If you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, you could experience significant damages in the months to come. Due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, you may suffer from serious injuries in these accidents, as well as extensive damage to your car and belongings.
You can claim damages for your losses through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, but these cases can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to conclude. Because of how severe and complicated semi-truck accidents can be, they can sometimes take longer to settle than the average car accident claim.
What Factors Can Lengthen My Semi-Truck Accident Case?
Several factors can impact the length of a Bakersfield semi-truck accident case. Because of the damage that semi-trucks can cause, plus the corporate and government bodies that may be involved, you may need to navigate some very complicated legal considerations.
• The more severe your injuries, the longer your case will likely be. Your attorney will need to determine the extent of your injuries so he or she can calculate your damages for medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. You may need to wait until you reach maximum recovery before your attorney can resolve your case. While you may want to resolve your claim while you are still recovering from your injuries, your attorney will likely advise against this. You may not know the precise nature of your injuries, and could lose out on compensation to aid your recovery.
• Semi-trucks accident cases may involve government investigations in addition to your own. Entities such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration may look into the crash and provide analyses that could assist your claim – but you may need to wait up to a year for them to release these reports. However, these reports can provide valuable information and strengthen your overall cases.
• You may need to navigate complicated insurance negotiations when dealing with a semi-truck accident. Usually, corporations represent these drivers and have large insurance policies. You can settle your claim with the insurance company and avoid going to court, but negotiations could take time based on the severity of your injuries, the policy limit, and the aggressive tactics that the insurance adjusters could employ to protect their driver and trucking company clients.
• The information gathering process for semi-truck cases can take a long time because of how many liable parties may be involved in your accident. Your attorney will need to gather information on the driver’s history, such as moving violations, Department of Transportation infractions, and other safety records. Your attorney will also want to look into the vehicle and the company itself, making sure they maintained the truck up to federal standards and that negligence from the trucking company didn’t play a part in your injuries. Your attorney will want to learn as much as possible about the company, the driver, the cargo, and any other party who may be involved, and you may have to wait a while for him or her to collect this information.
The Average Length of a Semi-Truck Accident Case
Because each case is different, it is difficult for an attorney to estimate how long your semi-truck accident case will take to reach settlement. Certain factors can lengthen the duration of your case, such as severe injuries or multiple liable parties. The more complicated a case is, the longer it will likely take to reach settlement.
Many semi-truck cases can take a long time to conclude because of clerical mistakes and slow information gathering processes. Obtaining the services of a semi-truck accident attorney can help you navigate these claims and reduce errors in the process. In addition, an attorney can help you enter into sticky negotiations with insurance companies and determine the most efficient pathways to possible compensation.
Semi-truck accidents can be complicated and can vary in length based on your specific circumstances. Because of their complexity, contact an attorney as soon as possible following your accident to help you reach a settlement for your losses.