How long it takes to settle a truck accident claim can depend on a variety of factors. Remember — no two personal injury cases are the same. Depending on the complexity of the case and how serious you are injured, your lawsuit may take longer to settle than a simpler case.
However, when in an accident involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or other commercial truck, these claims do tend to be more complicated than an accident between two passenger vehicles. Having a truck accident lawyer by your side can help.
Though the insurance company may offer a settlement following an accident claim, that settlement will probably be less than what your claim is worth. Remember, the insurance company is trying to pay as little as possible. You’ll want to confer with a truck accident lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf. Chances are, you can get more out of the truck accident settlement once a full investigation and medical exam are completed.
Some claims may take months or even years to settle, but being prepared makes all the difference in seeking your fair compensation.
There are a variety of reasons why a truck accident claim may take longer to settle. In addition to the investigation requirements set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), other elements that lengthen the settlement process include:
Depending on the severity of your truck accident, you may think you do not need to utilize the legal advice of a truck accident attorney. However, delaying in seeking legal representation can lengthen the settlement process and can prevent you from getting the evidence needed to prove your claim.
As soon as the accident occurs, the trucking company will send a rapid response team to the scene to gather evidence, including the “black box.” This device records valuable information about what the truck was doing before and during the accident. It calculates speed, the amount of pressure used on the brakes, wheel turning, and other important information. By hiring a trucking accident attorney right away, we will get to work to make sure the data from the black box is secured and the evidence is not destroyed.
While finding the right law firm for your case may take time, it will also likely lead to a larger reward when you seek compensation.
A liability investigation in a truck accident is often much more complicated than that of passenger cars. This is due to the size of the truck and the nature of the accident.
Factors used in determining liability in truck accidents include:
Other liable parties in the accident could be a manufacturer whose faulty part led to a mechanical failure, resulting in an accident; a bartender serving the truck driver when he or she was already intoxicated; the government for failing to maintain roadways, etc.
Under the FMCSA, truck drivers are legally required to carry insurance coverage at a certain level. Depending on the type of truck and its size, what the truck carries, etc., determines the level of coverage needed.
Insurance policies for commercial trucks are larger than those of passenger vehicles. They tend to be millions of dollars. This is the reason why the insurance company is reluctant to pay out your claim.
The average size for a semi-truck is approximately 72 feet long, 13.5 feet tall, and 8.5 feet wide; they can weigh roughly 80,000 pounds. Given their magnitude, these trucks can cause a lot of damage when involved in accidents.
Because these truck accidents often result in more damage, greater injuries, and even fatalities, insurance companies, and the authorities often require a more thorough investigation before paying out your claim.
Sometimes, the injuries incurred following a truck accident are obvious, such as broken bones or severe cuts and bruises. However severe injuries are more common. These include:
Many times, a truck accident can result in a fatality.
While these injuries are likely visible after the accident, some injuries may take weeks or even months to surface. That is why it is important to keep a record of all medical treatments received and to work with an attorney who can help you figure out future medical costs and lost wages.
Remember, your recovery period may change. You may be looking at months or even years before your injuries are healed. Settling too soon can mean that you won’t be compensated for those serious injuries and future expenses.
All of these factors combined can lengthen the overall negotiation process, thus extending the amount of time it takes to settle a truck accident claim. Often, because of the financial ramifications of an accident, these cases will be dragged out by the insurance adjuster and the trucking company.
Sometimes, negotiations fail and the only way to settle your claim is by going to court. This can extend the time of settling your claim even further. A court case can take months before it even begins since time will be needed for the “discovery” process. During this time, the lawyers on both sides will review all the details of the case and collect any further evidence needed to prove their claim.
In order for your case to be successful, you will need:
Negotiations will continue up until the court date so it is still possible that a settlement can be reached before you go to court.
While there is no set length of time it takes to settle a truck accident claim or to get your compensation, know that having experienced Washington, D.C. truck accident lawyers by your side can make all the difference in your case’s success in bringing the negligent party to task.
At Regan Zambri Long, our experienced truck accident attorneys in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve following a truck accident.
If you were involved in a truck accident, call Regan Zambri Long at (202) 960-4596 to talk to us about your case and schedule your free consultation today. We are ready to provide you with legal counsel.