Being injured in a truck accident can be devastating. If you plan to seek compensation from the at-fault party after the crash, it is critical to lay the groundwork for your claim right away. The longer you wait, the longer it could take for you to recover the money you need for your medical bills and other expenses.
At Swenson & Shelley, we care about your well-being and swift access to justice. Here’s what you need to know about truck accident claims in Utah.
How Long Do I Have to Submit an Insurance Claim?
Check your auto insurance policy for any notification requirements after an accident. Many insurers require filing “promptly” or “within a reasonable amount of time” after a crash, while others may have more specific deadlines.
However, there is a timeframe you must follow to file a truck accident lawsuit. In Utah, the statute of limitations gives you four years from the date of the accident to file a suit. Missing the deadline could bar you from receiving compensation forever, so talk to an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
What is the Truck Accident Claims Process?
State law requires every driver to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance with a minimum of $3,000 in coverage. You must file a claim with your PIP insurer before demanding compensation from the truck driver, trucking company, or other liable parties.
You can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy if your injury meets Utah’s serious injury threshold. That means your injury results in one or more of these outcomes:
- Permanent disfigurement
- Bone fracture
- Permanent impairment or disfigurement based on objective findings
- Medical bills over $3,000
Motor carriers must purchase liability coverage for every commercial motor vehicle in their fleet. If the truck driver or their employer is at fault for the collision and you meet the injury threshold requirement, you can file a claim with the motor carrier’s insurance provider.
Why Do Insurance Companies Take So Long to Pay Out?
The insurance company might take a while before paying your claim, especially if they don’t want to accept liability for the accident. Insurers often look for reasons to deny claims to save money and protect their profits.
Truck accident cases are complex. Even if liability is clear, investigating the crash and determining the amount of a settlement offer takes time. You don’t want to rush it. Because truck accidents often result in serious injuries, you want to ensure that you get a fair sum that accounts for all your losses.
The most common factors that affect the timing of an insurance payout include:
- Multiple parties – Truck accidents involve multiple drivers and, potentially, numerous insurance companies. Sometimes, the driver or trucking company isn’t at fault. A cargo loading company or maintenance company could be responsible for the crash. Identifying all liable parties can take a while, delaying the claims process.
- Insurance policies – The insurance company must review its policy to determine what it covers. It might adjust the settlement amount or reject your initial demand, requiring ongoing negotiations.
- Shared fault – An insurance company won’t pay a claim without looking for evidence of shared fault. They likely won’t offer full compensation if you’re partially responsible for the collision. Shared fault also affects lawsuits. Under Utah’s comparative negligence law, a jury can reduce your financial award by your percentage of fault. You’re barred from financial recovery if you are 50 percent or more to blame for an accident.
- Disputed evidence – Insurers won’t accept claims without reviewing the evidence. They will conduct their own investigations to look for inaccuracies or inconsistencies. An insurer might disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis or expert testimony pointing to their policyholder as liable for the crash.
Contact an Experienced Utah Truck Accident Attorney Now
You don’t have to go through the truck accident claims process alone. The lawyers at Swenson & Shelley can help hold the responsible party accountable for your injury and demand the compensation you deserve.
Call or contact us online if you suffered injuries in a Utah truck accident due to someone else’s negligence. The first consultation is free.