The amount of time that it takes to settle a semi-truck accident will depend on the facts of the situation. You and your lawyer might be ready to settle the case, but some of the factors that can affect the settlement timeline are not within our control.
The Accident Investigation
In every semi-truck accident case that we handle at S. Burke Law, we work to prove who caused the accident. We review the law enforcement accident report to ensure its accuracy. If you inform us that something in the report is incorrect, we can look for evidence like eyewitnesses or security camera footage that establishes what happened.
After you complete your medical treatment, we will gather your medical records and assess the extent and severity of your injuries. We will explore whether you have residual impairment from the crash.
When you get back to work, we can get documents from your employer to establish the amount of income you lost because of the truck accident. After catastrophic injuries, you might not be able to go back to work. In that situation, we can work with experts who can testify about how your injuries affect your daily life and your ability to earn a living.
All of these activities are essential to building your case for compensation and can impact how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident case. Each step takes time. Some of the measures have to wait until other things happen, such as getting well or going back to work. This can affect how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident case.
Why You Should Not Settle Your Semi-Truck Accident Until You Finish Medical Treatment and Recuperate
It can be tempting to settle your accident injury claim as soon as possible, but you must resist the temptation to settle a semi-truck accident case before you have completed the healing process.
Let us say that your leg sustained multiple complex fractures in a semi-truck accident. You underwent several surgeries and went to physical therapy. You might want to settle your injury claim at this point, but you could regret doing so. If you settle the case while in physical therapy, you might later discover that you need another operation or that your leg will not heal to its previous state.
Once you settle, the insurer will not give you more money. You will have to pay for the surgery out of your pocket, because standard health insurance usually excludes motor vehicle accidents. You will not get any additional compensation for the disability you will have to endure for the rest of your life.
The Discovery Stage of an Injury Claim
Your lawyer and the defendant need to collect as much relevant information as they can to calculate the monetary value of your claim and prove who has the legal responsibility to pay your money damages. This portion of a claim or personal injury lawsuit is the discovery or pre-trial stage.
The plaintiff and defendant will exchange documents and interrogatories, which are written questions that the parties send to each other. The person who receives the interrogatories has to respond or object to each question in writing, under oath. Each round of interrogatories can take a month or so.
If the defendant takes your deposition, you will have to appear at a lawyer’s office in person. The court reporter will swear you in and take down or record all the things that you and the lawyers say. The lawyers will ask you questions about the accident, your injuries, and other relevant topics.
The discovery process can involve additional forms of sharing information and can also take months. However, this also impacts how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident case.
If the parties do not settle the semi-truck accident case after exchanging documents and other things, the injured person (plaintiff) might file a lawsuit.
The Court’s Timeline
Once a personal injury lawsuit gets filed, the court takes over much of the process. There can be motions hearings, settlement conferences, pre-trial conferences, and a trial. You might have to wait six months or more after exhausting settlement attempts to get a trial setting, depending on the judge’s calendar. We can continue negotiating with the defendant throughout this time.
When you finally get your day in court, you might have to wait months longer for the judge to write a decision about who won the case. Even then, if the party who did not get what they wanted is unhappy, they might file an appeal. Post-trial motions and appeals can add years to how long the case lasts.
How Your Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
You do not have to go through this stressful, complicated process alone. At S. Burke Law, we deal directly with the insurance company so that you do not have to do so. We treat our clients with compassion and work tirelessly to get our clients all the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (404) 842-7838 for a free consultation and to get information on how long it might take to settle a semi-truck accident case.