How long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident claim? That’s a question that everyone is going to ask you as soon as you’ve been hurt in an accident.
If you’ve already talked to a lawyer, they may have told you it can take a few months or several years.
Unfortunately, there’s no set timeline for how long it will take to settle a semi-truck accident claim. This is because there are many variables involved in settling a claim.
When you are injured in a truck accident, for example, the injuries can be both physical and emotional. If you have someone to help you through the process, it can make all the difference.
Trucking is the backbone of the American economy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it better for everyone. Trucking companies and truck drivers in the U.S. transport nearly 70% of all domestic shipments and fuel our economy in ways we may not even notice.
This is why it’s important to pursue truck accident claims in a timely manner. If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for medical costs, property damage, and lost wages.
It is crucial to file a claim with the responsible insurer within one year of an accident in order to preserve your rights under the law.
Challenges in Determining the Value of Truck Accident
Determining the value of a truck accident claim can be challenging because damages can continue to grow well after an accident. Truck accident injuries often entail a combination of lost wages, medical bills, and damaged property.
In addition, any accidents involving 18-wheelers involve a lengthy investigation from the Department of Transportation. All of these factors need to be considered when calculating the value of your case.
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The first steps that you will need to take after a truck accident are pretty standard across the board. You will want to contact a truck accident attorney who has experience in semi-truck cases, fill out an insurance claim, and see a doctor if you have not already done so.
Basic Steps of a Truck Accident Case
A good attorney can guide you through everything else that needs to be done, including
- Determining liability for the accident
- Calculating your past and future damages
- Sending a demand letter to the applicable insurance companies
- Filing a claim, entering negotiations to reach a settlement
- Preparing for litigation in case a settlement cannot be reached
What Slows Down or Speeds Up Truck Accident Claims?
In a perfect world, getting compensation from those responsible for your injuries from a serious semi-truck crash would be fast and easy. In the real world…it’s not as simple as filling a claim with your insurance company or hiring a lawyer. In fact, some truck accident claims can take years to settle.
There are many, many factors that could slow down or speed up a truck accident claim.
The Injury: Is the person injured seriously or relatively minor? The more serious the injury, the more cooperation there is in the claim process and the more documentation and evidence there is to support your claim.
When can’t talk: Talking with the other side is a big part of the claim process. When parties were unable to communicate with each other this process becomes much longer.
How Long to End a Typical Truck Accident Claim?
This estimate is rather broad and, as was mentioned, this is an estimation. It assumes that there is no third party involved and that both the driver and the vehicle owner (if different parties) were not at fault (the standard for liability in a truck accident claim).
Naturally, if more than one party were at fault, the settlement time might double. If there were multiple parties at fault, it could take even longer to settle.
Although it may be tempting to seek out a lawyer who offers to settle your case quickly, be wary of such promises.
Truck accident cases are extremely complex and there are many factors beyond the driver’s control that can impact settlement or litigation.
It is important for truck accident victims to know that legal representation can make a huge and positive difference in the outcome of their case and the best way to ensure that you get exactly what you deserve is to choose an attorney who has years of experience in this area of law and is highly respected in the trucking community.
When it comes to high-stakes cases, predicting when a case will settle is a difficult task. There are so many factors in play, but one of the most important ones is the level of complexity.
Insurance Policies for Semi-Trucks Are Often Very Large
There’s a reason why insurance policies on semi-trucks and large equipment are so expensive, and one of the main reasons has to do with the size and value of the vehicle or equipment.
The average semi-truck can hold $300,000 in cargo, which means that an accident will involve a lot of money on the line.
Recently, a jury awarded $550,000 to the victim of an accident involving a semi-truck. The jury found that the driver of the semi-truck was not only negligent but that he also failed to maintain his vehicle.
During the trial, the insurance companies for both parties argued that their policies should cover the damages.
The insurance company for the truck drivers argued that their policy required $1 million in coverage, and thus should pay for any damages for this accident, while the insurance company for the victim argued that their policy also had $1 million in coverage.
The insurance company for the victim showed evidence that the driver was speeding and had lost control of his vehicle prior to the accident.
A common tactic used by insurance companies is to argue that the other driver is responsible for your damages.