How long it takes for a truck accident claim to settle depends on several factors. Each truck accident claim will be different from the next, which means each claim will settle on a unique timeline.
Factors that may affect the length of time it takes to reach a truck accident settlement can include everything from the statute of limitations to the nature of your injuries and other damages.
Truck Accident Personal Injury Claims Take Time
After a truck accident, victims are often left with medical expenses, time off work, and other personal impacts.
Getting compensation from a truck accident claim can take time, and this is not a process you want to rush. Settling early could mean accepting a low settlement offer that is less than you deserve.
Giving your claim the time it needs may help you reach a favorable settlement that accurately reflects the value of the damages you incurred from the truck accident.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Factors that Affect the Time it Takes to Reach a Settlement
Factors that may affect the time it takes to settle a truck accident claim include how the truck accident happened, your involvement, the truck driver’s negligence, how the accident has impacted your life, and more.
The following factors are some of the components that may impact the settlement timeframe:
Supporting a truck accident claim requires evidence. This evidence can come in many forms, such as documentation, the police report, and eyewitness statements, amongst others.
The process of collecting evidence can take time. As a truck accident lawyer from our firm begins to build your claim, they may find they need other forms of evidence, which can make this task take even longer.
One of the biggest components of truck accident claims is determining liability, or who can be held accountable for the accident. Showing that someone else can be held liable for the accident is crucial to helping you receive compensation. However, demonstrating liability will take some time.
While you may believe the truck driver is obviously liable for your injuries, several other parties may share liability in your case, such as:
- The trucking company
- The team that loaded the cargo in the truck
- The truck manufacturer
- A truck mechanic or inspector
- A government agency or contractor
- Another third party
Equally as important as proving liability in a truck accident claim is demonstrating negligence—in other words, you must show that the liable party was negligent at the time of the accident and this negligence resulted in your injuries.
To prove negligence, you or your lawyer would need to establish:
- Duty of care. This means the truck driver or other liable party owed you the responsibility to act in a way that would keep you free from harm, accident, or injury.
- Breach of duty of care. This means the liable party violated the aforementioned duty of care. Some examples of this would be a driver texting, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failing to observe traffic laws.
- Causation. By breaching their duty of care, the liable party caused an accident in which you were injured and/or experienced property damage.
- Damages. Because of the accident, you experienced financial losses. These losses may include damage to property, medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation or therapy needs, and reduced future earning capacity.
The presence of negligence means that the liable party will be responsible for paying you damages. Because negligence is so important to securing compensation, proving it takes time and should not be rushed.
The insurance company representing the truck driver or trucking company will take the necessary time for inquiries, inspections, and negotiations. This can be a lengthy process.
Trucking companies may purchase separate insurance policies for their drivers, rigs, and trailer or hauling equipment (if applicable). If myriad insurance policies are involved in the process, it could further lengthen the time it takes to manage the intake portion of the claim.
Statute of Limitations
Every case has a statute of limitations, or a time limit for filing. For truck accident cases in Louisiana, the personal injury statute of limitations is one year, according to Louisiana Civil Code § 3492. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you also have just one year to file a wrongful death case, per Louisiana Civil Code §2315.2.
The statute begins on the day of the truck accident, the date you discover your injuries, or the date of your loved one’s death. If you are unsure what the deadline is in your unique case, you can discuss this subject with your lawyer.
Submitting Your Case
If you decide to file a lawsuit, your truck accident case must be submitted in writing to the courts through the proper channels and include all required documentation.
If your claim does not have all the requirements when you file, it may be denied until you can submit these documents. This could draw out your overall claim-filing time and how long it takes your truck accident claim to settle.
Other Factors That May Affect Truck Accident Claims
Some other factors may not directly affect the time it takes to settle your claim, but can affect your claim in general. These include the following:
The Extent of Your Injuries
Accidents involving large commercial trucks often result in greater vehicle damage and more significant injuries because of the larger sizes of tractor-trailer, delivery, or other trucks.
You do not have to have serious injuries to seek compensation in a truck accident claim; however, more serious injuries may require extensive damages, since these injuries can require long-term care or recovery time.
When it is time to file your claim, you will want to include any medical expenses you incurred from the accident and any projected medical bills you may have from the accident.
Types of Damages
Damages are the compensation you receive for how the accident has impacted your life. You could receive compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Disability or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
If you lost a loved one in the accident, you may be able to recover additional damages, such as:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of household income
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of inheritance
Louisiana operates on a policy of comparative negligence. According to Louisiana Civil Code § 2323, this means any damages you receive may be reduced if you had any fault in the accident.
For example, maybe you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time a distracted truck driver struck you. If you had been wearing your seatbelt, your injuries likely would have been less severe. So, in this case, the insurance company or a jury decided you are 30 percent at fault for your injuries.
If you win your case and receive $100,000 in damages, this reward would be reduced by 30 percent, leaving you with just $70,000. Sharing fault in your accident can obviously have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you can recover, so you may want to seek help from a lawyer to ensure your portion of fault (if any) is evaluated fairly.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Truck Accident Case
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our personal injury lawyers have over 100 years of combined legal experience. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients in Lafayette, Alexandria, Marksville, New Orleans, and surrounding areas in Louisiana.
If you have been in a truck accident, we want to help you get the financial award you need to pay your medical bills and compensate you for your pain and suffering and the emotional trauma you have endured. Whether you were injured or you lost a loved one in a truck accident, we are ready and waiting to help you with your case.
Get Help with Filing a Truck Accident Claim Today
You may be eager to settle your truck accident claim and receive much-needed compensation to pay for medical bills and lost wages while you are healing from their injuries. However, it is never a good idea to settle before every effort has been made to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
A truck accident lawyer from our firm will do just that. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to learn more.