Truck accident lawsuits in West Virginia and around the country are often initiated by individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries or by the surviving family members of deceased accident victims. While plaintiffs may be awarded considerable damages should they prevail in court, there is always an element of unpredictability with civil trials. The defendants in these cases may wish to settle matters quickly to avoid the publicity of a trial, and any offer they make is likely to include no fault or no admission of fault provision.
Litigation can be expensive when the stakes are high, and defendants in cases involving commercial trucks may be motivated to settle knowing that their legal bills would likely soar if the case were to go to trial. Plaintiffs sometimes seek a quick settlement to leave a painful episode in the past and move on, but the cost of closure often involves seeing the defendant walk away without apologizing or admitting that it did anything wrong.
Alternative means of settling disputes such as mediation provide a less public and more informal venue for parties to work through their differences. Settlement negotiations may take place even while cases are being argued in court, and parties who have not entered into binding arbitration can walk away at any time and take their chances with a jury.
The bargaining positions adopted by attorneys in settlement negotiations are based largely on the quality and quantity of the evidence at their disposal. Experienced personal injury attorneys will likely be aware of this, and they may make efforts of their own to uncover evidence when police reports are inconclusive, contradictory or vague.