How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Claim?

Posted On April 5, 2022 Truck Accidents
damage to a vehicle after a collision with a semi-truck

Truck accident claims are complex. As a result, it can take a year to several years to reach a settlement. It is almost always necessary to file a lawsuit, and while most cases will settle before trial, it is important to prepare the case for trial.

It is impossible to say how long it might take to resolve your claim and whether a semi-truck accident settlement is feasible without speaking to an attorney. Truck accident lawyers at The Flood Law Firm can evaluate your case for free.

Our attorneys take more cases to trial than most other law firms in the area. Insurance companies know our reputation for going to trial, which frequently enables us to achieve higher settlements for our clients. The Flood Law Firm will not hesitate to file a lawsuit and go to court if the insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement.

What Factors Affect the Timeline of a Truck Accident Settlement?

There are a number of reasons why truck accident claims generally take longer to settle than other cases involving motor vehicle accidents. A combination of the following factors can prolong the time it takes to reach a settlement for your injuries and damages in a truck accident:

The Seriousness of Your Truck Accident Injuries

Victims of truck accidents are at significant risk of suffering serious and catastrophic injuries. The more complex your injuries are, the more complicated your case becomes.

When negotiating a settlement, it is important to have a complete understanding of the victim’s losses and how the injury or injuries will affect them long-term. Fully understanding the outlook of the injury is essential for knowing what constitutes a fair settlement.

The full impact of a serious or catastrophic injury is not immediately apparent. It is often necessary for the injury to stabilize or for your condition to reach maximum medical improvement before damages can be accurately calculated.

The Extent of Your Truck Accident Damages

During your recovery from a truck accident, it is crucial to document all medical expenses, lost wages, and any other economic losses you incur. It is also important to record how injuries from the truck accident affect your day-to-day life.

These losses may be substantial after a semi-truck accident. However, they are not the only damages to which you and your family may be entitled.

A truck accident lawyer will communicate with your doctors to understand the long-term and permanent effects of the crash. Your attorney will also enlist expert witnesses to testify as to the impact of not being able to return to work (known as loss of earning capacity), pain and suffering, and other losses.

Accurately calculating current and future damages is a time-consuming process, especially when testimony from multiple expert witnesses is required. However, taking the time to account for the totality of your losses is key for maximizing the value of your truck accident settlement.

Read More: Building a Truck Accident Claim

Liability for the Truck Accident

Complex liability is another major factor that can drag out the settlement process for a truck accident claim. Unlike most other types of auto accident claims, multiple parties may be liable for a semi-truck accident, including:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The shipping company
  • Mechanics and maintenance companies
  • The maker of a defective semi-truck and/or defective components and parts

A thorough investigation is required to identify all of the parties whose negligence led to the truck accident. Determining liability typically involves reconstructing the accident, inspecting the truck and the trailer, reviewing the truck driver’s logbook and records from the trucking company, and more.

All of these steps take time. This is especially true if the defendants drag their feet and fail to produce evidence in a timely fashion.

Available Insurance Coverage

Once all liable parties are identified, your truck accident lawyer will assess what insurance coverage is available to pay for your injuries and losses. Damages from a serious truck accident may exceed any one defendant’s policy, so it is of the utmost importance to identify all of the available insurance.

Section 387.303 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires commercial carriers to have a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage. Some carriers are required to purchase more insurance coverage depending on the cargo they haul.

Commercial carriers are aware of how much an accident can cost. Major trucking companies often purchase liability insurance policies that exceed the federal minimum limits.

Unfortunately, the availability of significant insurance coverage does not make it easier for accident victims to recover fair compensation in the event of a truck accident. It is not uncommon for the other side to make low settlement offers, contest liability, and employ other tactics to avoid paying.

Settlement Negotiations

Dealing with the insurance company on your own is not advisable after just about any accident. However, the importance of retaining a lawyer after a truck accident cannot be overstated.

One of the major benefits of hiring a lawyer is having a knowledgeable and experienced advocate who can negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf. Without legal counsel, the defendants and insurers are unlikely to take your claim seriously. This can lead to interminable delays.

Settlement negotiations may be lengthy even with an attorney on your side. However, a truck accident lawyer will stay on top of your claim and fight to reach a favorable settlement as soon as possible. You can also rely on your attorney’s experience to determine if a settlement is fair or if it is too low given the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages.

How Long Do I Have to Settle a Truck Accident Claim?

The statute of limitations is the legal time limit for bringing a claim. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for claims involving personal injury (Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 52-584) and wrongful death (C.G.S. § 52-555) is two years.

Your truck accident claim may be settled before the statute of limitations expires. However, it is vital to keep this deadline in mind. If the two-year anniversary of the accident or your loved one’s death is approaching and a settlement has not been reached, your truck accident lawyer should file a lawsuit promptly.

Settlement negotiations often resume once a lawsuit has been filed. It may be possible to obtain a fair settlement before the trial date. However, you and your attorney need to be prepared to go to trial if the defendant(s) won’t agree to compensate you fairly.

Contact Our Connecticut Truck Accident Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one suffered harm in a truck accident, the path to recovering fair compensation can be difficult. The complexities of trucking accident claims often result in lengthy settlement negotiations.

You may be tempted to accept the first settlement to cover your immediate expenses and try to move on with your life. If you do this, however, you are likely leaving a substantial amount of compensation on the table.

The Flood Law Firm has extensive experience with truck accident litigation. We take an aggressive approach to each case that consists of a thorough investigation, comprehensive collecting of the evidence, partnering with top experts, and fully calculating the damages you are due.

Our Results Speak for Themselves. We achieve these results by skillfully negotiating fair settlements and, if necessary, taking cases to trial and fighting for the full award.

Please contact The Flood Law Firm by calling (860) 346-2695 today for a free consultation. Our truck accident lawyers serve all of Connecticut from offices in Middletown, Danbury, Bridgeport, and Waterbury.

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