How long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident claim?
If you’ve been the victim of a semi-truck accident, it is only natural to wonder how long it will be before you can settle your claim. When you have lost wages and your medical bills are piling up, you need money sooner rather than later.
In this post, we ask: how long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident claim? We then take a look at some of the factors that could either speed up or slow down the truck accident claims process.
How the semi-truck accident settlement process works
Nothing is stopping you from taking legal action immediately after your accident. However, that approach might not be wise. In many cases, you can only make claims up to the value of the expenses that you’ve incurred already. Once the settlement goes through, you can’t make additional claims. There is a legal process, and you shouldn’t take this on by yourself.
As such, it might be a good idea to approach the trucking company after you’ve attained your Maximum Medical Improvement. This way, you can wait for the full cost of medical care to become clear, thus reflecting the true cost of the accident. Then you are in a position to approach an experienced personal injury attorney as an injury victim and seek compensation. This is one good reason why you need a truck accident lawyer to represent you in your semi-truck accident case.
Once you’ve calculated the full value of your damages, you will then enter into negotiations with the trucking firm’s insurance company. The best way to do this is with the help of a personal injury attorney with experience in handling accidents involving large trucks. Most settlement negotiations resolve fairly quickly. However, some can drag on for months or even years.
If the settlement amount is not acceptable or the insurance company refuses to accept liability, then you may have to go to court. State law can help you identify the at-fault party and gain a fair settlement.
Of course, you don’t have to represent yourself. A qualified and passionate lawyer versed in matters related to large truck accidents can speak to the court on your behalf.
How long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident case?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question, as all truck accident claims are different. Several factors can play into the time it takes to settle any case which can include: multiple liable parties, other motorists, and passengers in other cars. Depending on what the driver was carrying, it could even involve government entities. As an example of a government entity, if the items that were being carried were hazardous to the environment or posed a potential risk then the E.P.A. could be called. Just as a fender-bender can take time to settle, so will a semi-truck accident. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer will make the entire process much less stressful for you.
What factors determine how long it takes to settle personal injury cases?
Several factors determine how long it takes to settle truck accident claims. These can both shorten and lengthen the amount of time it takes to get the money you are owed. The police will do an initial investigation to determine what may have caused the truck crash, and who among those involved may have been negligent. Perhaps the truck driver was under the influence or was distracted when the accident happened and did the trucking company carry insurance coverage. The police can also get a copy of the truck drivers’ employment history at the company. The investigation may uncover a few serious accidents on the driver’s record that resulted in severe injuries.
The clarity of liability
To get compensation in semi-truck accident cases, injury victims must prove liability by demonstrating that the truck driver was at fault. If the truck driver is obviously to blame following a liability investigation, then your case will go much faster.
If the semi-truck driver is drunk, drowsy (federal law only allows truckers to drive for 11 consecutive hours), or driving recklessly according to witness testimony and police reports, then the case is usually fairly clear-cut. It is unlikely that the trucking company or their insurer will attempt to divert blame.
However, in some cases, other parties involved may be partially responsible for the accident. Trucking companies, for instance, aren’t fully liable if the accident was a consequence of truck manufacturer error or faulty work carried out on the vehicle by a third-party mechanic. In these cases, it may take longer for insurance companies to determine liability and for you to recover compensation for your injuries.
The severity of your Injuries
If you have serious or life-altering injuries, your truck accident lawyer may advise you to wait before you attempt to settle your claim. You should seek all medical care and treatment you need to heal from your injuries. Even though bills might be piling up for the medical treatment you’ve undergone, incurring the full cost of that treatment may allow you to claim more compensation in the future.
The size of the settlement you demand
Insurers do not like to pay out large sums of money and will attempt to enter you into a lengthy process of negotiations. Insurance companies do everything they can to keep compensation for the injured party to a minimum.
Your truck accident lawyer can shorten these negotiations by providing you with sound advice from an experienced truck accident lawyer. Your semi-truck accident lawyer can prepare a demand that will include your medical treatment costs, lost wages, property losses due to the accident, lost earning potential, and compensation for pain and suffering.
When you initiated your claim
When you start the injury claim process also determines how long it will take to settle. Your claim should be initiated immediately after the accident. You should wait until after you have completed all of your medical care and treatment and you are 100% healed before you think of settling your case. You can always contact us for a free consultation and any questions you may have.
The quality of your personal injury lawyer
Lastly, the speed of your case is determined by the quality and determination of your lawyer. Not every truck accident lawyer is the same, and the attorney-client relationship is an important part of the equation.
If you don’t have a lawyer at all, you can expect your truck accident case to take longer still. You will have to negotiate with the trucking company and their insurers directly, and you could make mistakes that they can later use to undermine your accident claim in court.
How much is the average truck accident claim worth?
How much your truck accident claim is worth depends upon the severity of the injuries you sustained, the medical care and treatment you obtain for those injuries, the degree of liability of the truck driver, how many other claimants were involved in the accident, and the amount of liability coverage the semi-truck company has. There is no cut-and-dry way to give a precise value to any claim, as a lot of variables are in play. That is why it is best practice to have experienced truck accident lawyers on your case to help out with any pushbacks that may occur.
Get us to help you
Fighting personal injury cases alone can increase the time to settlement and put fair compensation in jeopardy. Therefore, always work with a reputable and experienced truck accident attorney.
Truck accident cases are complicated because many factors may have played a role in the cause of the accident. Is the liable party the truck driver’s employer because the driver has worked more hours than they were supposed to? Was the semi-truck deliberately overloaded? These are but a few questions an experienced truck accident lawyer in Columbus, Ohio would want answers to. Erney Law has the experience and expertise to walk you through this complicated process. We don’t want you to go through these legal matters alone.
We offer free consultation and a free case review. Work with us today and get the justice, peace of mind, and compensation you deserve.