One of the most common questions we’re asked is, how long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident? As a general rule of thumb, the more money you’re asking for, the longer your claim will take. This is due to the complexity of such claims and the amount of money that’s at stake. Large settlements begin with thorough investigations as to what caused your accident. For that reason, semi-truck accident claims may take longer to settle than accidents involving two commuter vehicles.
Beginning the Investigation
Truck accident claims are unique for a number of reasons. In your typical car-on-car collision, you won’t have a thorough investigation as to the cause of the accident. There will be a police report, witnesses, and attention will be focused on the drivers. While all that remains true of a truck accident claim, there will need to be a thorough investigation of the truck as well.
As an example, let’s consider the following case. A semi-truck is driving on a highway where it enters a work zone. One of the tires flies off the wheel striking a worker on the side of the road. This worker sustains serious injuries. In this case, the driver may have been doing everything right, but it the truck malfunction.
A lawyer takes a look at the claim and investigates the truck itself. He has an expert on accident reconstruction and another expert on the trucks themselves. This expert recognizes that the wrong lug nut was used to secure the tire to the wheel. Upon further investigation, it is discovered that the company intentionally purchased a cheaper lug nut to cut costs. Your attorney recognizes that had the company continued to purchase the correct lug nuts for the tire, you would not have been injured by a flying tire.
This information can only be gleaned by engaging expert witnesses and deposing the trucking company’s employees. Yet the settlement award will be higher because it was the trucking company’s own gross negligence that led to the accident. And, you may be able to file a claim against the company that manufactured the lug nuts as well.
The Extent of Your Injuries
More severe injuries involve larger settlement figures. The higher the settlement figure goes, the longer it will take to litigate your claim. This is especially true in cases where you will need an extended period of recovery before you can go back to work. As your case begins, the extent of your injuries and the impact they will have on your life needs to be known before a fair settlement can be reached. If you’re no longer able to do your job because of your injuries, you deserve to be compensated for that. If you have permanent injuries, you deserve to be compensated for your reduced quality of life. A truck accident attorney will patiently wait for your medical records and final prognosis. Jumping at a settlement offer can severely compromise the overall value of your claim.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company
Insurance companies indemnify (take on liability for) their policyholders. When your injuries are severe, you may be entitled to a six- or seven-figure settlement. Of course, the insurance company is not just going to offer you the policy limit. It is within their right to force you to prove every element of your injury case. This means proving that the truck driver or the trucking company was negligent for the accident, proving that your injuries were the result of the accident, and showing cause to claim pain and suffering injuries.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Many folks asking, “How long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident”, are in a financial jam. Of course, the insurance companies know this and can leverage it, offering less money now, but giving it to you sooner. The threat of a costly trial is what pressures them into a high settlement. If you want to maximize the value of your claim, contact Brylak Law today and set up a free consultation.