Two Reasons Why Settlement Talks Have Stalled In Your Truck Accident Claim
Settling a truck injury claim rather than litigating it in court is usually the best option for all parties involved. Sometimes, though, negotiations with the liable party will stall, leaving the victim wondering if they will ever get paid. Here are two reasons why your case has hit a wall and what you can do to push it over the finish line.
The Defendant Doesn't Want to Admit Wrongdoing
An accident can have a significant impact on a company's operations, particularly in the competitive trucking industry where a crash can lead to lost business from reputational damage, public censure, and regulatory crackdowns. While the company may have the means to settle a case with the victim, it may feel doing so would be akin to admitting fault and lead to even more harm to its business.
Thus, the company may stall using delay tactics hoping you'll drop the claim because you don't have the means to actually litigate it or you won't want to deal with the stress associated with suing. Alternatively, the company may welcome the opportunity to argue the case in court hoping for a win that will vindicate it of all wrongdoing.
In either case, the company's goal is to save face by avoiding admitting responsibility for the accident. So, one way to handle this is to remind the defendant that court proceedings are public and anything said in court would become part of the public record accessible to anyone in the community, whereas settlements are private. If the company is concerned about limiting the spread of potentially damaging information, it would be in their best interest to settle the case.
You can even offer to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would prohibit you from discussing the case with anyone. However, be certain to have your attorney review the NDA to ensure it doesn't infringe on your rights in unintentional ways.
Another option is to emphasize the strength of your case, especially if it seems the company is willing to fight it in court. This is why it's important to hire an attorney to help you with a truck accident case. The lawyer can review the evidence and write a letter advising the defendant on why the court will most likely side with you. If the attorney is convincing enough, the company may back down and choose to settle instead.
The Defendant Is Trying to Run Out the Clock
A common reason why settlement talks stall is that the defendant isn't actually interested in settling the case. They may be essentially stringing the prosecution along and waiting until the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit passes or for evidence proving your case to disappear.
For instance, human memory is very fallible. Scientists have found that, while people retain the basic gist of events that occur, they often forget the exact details. The longer the time between the event and when a witness is called to testify, the bigger the risk the witness may not remember details important to proving your case. This may lead to a court loss even though you were in the right, something the company may hope will happen so they don't have to pay you for damages.
You can counter this issue by giving the company clear deadlines for responding to your communications related to the settlement. If the company consistently misses deadlines or stops communicating altogether, then press forward with a court case. Not only will this protect your option to sue by getting the case on record before the statute of limitations runs out, forcing the defendant to show up in court will impress upon them how serious you are about suing and motivate them to return to the negotiating table to complete the settlement talks.
For more info or help with your truck injury case, contact a local personal injury attorney.