We have settled a large number of semi-truck accident cases throughout Indiana and we often receive a common question from our callers involved in these accidents:
"Will my case take longer because it involved a semi-truck?"
The answer to this question will always depend on the details of your particular incident, however, there are a few general factors that you can use to help understand why a semi-truck injury claim may take longer to settle than one not involving a big-rig.
A Thorough Liability Investigation Is a Critical First Step
It is not uncommon for an insurance company to try and place a portion of fault on the victim even when they have zero liability. To ensure fault is properly assigned to the semi-truck driver and the trucking company, these claims often see the insurance company and the plaintiff's law firm engage in a series of complex liability investigations.
In most instances, the truck accident lawyers of Keller & Keller will often place a physical hold on the semi-truck so that evidence does not disappear. This allows our attorneys to take as much time as they need to appropriately investigate physical damage as well as look for signs of any possible defects related to the semi-truck.
A professional legal investigation can increase the amount of time it takes to settle a case, but it also unveils critical information that ultimately ensures a victim receives fair compensation for the injuries they sustained as well as their pain and suffering.
Insurance Policies for Semi-Trucks Are Often Very Large
It's not uncommon for a semi-truck to carry insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million or more, and the aggressive tactics an insurance company will use to defend their driver and the trucking company is often a result of the substantial amount of coverage that exists on these policies.
In addition to the much higher minimal requirements associated with semi coverage, there is also a very real possibility that multiple defendant policies exist. For instance, a semi-truck may have a $1 million policy that covers the truck as well as another $1 million that covers the trailer attached to the truck.
Because damages are often serious in these cases, your attorney will work to uncover every possible source of recovery, and properly locating all of the applicable policies for a semi-truck company can be more time-consuming than in other accidents.
Your Injuries and Medical Treatment Will Affect the Length of Your Claim
Often, the biggest factor associated with the amount of time it takes to settle a semi-truck accident case will be related to the extent of your injuries and type of medical treatment required to restore your health.
Personal injury cases are typically resolved once the victim has fully recovered, and because an accident with a semi-truck is more likely to cause traumatic injuries, the treatment and recovery period will often take much longer, increasing the length of time the case takes to settle.
It may be tempting to try and settle your claim while still treating or experiencing pain, but this is never advisable. Only after the doctors release a person from their care will a victim and/or their attorney have a clear picture of their total injuries, allowing them to then make a determination of what the semi-truck injury claim is worth.
Negotiations With the Insurance Company Take Time
Unless the case goes to trial, this is the final step in the settling of a semi-truck injury claim, and it can also be a common source of delay. The amount of time negotiations take will largely depend on three factors:
- Liability findings. If it's determined that you are partially at fault for the accident, this will negatively affect the overall value of your claim and may require additional time for your attorney to negotiate.
- Summary of medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries, there may be an extensive amount of medical documentation for the insurance company to review.
- Amount of available insurance. If the victim is left with traumatic, life-altering injuries, or the case involves a wrongful death, the time it takes to negotiate may be minimized. For example, each state has specific wrongful death laws that dictate how much a person's particular estate can be awarded, and in the event that a death occurs, the full amount under state law is often simply issued.
Contact Us to Learn More About How We Can Help Your Truck Accident Claim
If you were involved in a semi-truck accident anywhere in Indiana and have questions about the amount of time your case may take to settle, please give us a call at 1-800-253-5537 so that we can help you determine how long your semi-truck accident case may take to settle.
We offer victims of semi-truck accidents a Zero Fee Guarantee, meaning there is never a cost to speak to or hire Keller & Keller and the only way we are paid for our legal services is if a recovery is made on your behalf.