As a victim of a semi-truck accident in Portland, you may be surprised to learn that you are now part of a growing statistic in the United States today. It will be extremely vital for you to understand what the possibilities are when it comes to obtaining a settlement for your claim. You have sustained damages to your vehicle, you have likely sustained injuries to your body, and you are dealing with the emotional and physical stress that has been directly caused by the accident itself. These are serious issues for anyone to deal with, and the road to holding the person responsible for their negligent actions can take many forms.
Most people are able to deal with Portland semi-truck accident claims fairly simply. They know the cause of the accident, they take stock of the damage to their vehicles, they obtain the evidence of their medical and related costs, and they submit a claim to the responsible party’s insurance company. The insurance company then assessed the information and presents a settlement amount to the claimant. If the claimant is satisfied, then the negotiation is complete and everyone moves on.
However, there is another road that Portland semi-truck accident claims may take. This is the road to court. The truth is that some claims never settle simply, and in order to obtain a settlement, the claimant must take their case to trial. Here, a jury (or depending on the state, a lone judge) will listen to both parties’ evidence and decide on the facts and any settlement amounts.
During a trial, there are several things that you can expect. The legal teams for both parties will start the trial off with persuasive opening arguments. Here each side will present evidence to explain the truck accident and who they believe is at fault. After opening arguments, the attorneys for the both the claimant and the defendant will present testimonial evidence. They will also present witnesses, including expert witnesses and fact witnesses. At the end of the trial, if a settlement agreement is not made before the end, the attorneys for both parties will offer closing arguments.
Something important to understand about truck accident cases is that damages may be awarded by assessing comparative negligence. This means that both parties may be determined to be partially at fault, but that doesn’t mean that the claimant won’t receive compensation or be awarded damages. In a majority of states, though, a claimant cannot receive damages if their liability for the accident is more than 50 percent.
When the case is handed over to the jury, they will work to determine the approximate degree of fault for both the claimant and the defendant. This is why it is very important that when making Portland semi-truck accident claims, the attorney involved in the case has done their best to present the facts of the case. The jury is going to use everything at their disposal in order to come to a verdict. If either party does not find this verdict favorable, with a judge’s approval, they can choose to appeal it in an appellate court. However, it is crucial to know that very few cases are ever actually overturned in the appellate courts.