As you might expect, many factors determine the time it takes to settle a truck accident claim. Personal injury cases are complex and require careful preparation and handling because a lot is at stake when you suffer severe and possible lifelong health effects. It is essential to allow enough time to understand the physical and financial costs related to your injuries.
An attorney has to balance issues related to your case with the need to keep things moving forward productively. This can be exceptionally difficult when truck accidents involve multiple parties and diverse legal questions. It is crucial to have experienced legal counsel to manage your case. Cellino Law is the New York firm you need when the negligent actions of a truck driver cause you harm. Your rights are important to us, and we work to get you the fair compensation you deserve.
What Are Factors That Affect the Time It Takes To Settle?
Before any determinations are made about settlements, you need to consult with an attorney. Delaying an initial case review can slow the entire legal process. Getting counsel immediately after a truck accident is essential so procedures are not bogged down unnecessarily. These other issues affect the time it takes to settle a case.
Conducting a Lengthy Investigation
Insurance companies do their best to pay as little as possible in a settlement. They use stall tactics to wear you down in hopes you accept a lowball offer to be done with the claims process. They slow investigations by trying to shift liability for your injuries to you.
This can lengthen inquiry times with additional research, analysis, and digging for information to address their assertions. Your attorney may have to gather these types of evidence from truckers, trucking companies, and other entities to prove your claim:
- Cargo pick-up and drop-off records
- Onboard computer information (GPS data)
- Video footage
- Accident reconstruction
- Alcohol and drug tests
The facts may be clear, but that rarely deters insurers from throwing everything they can at the wall hoping something sticks.
Doing Research on Insurance Policies
The more hours spent on the road, the greater the likelihood of an accident. This is why the amount of insurance coverage for truckers and trucking companies is high due to the nature of the work. However, insurance companies work to limit what you can recover for damages. They put their investigators to work, trying to find any information that can be used to disprove your claim.
Your attorney will need time to counter these actions by examining how your claim is rightfully covered under a policy. It can take additional time to do this research, but it matters if a settlement can be reached.
In New York, fault is determined using the pure comparative negligence system. Each party involved in a truck accident is assigned a percentage of fault, and damages are split among the parties by these percentages. As a plaintiff, even if you bear the greatest percentage of fault for your injury, you can still recover if you are not 100% responsible.
However, determining liability is where things get complicated in personal injury cases. There are many factors to consider, and legal teams for defendants do their best to place the blame on a plaintiff. Your attorney must be knowledgeable and skilled at negotiating these issues. It can be a protracted process pushing back on liability challenges.
Waiting on Medical Treatment Outcomes
The severity of your injuries plays a big part in the settlement process. Serious injuries take longer to heal, and it is essential to understand the full extent of your condition before determining a damage amount. It may require months of rehabilitation to get the whole picture.
When an attorney understands the scope of the damages you suffered from the accident, negotiations with insurance companies may lead to a settlement. If not, you will likely pursue a personal injury lawsuit to cover your economic losses and pain and suffering. Personal injury lawsuits require in-depth legal work, so you are prepared to take the case to trial if needed.
Proving negligence in a truck accident case is necessary to hold a person, company or entity responsible for your injury. Four elements must be met to have legal standing for a personal injury claim: duty, breach, causation and damages (harm). It is incumbent on you, as the plaintiff, to prove that negligence on the part of a driver was the direct cause of your injury.
Meeting the threshold for these criteria is difficult enough when there is one defendant in a case. A claim with multiple liable parties means exponentially more ground to cover to hold responsible parties accountable. More intensive research and investigation can add time to your case’s progression.
Dealing With Other Party Delays
Insurance companies aren’t the only parties that drag out the legal process. The sheer amount of back and forth on paperwork, communications, discovery processes and legal motions is daunting if there are multiple liable parties. While your attorney pushes to keep up the momentum, it takes cooperation from others to move forward in a reasonable timeframe.
Preparing for Trial
There is a significant amount of time that goes into the research and preparation for trial. While very few personal injury cases see the insides of courtrooms, many advance in this direction as defendants’ legal teams pull out all the stops to avoid responsibility and payouts. If your suit does move to trial, your attorney must be ready.
Handling Tough Settlement Negotiations
Negotiations over settlements can go on for some time. The more people involved, the more arduous the tasks. Part of what your attorney prepares you for is waiting on the best outcome. Patience is truly a virtue in legal matters. While delays can be frustrating, it is important to trust your attorney’s judgment to do what is right for you.
Making a Personal Choice
Ultimately, when settlement offers are being made, you have the choice to take what’s proposed. This can shorten or lengthen how long it takes to settle. Sometimes, the damage amount is close enough to make it worth proceeding to a payout.
In other situations, settling too soon for too little isn’t the right move, and a lawyer counsels you on the best course. Continuing with a case can take more time but may be in your best interests. However, the decision rests with you.
Get the Right Lawyer To Handle Your Truck Accident Claim
You have experience on your side when Cellino Law takes your case. For 60 years, people have trusted our firm to handle claims that profoundly affect their lives. Being in a truck accident is a terrible event, but what happens after is vital for your future. If someone is responsible for your injury, you have the right to seek damages to compensate for your losses.
The timeline to settle is different for every case. Our goal is to represent you to the fullest of our abilities and do what it takes to protect your rights. Our proven results over the many years of handling claims tell our story well. If you are worried and confused about where to turn, we are here to help. Contact us for a free case review.