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

people watching as vehicle is towed away - how long does it take to settle a truck accident claim

Many factors can influence the timeline, but it often takes between six and 18 months to settle a truck accident claim. If you have been in a truck accident, seek medical attention immediately. This first step can protect your right to fair compensation by demonstrating a clear link between the accident and your injuries.

Once you have received medical treatment, contact Cordisco & Saile LLC for a free consultation. Our Pennsylvania truck accident attorneys can inform you of your legal options and help you begin pursuing compensation for your injuries.

Key Takeaways
  • Truck accident settlements often take six to 18 months, but some cases settle in more or less time.
  • Common steps in the truck accident claims process include determining liability, collecting evidence, calculating damages, sending a demand letter, and negotiating a settlement.
  • Various factors can influence how long an 18-wheeler lawsuit takes, such as disputes about liability, damages exceeding insurance policy limits, and cases that go to trial. 
  • Insurance companies often make quick settlement offers that are lower than what victims deserve. Pursuing fair compensation adds time to the process, but it’s often worth the wait.
  • Working with an attorney can take the burden of settlement negotiations off your shoulders and maximize your compensation while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Truck Accident Settlement Process

No two truck accident cases are identical, so the settlement process varies from case to case. However, most truck accident cases follow similar steps before settling.

Determining Liability

Liability is the foundation of any truck accident claim. To recover compensation, you must establish who is at fault for the truck accident and is financially responsible for your damages. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine liability. They will look at factors such as driver error, vehicle maintenance mistakes, improper loading, and any potential violations of trucking regulations. Liable parties may include the truck driver, trucking company, or even a third party responsible for maintenance or loading.

Collecting Evidence

Once your attorney knows who to hold liable, they will begin collecting evidence to support your case. Key proof may include black box data, witness statements, medical records, police reports, debris, vehicle damage, and photos or videos of the accident scene. This evidence will help prove that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.

Calculating Damages

Damages are the losses you suffered as a result of the accident. They may include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and more. Your attorney will work with you to determine the full extent of your past and future damages and calculate a fair amount for compensation.

Drafting and Sending a Demand Letter

Next, your attorney will draft a demand letter and send it to the defendant and their insurance company. This letter outlines your theory of liability, the compensation you seek, and the evidence supporting your claim.

Negotiating a Settlement

If the defense responds favorably to your demand letter, your attorney will enter into settlement negotiations. These talks involve a back-and-forth process where both parties attempt to reach a fair agreement for compensation. If both parties agree on a fair amount, your case will settle, and you will receive compensation without going to court. However, if you do need to file suit and litigate your claims, you may continue to pursue settlement negotiations throughout the case.

What Delays Truck Accident Settlements?

Each step of the claims process adds time to your truck accident settlement. While most factors are outside your control, a skilled truck accident lawyer can help minimize delays and keep your case moving forward.

Liability Disputes

Most defendants hesitate to assume liability, but some are even more resistant. If the defendant refuses to accept responsibility for your injuries, it can prolong the settlement process. They may argue that you were also at fault for the accident or that their negligence did not directly cause your injuries. Your attorney must submit additional evidence and arguments to counter these disputes, which can add considerable time to the case.

Failed Negotiations

Most semi-truck accident claims settle out of court. There are exceptions, however. If the defense is unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement, your attorney may advise taking the case to court. Preparing for trial requires additional time, and court backlogs can further delay the truck accident litigation process.

Policy Limit Issues

The defendant’s insurance policy may limit coverage for truck accidents. If your injuries exceed the policy’s limits, you may need to pursue other legal avenues to recover full compensation. This can include filing a claim against other liable parties or seeking damages from your own insurance company through underinsured motorist coverage. These additional steps can extend how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident.

Multiple Parties

Truck accident cases can involve multiple liable parties. Each party will likely have its own legal team and insurance coverage, which can complicate negotiations. Determining each party’s level of liability can also take additional time and require extensive investigation.

Beware of Quick Settlements by Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are profit-driven businesses, and paying what you deserve is not in their best interests. They may offer quick settlements that appeal to your need for immediate financial relief, but these initial offers are often far lower than what your case is worth. Accepting a speedy settlement may mean forfeiting your right to pursue further legal action, even if it turns out that your injuries are more severe than initially thought.

Avoid accepting a settlement offer without consulting an experienced attorney first. Obtaining a fair truck accident settlement may take longer, but it pays to be patient. The additional time spent negotiating can result in significantly higher compensation for your damages.

How Can Our Truck Accident Attorneys Help You?

Facing a truck accident injury is difficult enough—let Cordisco & Saile LLC handle the legal aspects of your case. Our nationally recognized team of attorneys has represented personal injury victims for 30 years and recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. When you turn to us, we’ll put that experience to work in your favor by:

  • Investigating your case
  • Collecting evidence to prove fault and liability
  • Consulting with medical experts to determine the full extent of your injuries
  • Negotiating aggressively with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Advocating for you in court if a settlement cannot be reached

Insurance companies know our clients mean business when they turn to our injury attorneys. They also know we will fight for a settlement that truly covers all the damages you’ve suffered.

If you have suffered an injury in a truck accident, don’t wait—contact us today at (215) 642-2335 for a free consultation.