How Long Does it Take to Settle an 18-Wheeler Accident Case?
David Muñoz | April 6, 2022 | Truck Accidents
Accidents involving 18-wheelers or semi-trucks are more complicated than those involving passenger vehicles. Truck accidents frequently involve catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Therefore, it can take longer to settle an 18-wheeler accident case.
Furthermore, you are dealing with a trucking company and its insurance provider, so be prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. These parties work to protect their best interests by avoiding liability for damages.
Most accident claims settle without filing a lawsuit or going to trial. However, the amount of time it takes to have money in your hand from a settlement depends on the factors involved in your case.
Working with an experienced San Diego truck accident lawyer could help speed up the process. An attorney will carefully monitor the process to ensure that the at-fault parties do not use tactics to delay valid injury claims.
Factors That Impact the Timeline to Settle An 18-Wheeler Accident Case in California
Several factors can impact the time it takes to settle a truck accident case. Those factors include, but are not limited to:
The Severity of Your Injuries
Large truck accidents can cause traumatic injuries, including:
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of bodily functions
- Injuries to internal organs
- Severe burns and disfigurement
- Multiple broken bones and fractures
- Neck and back injuries
It takes much longer to recover from catastrophic injuries. An injury victim could require multiple surgeries and months of intensive therapy to recover from their injuries. In addition, calculating financial losses (economic damages) and pain and suffering (non-economic damages) takes time.
You need to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling an 18-wheeler accident claim. Until your doctor provides a statement regarding permanent impairments, it is impossible to know the value of your damages. Damages could include future lost wages, diminished quality of life, ongoing medical treatment, and long-term care.
Your attorney may need to hire medical experts and economists to assist in calculating the value of future damages. You must have evidence to support your claim that your injuries will result in future losses. Also, experts provide scientific and mathematical data to support the amount you claim for future damages.
Settling your truck accident case too early could result in a much lower settlement than you deserve.
Determining Fault For the Cause of the Truck Accident
California is an at-fault insurance state. All drivers must have minimum car insurance coverage for accidents. Before you can recover compensation from the trucking company or its insurance provider, you must prove that the trucking company is liable for your damages.
A truck accident investigation could take months to complete. A lawyer may need to hire trucking experts, engineers, and accident reconstructionists to assist with the investigation.
Common factors that may contribute to the cause of a truck accident include:
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fatigued and drowsy driving
- Defective tires and truck parts
- Inadequate or faulty truck maintenance
- Improperly secured loads and overloaded trucks
- Actions of other drivers
- Poorly designed intersections and defective roads
- Lack of truck driver training and experience
Also, there could be multiple federal or state trucking regulations that apply to your case. Government agencies may take longer to complete their investigation into the cause of the truck crash.
It is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to prove fault for the truck accident. The trucking company and its insurance company will aggressively investigate the cause of the semi-truck accident. Their goal is to avoid liability for your damages.
Allegations of comparative negligence can also complicate a truck accident case. The parties involved in the accident may blame the other parties to avoid liability. It could take months to sort out the factors that led to the truck crash and who is responsible for each of those factors.
The Willingness of the Parties to Settle the Claim
In some cases, an insurance company or trucking company is willing to settle a claim instead of facing a lawsuit. However, they could drag out negotiations in an attempt to pass the two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If the trucking company refuses to settle the claim, you may have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, resolving a lawsuit could take more than a year after filing.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Speed Up the Settlement Process For an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Seeking prompt medical treatment and following the doctor’s treatment plan helps build a solid foundation for your personal injury claim. Also, documenting your damages by keeping detailed records of expenses and costs is helpful.
However, it can be difficult to manage a truck accident claim while recovering from injuries. Hiring a San Diego truck accident lawyer to handle the case ensures nothing is missed. In addition, someone will continuously monitor the case to keep it moving as quickly as possible toward settlement.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in San Diego Today To Get More Information
Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108
We also serve the state of Texas. Contact our personal injury law office in El Paso for legal assistance today.