Why Do Truck Accident Cases Take So Long to Settle?
Posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2022
Accidents between large trucks and passenger cars are often challenging to handle. Since commercial trucks, such as tractor-trailers, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and compact cars weigh around 3,000 pounds, it’s an instant mismatch. The smaller vehicle occupants typically sustain more severe injuries than the truck occupants.
Multiple parties could also be at fault for the crash. In an accident with a regular driver, you can file a claim with their auto insurance company. However, if the negligent motorist is a truck driver, various options might be available for seeking compensation. You could file a claim with the truck driver’s insurance company, pursue legal action against the motor carrier, or hold another party liable, such as a negligent truck part manufacturer.
Settling a truck accident case requires substantial evidence to prove what happened and a thorough knowledge of state laws. Below are the main reasons why truck accident cases often take longer to settle than other accident cases.
Severe and even life-threatening injuries can occur when an accident involves a commercial truck. The accident victim must seek ongoing medical treatment to heal. That means they can’t proceed with negotiating a settlement until they recover or heal enough to start settlement negotiations.
Additionally, some injuries are permanent, requiring future medical care and daily assistance with performing routine tasks. Calculating those costs can be challenging. The insurance company might need time to review the expenses to determine the amount of compensation they believe is fair. However, it often differs from the accident victim’s calculations.
Multiple Liable Parties
Besides serious injuries, truck accidents can involve various liable parties. If you waste your time seeking compensation from the wrong person, you must start the entire process over again and file a new claim.
It’s critical to know who is at fault for the crash, so you can hold the appropriate party accountable for their actions. Determining fault requires a thorough investigation, and it could take more time than you think.
Commercial trucks consist of hundreds of moving parts that must function correctly. Many people are responsible for loading cargo, operating the vehicle, maintaining the fleet, and repairing any damage. That means you could blame more than one person if the truck is in an accident.
The most common parties held liable for truck accidents include:
- Truck driver
- Maintenance company or worker
- Motor carrier
- Owner of the trailer, cab, or cargo
- Cargo loading company
- Manufacturer of the truck or part
Higher Case Value
Between the cost of medical treatment, car repairs, and other expenses, the value of a person’s truck accident case could reach six figures. An injury from a collision with a commercial truck can take months or years to heal. If future treatment is necessary long after the case ends, the accident victim needs compensation to cover future costs.
Working through every economic and intangible loss takes time. It’s crucial to review everything affecting the injured party’s settlement demand thoroughly. For example, if you become disabled from a crash, you might need a wheelchair to get around or construction on your home for easier accessibility.
Those bills are valuable and can help show the amount of money you need to pay for everything. However, you should also account for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and diminished quality of life. Placing value on these losses to increase the compensation you pursue could delay the progress of your case as you’re establishing the right amount and evidence to support those losses.
Experienced Insurance Companies
The insurance companies representing motor carriers have experience working on these types of insurance claims. They know how to investigate truck accidents and locate vital evidence to avoid accepting liability for their policyholders. Although you might think the insurer is on your side, their goal is to save money.
Saving money means the insurance carrier will likely look for evidence to shift blame from the motor carrier or truck driver to you. They could twist your words and use them against you to prove you were at fault for the crash. Or they might find eyewitnesses who remember the circumstances of the collision differently than you do.
Negotiating with the insurance company can be a long and frustrating process, especially if they refuse to settle for a fair amount or deny your claim entirely. You might have to file a lawsuit instead, which is another time-consuming legal procedure.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Call OnderLaw, LLC
The St. Louis truck accident lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC are ready to represent you in your case and fight for the justice you deserve. Our legal team will investigate the truck accident to determine fault and aggressively pursue the compensation owed to you. You can depend on us to be your advocate and provide the legal services necessary to hold the at-fault party liable for your injury.
If you suffered an injury in a truck accident due to someone’s negligence, call us at (314) 963-9000 for your free consultation to learn more about how we can help.