When you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, you have the legal right to pursue a claim for financial compensation. Unfortunately, some people avoid seeking the relief they are entitled to because they have a fear of court proceedings. While truck accident lawsuits always carry the possibility of a trial, most truck accident claims are settled without a trial.
Both the victim and the other parties to a claim have incentives to not bring a case to trial:
- A trial is expensive—it takes attorneys on each side many hours to properly prepare for a trial, which is in addition to the time spent during the days and evenings of the actual trial. Also, it costs a lot to retain experts who will obtain and analyze information, then testify at trial regarding their opinions.
- Court dockets are loaded—it can take a long time to get to trial since courts have busy dockets and must also coordinate with the parties on their availability. Delays in trials mean a delay in resolution and relief.
- Juries are unpredictable—Regardless of how strong you believe your claim is, the issues of fault and damages are ultimately in the hands of a jury. Although jurors take an oath to make fair and impartial decisions, humans make decisions based on their own life experiences and biases. Therefore, jurors may reach decisions that no one expects.
Mediation is a method that parties to a lawsuit use to avoid the costs and risks of trial. Before a truck accident lawsuit proceeds to trial, courts will order the parties to attempt to mediate their claims.
What is Mediation Like?
Mediation is an informal process that is meant to allow parties to resolve their issues amicably. It does not occur in a courtroom, the parties generally don’t dress the same as they do for trial, there is no judge, and there is no court reporter. Rather, mediation usually occurs in a mediator’s office or conference rooms under the guidance of a mediator. This is a third-party person—who is otherwise uninvolved with the lawsuit—who has formal training in listening to people and resolving their issues.
You, your attorney, the representatives for each party being sued, as well as their attorneys are all required to attend mediation. For truck accidents, this may include representatives of the trucking company, the driver’s employer, the cargo company, the truck manufacturer, or anyone else who is alleged to bear responsibility for the victim’s injuries. These people all must have the authority to agree to settlements on behalf of their clients and companies.
After an initial meeting in which each attorney makes a brief statement about their position, the mediator will break the parties up into separate rooms, then go from room to room to speak with the attorneys. As the mediator gains an understanding of the claims, he or she will attempt to find common ground. Ultimately, the parties will either reach a written agreement as to all or some of the issues, or the mediation will end without an agreement. Further, some parties can settle their claims while others proceed to trial—this is not uncommon in a truck accident lawsuit since there may be several parties involved in the lawsuit.
Let the Truck Accident Attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. Help
As experienced truck accident attorneys, we represent the interests of our clients and zealously follow their direction. Whatever the stage of your truck accident personal injury claim, our attorneys will bring the same attention, focus, energy to representing our clients’ interests. You deserve high-quality legal representation that will fight for maximum compensation for your claim. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. want to help you. Call us today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.