How Long Does it Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Claim in Utah?
You want compensation for your injuries as soon as possible after a semi truck accident. However, unique elements in every truck accident claim make it difficult to know just how long your case will take. Waiting for the money you need is frustrating, but patience is the key to maximizing your compensation.
So just how long will it take to settle your claim? The personal injury lawyers at Swenson & Shelley give you a general idea about how long a truck accident claim might take. If you’d like a more accurate appraisal of your unique case, give us a call today to speak with a Utah truck accident lawyer.
What Factors Affect the Timeline of a Commercial Truck Accident Settlement?
“How long does an insurance claim take?” is one of the most common questions we receive from our clients. Unfortunately, the answer is, “It depends.” No two truck accident cases are the same, making it difficult to estimate how long any particular case might take. Some of the factors that can affect how long your case will take may include the following:
- The extent of your injuries – The more severe your injuries are, the more money you can demand in a semi truck accident claim. At the same time, insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for your injuries. If you sustained severe injuries in a truck crash, the insurance company is more likely to dispute your claim to save itself money. Your lawyer may advise you to wait until you have fully recovered before trying to determine the value of your case.
- Questions about liability – The more iron-clad your evidence, the stronger your case will be, and the quicker it should be resolved. But if multiple parties share blame for the crash or the evidence shows you may have contributed to the accident, your case could take significantly longer.
- The extent and complexity of insurance coverage – Trucking companies usually have significant insurance policies to protect them from expensive liability in a crash. However, these policies are often complicated. Also, different policies may apply, depending on who owns which components of the truck. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney might need to conduct substantial research and file several claims to pursue the full amount you deserve.
Determining Liability Is a Critical First Step
Your attorney’s first step in your semi truck accident claim is identifying who caused the crash. They will look at your medical records, crash scene photos, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence to identify anyone responsible for your injuries. Some of the potentially liable parties in a semi-truck accident include:
- The truck driver – Semi-truck drivers might be liable for crashes if they were speeding, impaired, distracted, breaking traffic laws, or otherwise careless.
- The trucking company – A trucking company may be liable for the actions of its employee. It could also be directly liable if it hired a driver with a poor safety record or if the driver lacked the necessary qualifications to operate a truck. The trucking company also could be responsible for a crash if it failed to monitor the truck driver for dangerous behaviors like impaired driving or speeding.
- Maintenance workers – Semi-trucks have strict maintenance requirements to stay in good working order and reduce the chances of accidents. A maintenance crew could be liable if the accident was caused by its failure to perform necessary repairs.
- Cargo loaders – If a truck’s cargo is not secured and balanced correctly, the trailer can become unstable when the truck is in motion. Cargo loaders may be liable for a semi-truck crash if their actions made the truck unsafe and led to the accident.
- Vehicle and parts manufacturers – In some cases, a truck driver cannot avoid a crash because a critical component breaks or fails during operation. If a defective part caused a truck crash, whoever made the truck or the faulty part may be liable for your injuries.
How Long Is the Settlement Negotiation Process?
Each truck accident case is unique, so there’s no set timeline for the settlement negotiation process. In many cases, it takes several months for the parties involved in a commercial truck accident settlement to reach an agreement. However, it could be a year or longer before you see compensation if your truck accident case is complicated or goes to trial. A quick settlement is not always a full and fair settlement. The settlement negotiation process is much easier when you have a knowledgeable truck accident attorney on your side. Our team will fight for every dollar you deserve.
Is it Worth Going to Court for My Truck Accident Case?
Taking a truck accident case to court can be worth it if the liable party will not agree to a reasonable settlement. However, trials can be risky for both parties. Your lawyer can explain the benefits and drawbacks of a trial before they file a lawsuit. The stronger your case, the more likely it is that your lawyer will be able to settle your case for a fair amount.
Don’t Accept the First Settlement Offer
Insurance companies often drag out truck accident cases to make victims feel desperate and more likely to accept a low settlement. For this reason, do not accept an insurance company’s first settlement offer without talking to a lawyer. There is a good chance that if you stay patient and remain at the negotiation table, you can recover more compensation for your injuries.
Insurance Policies for Semi-Trucks Are Often Very Large in Utah
Federal regulations require commercial trucking companies transporting nonhazardous property across state lines to have at least $750,000 in liability insurance. Utah has adopted similar limits for commercial vehicles traveling strictly within the state. The minimum level of liability insurance increases for trucks that transport hazardous substances and oil. Depending on the cargo being transported, insurance minimums could be as high as $5 million.
How Our Utah Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
The Utah truck accident attorneys of Swenson & Shelley can help your case by:
- Gathering evidence to establish liability
- Filing your claim quickly and correctly to avoid mistakes
- Documenting all your injuries and financial losses from the accident
- Handling settlement negotiations with the liable parties and their insurers
If someone else is to blame for your injuries, they owe you compensation. Let us help you demand it. Contact Swenson & Shelley today for a free consultation with one of our experienced truck accident attorneys.