How Long Does It Take to Settle a Trucking Accident Case?
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Trucking accidents are often catastrophic, causing severe or even fatal injuries. Making your recovery from these serious injuries or the loss of your loved one harder is the length of time it may take to settle your claim may be longer given the complexity of trucking accident cases, especially if you choose not to hire a lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you should call an experienced trucking accident attorney from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
TRUCKING ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT TIMELINE
How long it will take to settle your trucking accident case will often depend on a variety of variables and factors. Because of the complexity of accidents involving large commercial trucks, these claims may often take longer to settle than other automobile accident claims that do not involve a large semi truck. Various factors may impact the length of time to settle your trucking accident claim, including:
As with any personal injury claim, your lawyer may often begin by conducting a thorough investigation of your accident, and the length of this investigation may delay the time that it may take to reach a settlement with the other party’s insurance company or to take your case to trial if the insurer refuses to agree to an acceptable settlement. During this investigation phase, your attorney may work to gather evidence about your accident, including police accident reports, statements and contact information from any witnesses, as well as any photographs of the scene of the accident, the vehicles involved, or of your injuries. In some cases, your lawyer may also place a physical hold on the semi truck to better inspect the truck for any potential defects that may have contributed to the accident or other physical evidence that may help support your claim.
Your attorney may also gather all of your medical records related to any treatment you received. These records may help prove the extent of any injuries you suffered in the accident as well as help your lawyer substantiate your claim. While vigorously investigating your trucking accident as thoroughly as possible may take additional time in some cases, the evidence gathered may be crucial in proving your claim and helping you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
The Large Truck’s Insurance Policy
The amount of insurance coverage the trucking company carried may affect the length of time it takes to settle your case in a couple of different ways. First, semi trucks may carry high amounts of insurance coverage, often with $1 million or more in coverage. As a result, the insurance companies will often have significant motivation to aggressively dispute your claim as their lawyers work to pay you as little as possible. This aggressive approach to defending against your claim may often drag out the settlement process as it may take longer for your attorney to gather enough evidence to successfully persuade the insurer to agree to a reasonable settlement amount.
Further, the nature of semi truck accidents may also mean that multiple policies may apply to the accident. For example, the semi truck itself may have one insurance policy that covers the truck while there is a separate policy covering the trailer that was attached to the truck. Meanwhile, trucking companies may also carry separate insurance coverage for their drivers or for the company itself, with each of these policies potentially applying to your claim. As a result, your lawyer may need to spend additional time properly discovering all applicable insurance coverage despite the additional time this search may add to your claim. This process may be lengthier and more complicated than other car accidents.
The Extent of Your Injuries
One of the most significant factors that may play a role in determining how long it may take to settle your case is also the extent of your injuries. In many cases, your lawyer may not even be able to bring a lawsuit unless you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries. It is crucial that your attorney may understand the full extent of your injuries, including all related treatment that you may have needed following the accident. If you are still recovering from any of your injuries, your lawyer may need to wait until you are further along in your healing process. As your trucking accident claim seeks to recover any compensation you may be entitled to, including compensation for any medical expenses you have been required to pay as you seek treatment for your injuries, your attorney will need to know as clearly as possible, exactly how seriously you have been injured as well as how expensive your medical treatment was. If your attorney rushed your claim before adequately exploring the evidence and understanding the extent of your injuries, any settlement offer could likely be insufficient in fully providing you any compensation you may be entitled to.
Semi truck accidents often cause catastrophic or even life-threatening injuries, and it may take weeks or even months of treatment to fully recover. Ultimately, your truck injury lawyer may likely choose not to pursue any claim before you have this clear understanding of your medical expenses.
While you may need financial compensation as soon as possible to help you pay your medical bills, reaching a settlement agreement with the insurance company too quickly after the accident before fully understanding the extent of your injuries could potentially result in you receiving too little in compensation for your injuries and being unable to change the settlement amount to better reflect the true extent of your injuries suffered in the accident. As a result, your lawyer may advise you that it may be best to delay making a settlement demand to the insurance company until you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries so that you are able to demand all past and future medical expenses. As a result, this recovery period may often increase the delay or time that it may take you from the date of your accident to ultimately reach a settlement agreement providing you with any compensation you may be entitled to after your trucking accident.
Read More: Common Types of 18-Wheeler Accident Injuries
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
After your attorney has concluded the investigation and has gathered evidence including concerning the details of the truck driver or trucking company’s insurance policy, and you have sufficiently recovered from your injuries, the negotiation process may begin. Your attorney may often begin negotiating with the insurance company to reach an acceptable settlement agreement to avoid the expenses and delay of a trial. Your lawyer’s negotiations with the insurance company may also often result in delays, as your attorney and the insurer make offers and counteroffers, dispute liability, dispute the extent of your injuries, which may all impact each side’s judgment of how much compensation you may be entitled to.
Common factors that may affect the length of negotiations with the insurance company include whether you may be partially at fault for the accident. If it appears that you may have been partially responsible for the accident, your fault could impact the overall amount of compensation you may be entitled to. However, it may also delay negotiations as the insurer may attempt to argue that your degree of fault is higher than the truck driver or should drastically reduce any settlement offer. Further, the insurance company may take additional time reviewing your medical record, especially in cases involving severe injuries with an extensive amount of medical documentation for them to review and possibly dispute.
Finally, the amount of available insurance may also impact the length of the negotiation phase, depending on either the truck driver’s policy limits or that of the trucking company. Depending on how severe or catastrophic your injuries are, or if your loved one was killed in the accident, the insurance company may be more likely to simply agree to pay an amount equal to the limits of the policy in many cases, especially if the evidence proving the other party’s liability is strong. Overall, the insurance company has a team of lawyers whose jobs are to ensure the insurer pays as little compensation as possible to settle your claims. As a result, it is crucial to hire an experienced trucking accident attorney who can level this playing field and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Read More: Negotiating with Insurance Companies
CONSULT THE TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury lawyers may be able to help you if you or your loved one have been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck or semi truck. Our experienced semi truck accident attorneys have years of experience helping our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after being injured in a trucking accident. We support our clients throughout the entire process, regardless of how long it takes to settle your trucking accident claim.