What to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit and Accepting a Settlement

What to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit and Accepting a Settlement

If you or a family member suffers injuries in a semi-truck accident that is caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another driver, you can recover financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

At Phillips Law Offices, our Chicago semi-truck accident lawyers have helped many people recover compensation for their injuries.  Before bringing a trucking accident lawsuit or settling with the insurance company, however, you should consider some important points:

Understanding negligence in a semi-truck accident case

In order to recover for your injuries in a civil lawsuit, you have to prove that the other driver or party acted negligently, and that his or her negligence caused your injuries.  To win, you need to prove the basic elements of a negligence claim.

  1. Duty: The semi-truck driver and/or the employer of the driver had a duty to act with reasonable care toward you, as another driver on the road.
  2. Breach: The semi-truck driver and/or the employer of the driver breached this duty, for example, by falling asleep at the wheel, failing to properly maintain the truck, or failing to follow state and federal safety regulations.
  3. Causation: The breach caused your injuries.  For example, by failing to properly maintain the brakes on the truck and by driving too closely behind your car, the truck was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting your car and when the truck hit your car, you were injured.
  4. Damages: You suffered damages, such as your actual physical injuries, medical bills for treating your injuries, lost wages due to inability to work, and your pain and suffering.

At Phillips Law Offices, our Chicago truck accident lawyers have over 65 years of experience helping accident victims. We have a strong record of obtaining favorable settlements and jury verdicts in trucking accident negligence cases.

Truck accident lawsuit or settlement in Chicago

Most semi-truck accident cases settle before they reach the trial stage of litigation.  In most cases, the truck driver or the employer of the driver has insurance that covers your claim.  It is often possible to settle your case without litigation by negotiating with the insurance company of the parties responsible for the semi-truck accident.

Disputed semi-truck accident cases

If the other driver—or responsible party—denies responsibility for the accident or if the policy limit is too low to cover your damages, you need to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and related economic losses.

You also may need to bring a lawsuit to recover for your injuries if our investigation of your accident reveals that additional parties are at fault, such as a manufacturer of one of the parts on the semi-truck or a mechanic who worked on the 18-wheeler.

Also, it is usually a mistake to settle your claim too quickly or without legal representation by an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer in Chicago.  The insurance company is likely to take you more seriously if you have legal representation.  By building a strong case, a lawyer can usually help you recover a more significant truck accident settlement.  In addition, not only does your lawyer need adequate time to investigate your case, but your doctors need time to discover the full extent of your injuries so that the full cost of your medical recovery can be determined.

Contact a semi-truck accident lawyer in Chicago

If you are considering filing a lawsuit or settling a claim to recover for injuries you sustained in a truck accident, you want to make sure you have experienced and dedicated Chicago truck accident attorneys on your side.  Call Phillips Law Offices today at (312) 470-6765 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.  We serve the injured and their families throughout Illinois.