the resources they’ll need to cover their losses from the accident. Between the high dollar amount and the insurance company implying that the settlement is the best deal they’re going to get, far too many people simply agree to this offer.

­However, injury victims often don’t know just how much their case is worth, and many can’t see the financial burden they’re going to incur over time. We see far too many people accept these offers only to find that the settlement money has run out within just a few short months or years and they’re left with the massive expenses and losses that they didn’t account for.

Protect Yourself; Contact a Nassau County Truck Accident Attorney

As an injury victim, you have the right to compensation, and you do not have to let the trucking insurance company dictate the terms of that compensation. These companies are in business to make money and protect their bottom line, which means paying accident victims as little as possible.

Before making any decisions regarding a settlement offer, it’s strongly advised you retain qualified legal counsel from an experienced lawyer who can help you determine if the initial settlement offer you receive is appropriate for your case. In most cases, the value is nowhere close to what your case is actually worth, and an attorney can help you negotiate and fight for what you truly deserve.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, contact The Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli today by dialing (516) 628-6402 and speak with a legal representative about your rights.