If you’ve been the victim of a semi-truck accident, you may wonder how long it might take to resolve your claim. You may also want to know whether you need an attorney to reach a favorable settlement.
Although it is impossible to determine the length of negotiation if you are hit by a semi-truck, we can help you understand the factors that affect the timeline of a settlement. Some settlement negotiations resolve quickly, while others can drag on for months or years.
You do not have to go through this alone. The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C. can be your trusted advocate every step of the way. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation.
What Factors Determine How Long It Takes to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Claim?
Several factors determine the length of the truck accident settlement process in Virginia.
Liability for the Accident
To receive compensation in a semi-truck accident, you must prove liability by demonstrating that the truck driver (or some other party) is responsible for the accident.
If the liability determination is evident following the liability investigation, your case will generally go much faster.
If the semi-truck driver was drunk, drowsy due to driving longer than legally allowed, or driving recklessly, according to police reports or witness testimony, then the liability may be clear.
When you have a strong liability case, the trucking company or their insurer will unlikely divert blame. When liability is unclear, or you have a weak case, these cases will likely take longer to settle.
Trucking companies and insurers usually seek to minimize financial outlay by dragging out investigations when liability is unclear.
During these delays, they can engage in extensive investigations to find ways that you may have been partially responsible for the truck accident. They can reduce or eliminate the settlement offered if you’re found partially responsible for the crash.
To fight against such allegations, your attorney must collect as much evidence as possible to dispute the claims that you were at fault.
The information your attorney will collect can include the following:
- Police reports,
- Eyewitness interviews,
- Black box data,
- The truck driver’s logbook,
- Video footage, and
- Results from any drug and alcohol tests.
Compiling this information can be lengthy and increase the time it takes to settle a semi-truck accident case.
Multiple Liable Parties
Semi-truck accidents can be far more complex than typical car accidents. When multiple parties are liable, that will increase the time for settlement in most cases.
Multiple parties may be liable for a semi-truck accident, including:
- The truck driver,
- The trucking company,
- The shipping company,
- Mechanics and maintenance companies, and
- The maker of defective components and parts.
Separate companies often own, lease, and load the truck. Another company may be responsible for transporting the cargo. All these parties could be liable for your damages.
It is not uncommon in a truck accident case to split fault among a few parties.
Determining liability typically involves a thorough investigation and development of evidence. Sorting all this out takes time, especially if the defendants delay and fail to produce evidence promptly. Each of these parties may try to deflect liability to another party.
In such cases, it may take longer for insurance companies to determine liability. And in turn, it will take longer to get compensation for your injuries.
The Severity of Your Injuries
One of the most significant factors associated with the amount of time it takes to settle a semi-truck accident is the nature of your injuries. Because an accident with a semi-truck frequently involves traumatic injuries for the driver of the smaller vehicle, the treatment and recovery period can be lengthy. This fact can increase the time it takes the case to settle.
The extent of your injuries, the type of medical treatment, and your level of pain and suffering play a significant role in the time it takes to settle your claim.
Personal injury cases typically resolve once the victim has fully recovered. Once your injuries resolve and a physician releases you from care, your attorney can estimate what your semi-truck injury claim is worth.
The Extent of Your Accident Damages
While you recover from a semi-truck accident, it is critical to document all medical expenses, lost wages, and any other economic losses you incur. It is also necessary to record how injuries from the accident impact your day-to-day life.
Accurately calculating your current and future damage is an essential step in determining the extent of your damages. Your attorney can help you with this process and hire the appropriate expert witnesses.
The Size of Your Settlement Demand
It should come as no surprise that insurers prefer to avoid paying out large sums of money and will attempt to enter lengthy negotiations to limit their exposure. Insurance companies do everything they can to minimize your compensation.
Your lawyer can prepare a demand that includes your:
- Medical treatment costs,
- Lost wages,
- Property losses due to the accident,
- Lost earning potential,
- Compensation for pain and suffering, and
- Any other compensable damages.
Working with an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer can help reduce these negotiations by advocating on your behalf and preparing your settlement materials.
Let an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Help You
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a semi-truck accident, we can help you pursue compensation. Let a skilled lawyer well-versed in large truck accidents speak for you.
Carlton F. Bennett has more than four decades of experience advocating for injured clients. We provide each client with individual attention and will fight aggressively to ensure you are compensated as you deserve.
We will do everything we can to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries. The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett will ensure that you have the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your family.
Contact us by phone or complete our online contact form for a complimentary consultation.