If you’ve been in a truck accident, you may be wondering what to expect in the coming months. Maybe you’ve contacted a truck accident attorney and are awaiting your initial consultation or maybe you have not even made that first step. Please know that the longer you wait to contact a skilled truck accident lawyer, the more difficult it will be to fight your case.
Taking immediate action following a motor vehicle accident is crucial to your claim, and if you wait too long, a personal injury attorney simply will not be able to help you. Let’s take a look at what you can expect during the truck accident claim process. The more you know before taking that first step, the less nervous you will be about what to expect.
Timeline for Truck Accident Cases
With the holidays upon us, more and more people are traveling on U.S. roadways heading to loved ones’ homes for festivities. With an increase in the number of drivers on the road, there will also be an increase in the number of impaired drivers on the road. Many people, including truck drivers, are required to work through the holiday season, and some of hard-working men and women have been driving long hours and are exhausted.
It’s estimated that approximately 45,000 people are injured in auto accidents over Thanksgiving weekend every year, and the average number of daily car accidents increases 20% during Christmas and 31% over New Year’s. If you’re involved in a truck accident over the holidays or any time of year, you have a long, complicated, slow-moving, and often costly process ahead of you.
- After meeting with a personal injury attorney who handles complex truck accident cases, the attorney will go through what’s called a “case evaluation,” at which time there will be an assessment about what happened to evaluate your situation and determine whether negligence was involved on the part of the other driver.
- If you don’t seek legal representation you will have to negotiate with insurance companies yourself. Most people do not receive the compensation they need to cover their medical expenses and car repairs or replacement when they negotiate themselves. It’s best to contact an attorney who handles truck accidents to ensure you get what you deserve as you may have a long road ahead with medical bills and lost income.
- If the truck accident is not settled between insurance companies, your lawyer will have to file a personal injury claim, which requires carefully drafting a complaint that meets all legal requirements and filing with the courts in line with the laws of the state. The trucking company and any other parties then have the opportunity to refute your claims based on their own legal arguments.
- The next stage in the process is the “discovery” phase and involves collecting evidence from the opposing side to build your case. Your legal team will request documents, take depositions, and ask numerous questions of the other parties and their attorneys. During the discovery phase, each side gets a better idea of the facts of the case.
- Once evidence is gathered, your attorney will use that evidence in settlement negotiations with the other party’s lawyer, and you will likely avoid trial. Please keep in mind that over 90% of personal injury claims never make it to trial as they are settled during the negotiation phase of the process.
- In the unlikely case that your claim is not settled through negotiations, you will go to trial, and your truck accident attorney will fight your case.
The timeline for truck accident cases varies; some may take months while others may take years. The length of time needed to resolve your claim depends on many factors including:
- Severity of injuries
- Deaths involved
- How many parties are involved
- Whether truck had defective parts
- Whether driver was impaired
- Insurance coverage for the parties involved
If you’ve been in a truck accident, please contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to serve you.