Imagine that you're on your way to work, driving carefully in the early morning hours, when a semi-truck runs a stop sign and clips your car. You suffer a whole host of injuries, and you have to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, where you get treatment. In the end, you recover, but you have all sorts of medical bills, lost wages and other costs.
Naturally, the accident isn't your fault because the truck went through the stop sign. When you notify the trucking company that you're going to start a lawsuit to pay your bills, though, they may try to stay out of court and work with you to get a settlement instead.
Essentially, a settlement may be nearly the same as the outcome of a court case. The company could pay you a set amount of money, agree to make changes—like shorter hours for tired drivers—so that the same thing doesn't happen twice. So, why would the trucking company want this if it's the same as losing the court case?
It's all about publicity. For a company, bad publicity may hurt in lost sales even more than the amount the company is ordered to pay. When the company knows it has no hope in court, it may ask to settle outside of court so that the details don't get out to the public. As the injured party, you'll have to decide if you agree to these terms or not.
If you'd like to find out more about your rights and all of the legal options that are open to you in Illinois, please contact us as soon as possible.