When you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you’re going to want to file a claim and get fair compensation for your injuries. You’ll always want to know how long it will take to settle your semi-truck accident claim because you’re probably waiting on that compensation to make ends meet. There are a lot of steps between you and a settlement, though. Getting compensation for your truck accident case could take a few months to a few years, depending on the complexities of your case and the stubbornness of the defending insurance company.
Basic Steps of a Truck Accident Case
To reach a settlement for a semi-truck case, the following steps will need to be completed:
- Call a truck accident attorney to begin making your case.
- See a doctor if you have not already seen one about your injuries.
- Determine liability for the accident.
- Calculate your past and future damages.
- Send a demand letter to the applicable insurance companies.
- File a claim
- Enter negotiations to reach a settlement.
- Prepare for litigation in case a settlement cannot be reached.
What Slows Down or Speeds Up Truck Accident Claims?
Although the average truck accident settlement process can be summed up in the 7 steps we mentioned above, the timeline for completing those 7 steps can vary significantly from one case to the next. The differences in timelines stem from the many, many details that go into a semi-truck accident claim. Some details can help speed things up, but many can slow things down.
Your semi-truck accident settlement could take longer to reach if:
- You are severely injured: No party wants to accept liability when someone is seriously injured. Rather than trying to honestly help a claimant recover from an accident, truck accident claim defendants commonly put a fight the moment they hear that the claimant has been badly injured due to the crash.
- Multiple parties are liable: Liability in a semi-truck crash could be divided among several parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, and more. Whenever liability is split, you can be certain that the defending parties will fight among themselves to some extent to try to avoid liability. The “infighting” will probably slow everything down as you await responses from multiple parties.
- Your damages are significant: As with severe injuries, defendants don’t want anything to do with a case that involves significant damages demanded by the claimant. Once an insurer sees a large dollar value attached to your truck accident case, they will start weighing the cost of fighting it compared to the cost of the damages they owe you. If they think they could stand to save big money on the chance that they can deny your claim and succeed in court, then they’ll most likely take it, which slows everything down.
How Long to End a Typical Truck Accident Claim?
Given that there is plenty of room for details in a truck accident claim to complicate matters or slow things down, it can be extremely difficult to predict how long a case will take to settle. Experienced truck accident attorneys know to not even promise a settlement by a certain date because they know that the accuracy of any prediction or promise won’t be satisfactory. Although, if an estimation had to be made, then it could be said that a straightforward, low-value, and uncontested semi-truck accident case might settle within 6 months of the accident. If the case is complicated, has a high dollar value, and liability is contested, then it could take well over a year to settle. Of course, if the case goes to court for litigation, the matters can take even longer to pan out.
Need help with a semi-truck accident case? Dunk Law Firm should be the first name you call. Dial (800) 674-9339 or submit an online contact form with any questions about how to settle a truck accident claim.