No one can predict how long it will take to settle a semi-truck accident. Every case has different facts and circumstances, which can directly affect how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident. Among these factors are the extent of your injuries, insurance policies, and how many parties were involved.
Factors That May Affect the Length of Your Semi-Truck Accident Case
Personal injury cases involving semi-trucks can take longer than other accident cases because they can cause extensive damages and trigger the application of various federal regulations.
Commercial Truck Investigations Take Time
Commercial semi-trucks are subject to many state and federal laws and regulations that passenger vehicles are not.
An accident involving one of these vehicles requires your lawyers to look at past safety records for the truck driver and the carrier, as well as maintenance records and driver logs. Finding safety violations can help build your case for compensation, so it can be essential to conduct a thorough investigation, which, in turn, impacts how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident case.
In some major truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) becomes involved in the investigation. When the FMCSA looks into the alleged violation of safety regulations, the resulting investigation can have a big impact on the outcome of the case, so parties may be reluctant to settle until the investigation is complete.
Suffering Severe Injuries May Take You Longer to Reach Maximum Recovery Levels
In a commercial semi-truck accident, injuries can be more severe and more people may suffer injuries, particularly if more than two vehicles are involved. Although insurance companies may quickly offer you a settlement after a major truck accident, it is often not advisable for you to accept this offer.
Until your doctor has a clear picture of the extent of your injuries, your prognosis for recovery, and how those injuries will permanently impact your life, you cannot be sure how much your claim is worth.
For example, shortly after your accident, your medical providers may initially provide a timeline for your complete recovery from your injuries. However, the reality is that your recovery may be shorter or longer than the doctor predicts. You also may develop additional complications that can derail your recovery and even leave you with permanent impairments.
Insurance Coverage May be Complex
Even if only one party is at fault for causing the accident, a trucking company may have standard liability coverage in addition to umbrella policies that may provide additional coverage in some cases. Investigating and determining what coverage is available is a major factor in any settlement of a semi-truck injury case.
Still, you might be able to request compensation for:
- Past and expected medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death
Semi-Truck Accidents Can Involve Multiple Parties
Semi-truck accidents might involve more than two drivers and vehicles, as well as severe injuries to more than one person. Sorting out who is at fault in a multiple-vehicle accident, especially one that involves at least one commercial vehicle, can require a lengthy investigation.
Your attorneys may have to locate and interview multiple witnesses, review official crash investigations and reports, and even enlist the help of experts to determine how a crash occurred.
If more than one party is injured, you might not get a settlement until all injured parties have reached their maximum levels of recovery. Note that these timeframes can differ widely from one person to another. Dealing with multiple insurance companies also can make settlement negotiations much more complicated.
When a Case Must Proceed to Trial
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), most accident cases reach a settlement without filing a lawsuit. However, there are some cases in which agreeing on a reasonable settlement is impossible, whether due to uncooperative insurance companies or disputed liability issues. In that situation, your case may need to proceed to trial.
O.C.G.A.§ 9-3-33 typically gives injury victims two years from the date of their semi-truck accidents to file their lawsuits in court. Abiding by this statute of limitations is crucial, because submitting your case afterward might jeopardize your right to financial recovery.
Also, keep in mind that if your case must go through court proceedings, resolving your case may take even longer.
Kaine Law is Ready to Fight for Your rights After a Semi-Truck Accident
Although knowing precisely how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident is not realistic, you can expect that most investigations, negotiations, and settlements take a significant amount of time. Although we want to be efficient so that you can resolve your case and put this accident behind you, you also want to collect sufficient compensation for your losses.
Call Kaine Law today at (404) 214-2001 and learn more about settling your semi-truck accident claim. The first call is free, and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we obtain a financial award for you.