As personal injury lawyers, we should be able to tell you how long it typically takes to settle a semi-truck accident claim – but the truth is, every case is different.
Sometimes, the injured victim and the at-fault party or parties quickly come to an agreement. Much of the time, however, people with serious injuries have to fight for far too long to get the monetary compensation they deserve. And in some cases, filing a semi-truck accident lawsuit is the only option, which further delays the process.
If you were injured in a collision with a semi or heavy-duty truck, consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer is in your best interests. The decision on whether or not to accept a settlement offer is yours, of course, but you don’t want to settle a semi-truck accident claim for a sum that doesn’t meet your needs.
The Timeline for Semi-Truck Accident Settlements
Several factors can prolong the process of reaching a settlement after a truck accident. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to get a payout as quickly as possible, but all of the following are required to pursue damages from the at-fault party or parties:
- Evidence of negligence on behalf of the driver, the trucking company, a parts manufacturer or another party
- Proof that the accident caused the claimant to suffer injures that require medical treatment
- Documentation for all expenditures and losses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish and future losses
Obtaining all of the necessary evidence can take time. Your personal injury lawyer may need to seek out estimates from medical, occupational and economic experts as to the value of your losses – which can extend the timeline for your settlement.
The Risk of Accepting a Settlement Offer
Chances are, you’ll start hearing from insurance adjusters during the recovery process – and you may even get a settlement offer just a few days or weeks after your truck accident. You might be tempted to accept the offer, particularly if you’re in need of financial relief, but doing so is risky.
How so? When you sign a settlement check, you basically agree not to pursue any additional compensation for losses resulting from the accident. Courts are strict about enforcing these agreements, so you should hold off on accepting an offer until you’ve been cleared by a medical professional or your personal injury attorney advises you to take the settlement.
Will You Need to File a Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuit?
In most cases, personal injury lawyers can negotiate with the insurance adjusters involved and settle truck accident claims without heading to court. However, in certain circumstances, attorneys recommend suing the at-fault party or parties. This may occur if any of the following are true for your accident claim:
- The statute of limitations is about to expire
- One of the parties contests liability for the accident
- The amount of actual damages is in dispute
- Essential evidence is being kept from the claimant
Other situations — such as a case involving fraudulent actions by an insurer or the need to pursue compensation above the limit of the insurance policy of the liable party or parties – can also lead to a truck accident lawsuit. That said, most accident claims settle out of court.
With an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, you can receive the maximum in compensation for your losses. And at William R. Rawlings & Associates, you can count on us to do whatever we can to settle your semi-truck accident claim as quickly as possible. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney, contact our law office today.