How Long Does a Truck Accident Claim Take to Settle?
Every truck accident has unique circumstances that affect the time it takes to settle. Depending on the specifics of your case, it can take days, weeks, or months to reach a fair settlement. On rare occasions, your attorney may advise you to take your case to trial and fight for adequate compensation to cover the total cost of damages. If you suffered an injury in a truck accident caused by the other party’s careless or reckless behavior, you could benefit from speaking with a truck accident lawyer to avoid any delays in compensation and to ensure you receive the fair and accurate value of your losses.
Speed Up the Settlement Process With Evidence
The most effective way to speed up the settlement process without sacrificing the value of your claim is to ensure you have sufficient evidence to establish negligence and prove your losses. You can start collecting that evidence as soon as immediately after the accident. Some things you should do after the accident include:
- Talk to the police. A police report is typically a vital source for building a case. When the police arrive at the scene, they will investigate the crash, look for signs of liability, and note their findings in a police report. They will also interview all parties involved, including eyewitnesses, who can be valuable sources for your case.
- Have a medical examination. Truck accidents commonly require emergency medical services, particularly for people hit by a truck. However, should you feel well enough not to need emergency attention, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. Walking away from a truck accident unscathed is rare, and without medical records of your injuries, it can be difficult to claim any damages those injuries cause.
- Avoid talking about the accident. It can be challenging to keep quiet about such a devastating event in your life. However, insurance companies investigate your case when you file a claim, and simply saying the wrong thing in a social media post could derail your lawsuit. The safest way to protect your rights is to avoid talking to anyone other than your attorney and the police about the accident.
- Document everything. Starting with the accident scene, you should collect information about the accident whenever you can. Take photographs of the damage. Write down what happened as soon as you can. Keep a journal about your healing journey, and file all bills and receipts associated with your injuries.
- Collect contact information. The police report will have everyone’s name and contact information, but you want to ask about the truck driver’s employer or if the driver is an independent contractor. If you cannot gather this information at the time of the accident, your attorney will find proof later.
The most lengthy part of building a truck accident case is collecting your supporting evidence. Talk to a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to speed it up. They have access to resources, such as accident reconstruction experts, who will collect undeniable evidence, making it easier to reach a settlement that adequately covers your damages.
Types of Damages You Can Claim
The legal term for the losses you sustain from a personal injury is damages, and the damages in your case make up the total of your settlement. In most cases, only compensatory damages are available. These economic and non-economic losses should make you whole again when restored. While there is little money can do about the psychological trauma from a truck accident, it can ensure you have monetary compensation for those losses.
The compensatory economic damages encompass all financial losses caused by the accident. Examples can include:
- Your medical bills, including hospital and emergency medical care, doctor visits, prescriptions, surgeries, medical devices, aftercare, and rehabilitation
- Wages you lost from missed work or loss of the ability to perform the job you had before the accident
- The cost of damage to your property, including repairing or replacing it
- Cost of in-home care if your injuries inhibit your ability to perform household duties
- Cost of childcare if you were the primary childcare provider
- Cost of transportation to and from doctor visits
The non-economic compensatory damages vary from case to case and cover the psychological losses associated with your accident. These can include the physical pain and suffering you endured due to your injuries, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of life’s enjoyment, and any emotional disorder diagnosis, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Calculating these losses can be difficult, but a truck accident attorney knows how to assign value and produce evidence to support it.
Punitive damages are not compensatory but serve as a deterrent for the liable party in your case. For example, if the truck driver caused the accident while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the court may order them to pay punitive damages for gross negligence. Punitive damages are often substantial when dealing with a large company, but that depends on who is liable for the accident.
Liability in a Truck Accident
Who is liable for your accident? That is the first thing an attorney will look for during their investigation. You may think the truck driver is the responsible party, but that is not always the case. The driver is liable if they violated road laws, federal trucking laws, or company safety standards. However, other potentially responsible parties include:
- The trucking company is responsible for ensuring drivers have sufficient training and no history of traffic law violations that display a pattern of safety issues. Trucking companies also must ensure their trucks are in peak condition for operation by maintaining a schedule of inspections and maintenance. Any attempt to pressure truck drivers to violate federal hours of service for company gain would also make them liable.
- The loading party is responsible if the cause of the accident is poorly loaded cargo. Not securing the load or exceeding federally mandated weight limits can cause the truck trailer to tip over, resulting in a potentially deadly accident.
- A third party could be a parts manufacturer, who would be liable if a defective part caused the accident, or an outsourced mechanic who failed to conduct a routine inspection.
Determining liability is central to any personal injury case, and truck accidents can be complex if more than one party is liable. You could even need more than one lawsuit to hold all parties responsible.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Truck Accident Attorney
The damages from a truck accident can be extensive, sometimes resulting in long-lasting physical and financial repercussions. As a result, getting to a fast and fair settlement can be challenging, especially if you do not have legal representation. To ensure you have the best chance of recovering your losses, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Mike Morse Law Firm, we investigate your accident, collect the evidence you need to prove your claim, and start negotiating with the insurance company immediately. Liability in a truck accident case can be complex, and you do not want to short-change yourself to get compensation faster. We can help you avoid that. Instead, we work vigorously at protecting your rights while you concentrate on healing your body and getting your life back. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm today for your free case evaluation. Call 855-MIKE-WINS or chat with us online. You pay nothing unless we win your case.