Truck accidents are traumatizing. Most victims just want the entire process to be over as quickly as possible, so they can focus on their recovery and get on with their lives. Wanting to settle fast is understandable, especially when high expenses from mounting medical bills and lost wages come into account. However, sooner does not always mean better when it comes to truck accident cases.
Every accident claim is different. How long it takes truck accident cases to resolve depends on multiple factors. Truck accidents cause more critical injuries due to the size, weight, and increased distances these large vehicles require to stop, so they are prone to higher payouts. Care needs to be given to each step of the process to ensure you get a fair settlement. Understanding the separate elements of your case can give you a good idea about how long it will take to resolve.
Just as there is no average timeline for resolving trucking accident claims, there is also no average compensation. The total damages depend on the unique circumstances of the crash. The amount can range from zero, if the injured victim is found to be primarily at fault for the accident, to millions, especially if fatalities were involved. An experienced personal injury lawyer will give you a general idea of how much you may receive in a fair settlement after discussing the details of your accident with you.
Your attorney will be able to use their experience to estimate what will be an appropriate amount for your settlement based on the following factors:
Another consideration for truck accident compensation is your pain and suffering. These damages include both the physical and mental effects of the accident. So, pain and decreased ability from your injuries, and also emotional distress, anxiety, stress, and humiliation from loss of autonomy, to name a few. Demonstrating how your injuries have changed your daily life will prove pain and suffering.
Insurance adjusters sometimes try to talk to accident victims immediately after the accident. They may even try to get a signed statement. You should not speak to them or sign anything without obtaining legal counsel from an experienced personal injury lawyer knowledgeable in truck accidents.
Truck accident claims are complex, but an experienced truck accident attorney can help you understand the components of a truck accident claim, including:
Determining who is guilty of causing the accident takes a thorough investigation. Legal Dictionary defines liability as the legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions. It also describes negligence as the failure to give the degree of care that an ordinary person would have in the same situation to prevent causing harm to others. The investigation of the accident is to find all negligent parties and to hold them liable for their part in the accident. Victims who have been injured in truck accidents have the right to seek financial compensation from the negligent party.
Proving negligence can be a complex process. There may be multiple parties that can be held liable for the collision. The truck driver and the trucking company are both found to be negligent in most cases.
Your personal injury lawyer and the insurance companies will independently want to investigate the details of your crash. Insurance companies often try to blame other parties for part of the accident to limit their own liability. They even try to blame the injured victims of the collision. They take extra time to determine the percentage of fault for each party. Personal injury lawyers will also look into the evidence to make sure claims are filed against all the negligent parties.
Trucking accident cases typically involve the trucking company. Their insurance policies are incredibly high, usually over one million dollars, in order to protect both the driver and the company. Insurance companies fight to protect themselves against paying high amounts to anyone who may be trying to take advantage of these high coverages.
The insurance company takes time to ensure that the details of your case are correct and search for ways to lessen their payout amount. Your lawyer will also be exploring every possible avenue as a source of damages to include in your claim. This process also takes time, but it is well worth the wait to be sure you get everything you are entitled to receive.
Medical expenses are often the highest source of damages in a truck accident claim. The total cost of your healthcare related to the collision directly depends on the extent of your injuries. Truck accidents often result in serious injuries requiring long recovery times and extensive treatment. The best way to know how much you can claim for medical-related damages is to wait until your treatment is complete. How much time this takes depends on your unique situation. The state of Missouri has a statute of limitations of five years for filing truck accident claims, as stated in Section 516.120 of the Missouri Code. If your claim involves a government agency, you must initiate legal proceedings within ninety days of the accident. Claims for future medical treatment can also be made when necessary to meet any deadlines, but waiting provides a more accurate account of your expenses. It’s essential to be as precise as possible, so the insurance company can not argue this part of your claim.
Some examples of medical expenses include:
Each of these expenses must be directly related to your injuries from the truck accident. A prompt medical examination after the accident is prudent to evade future complications with the insurance company as they may try to argue that your injuries are from events succeeding the accident. The insurer may also reject the severity of your injuries or state that the treatment was excessive. Doctors’ statements and your personal injury lawyer can help you through these arguments. Recovery time varies, and waiting until you have been released from the doctor’s care is best to ensure all medical expenses are accounted for in your claim. Your lawyer can also help you waive some medical fees until after your settlement.
Insurance companies will often offer a tempting initial settlement to lessen the time it takes to get compensation. This offer is usually low and sometimes will not be enough to cover all the damages in your claim. They hope to rush you through the process before you know how much compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will be able to determine whether or not any settlement offers are worth considering. They will also be able to negotiate for you. It is wise to take your time with the process and trust your lawyer’s advice.
After your truck accident claim is filed and the insurance company has responded with a low offer, your lawyer will begin negotiations. The length of time this part of the process takes depends on how catastrophic your injuries were, the amount of medical documentation you have, if there were any fatalities, and whether you were partially at fault for the accident.
In order to be eligible for damages, you must hold less than half of the responsibility for causing the accident. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you are not assigned an unfair amount of blame just to lessen the liability of the trucking company. Most settlements are achieved at this stage.
Experience is imperative when choosing a personal injury lawyer for your trucking accident case. These lawyers already know what will be an appropriate settlement for your situation, and they know what juries will decide as well. You always have the right to a jury trial if you choose not to settle, but you can trust your lawyer’s advice on how to proceed.
Accident victims with legal representation receive much larger settlements than people who try to handle their own cases, and the difference surpasses the cost of legal fees. Personal injury lawyers know whether or not your case should go to trial and will make sure you and your case are ready. Good lawyers will always be honest with you and will tell you if you need a lawyer to handle your claim. They will give you a free consultation and answer your questions about how to proceed with your case.
With Goldblatt + Singer, you can rest easy knowing that your case is being handled by experienced attorneys who know all the ins and outs of truck accident claims. Contact our skilled team of lawyers for a free consultation at (314) 231-4100. Our legal assistance comes at no cost to you until we achieve a fair settlement or verdict in your case.
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