Jason Stephens | August 23, 2022 | Truck Accidents
Thousands of people are injured or killed in 18-wheeler accidents each year. Roughly 70% of those individuals are occupants of other vehicles. Tragically, large truck accidents cause devastating injuries for accident victims, which results in significant financial losses, pain, and suffering.
Waiting for a final settlement for an 18-wheeler accident can seem to take forever. Technically, you can settle a personal injury claim whenever you agree to a settlement offer. However, settling your truck accident claim too soon could result in a much lower settlement than you deserve.
It could take months or even years to settle a personal injury case involving a commercial truck accident, depending on many different factors.
Factors That Impact How Long It Takes to Settle a Truck Accident Claim
The timeline for settling a truck accident case depends on many factors. Each claim and collision is unique. Therefore, it is unwise to base your case on another case.
Minor car accident cases that do not involve traumatic injuries or disputes regarding liability could settle within a few weeks after the victim recovers fully from their injuries. However, truck accident cases are much more complex.
Factors that impact how long it takes to settle an 18-wheeler accident case include:
The Severity of Your Injuries
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that could take months or more than a year to recover.
Truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Severe disfigurement and burns
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Loss of bodily functions, sight, and hearing
- Back and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries and nerve damage
Settling your claim before you reach maximum medical improvement is not wise. Until your doctor states that you have completed medical treatment, you cannot know the extent of your injuries. Furthermore, if you sustained permanent impairments or disabilities, you could be entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars for future economic and non-economic damages.
How Much is Your Claim Worth?
Cases involving high dollar amounts for damages take longer to settle. The insurance company will attempt to decrease its liability for the claim. Therefore, it will spend more time investigating the cause of the accident to dispute liability and damages.
Multiple Parties Could Be Liable
Truck accident cases often involve multiple parties. These accidents commonly involve several vehicles.
The potential parties who could be liable for your damages include:
- The truck driver and trucking company
- Other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists
- Road crews and government entities
- Loaders and shippers
- Repair and maintenance facilities
- Truck and part manufacturers and distributors
Sorting out liability for the claim takes time, especially when the parties and their insurance providers dispute liability and try to shift blame for the cause of the truck accident to the other parties. A thorough truck accident investigation must be conducted to identify the cause of the truck crash and gather evidence proving causation and fault.
In some cases, federal and state agencies may be involved in the truck accident investigation. Additionally, your attorney might need to hire accident reconstructionists and other experts to assist with the investigation.
The Insurance Company May Push to Settle Quickly
An insurance company may make a quick settlement offer. It is not in your best interest to accept the offer until you talk with a Fort Worth truck accident lawyer.
The settlement offer might appear generous, so it is tempting to accept the offer. However, the insurance adjuster knows that you have been out of work, expenses are piling up, and you need the money to pay bills. It is common for the insurance company to take advantage of the situation to significantly undervalue the claim and pay only a fraction of the value to the victim.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Truck Accident
Most accident claims settle without filing a lawsuit or going to trial. However, some cases do not end through settlement negotiations. When the other parties refuse to negotiate a settlement in good faith, you might have no choice but to file a lawsuit and pursue the matter in court.
Unfortunately, filing a lawsuit lengthens the timeline to resolve an 18-wheeler accident case. The case might not go to trial until more than a year after filing the lawsuit. However, going to trial might be the best option for recovering the money you deserve in a truck accident case.
Patience Can Result in a Much Higher Settlement Amount in an 18-Wheeler Accident Case
You may need to settle your personal injury claim as quickly as possible. However, you might lose a significant amount of money if the insurance company convinces you to settle your truck accident claim too soon. It’s best to consult an experienced truck accident attorney to determine if the offer fairly compensates you for the full extent of your damages.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107