You might be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you were injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver in Arizona. Like many clients, you may wonder how long it will take to settle your claim.
Unfortunately, even an experienced personal injury attorney cannot predict how long it will take to settle your truck crash case. These cases are much more complicated than other motor vehicle claims because the injuries victims suffer are more severe, and the value of a claim can be significantly higher.
However, several factors can make settling a truck collision claim take longer than you might expect. Understanding these factors can help you better understand how long it could take to reach a settlement with the insurance company in your case.
#1: Investigation Into the Truck Crash’s Cause
It can take much longer to determine the cause of a truck collision than an auto wreck. Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules, there must be a thorough investigation into why the crash happened. In many cases, a truck driver’s and trucking company’s violations of FMCSA regulations designed to prevent a truck accident are violated.
Your lawyer would also investigate the cause of your crash and collect the evidence you need to prove your case. This will help them determine all liable parties, such as the truck driver, trucking company, shipping company, truck maintenance company, and more. Helpful evidence that your attorney may obtain includes the following:
- Police report
- Photos and video of the crash scene
- Statements of the trucker, eyewitnesses, and you
- Black box data and in-truck camera footage
- Trucker’s logbook and receipts
- Truck maintenance records
- Truck driver’s personnel file
- Drug and alcohol testing results
- Shipping documents
#2: Insurance Coverage
Your lawyer would review the insurance policies for all parties whose negligence caused the truck accident to determine the amount of insurance coverage there is to compensate you. It is essential to find out this information before you settle your claim to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement.
#3: Severity of Your Injuries
You could suffer long-term injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, paralysis, spinal and back injury, amputation, or organ damage that could require expensive medical treatments and long periods of time off work—if you do not become permanently disabled. This can increase the value of your claim significantly. The insurance company is more likely to fight harder and longer to deny your claim or try to pay you less than you deserve in your settlement when your injuries are more severe.
#4: Your Medical Recovery
You should not settle your case until you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the phase of your medical treatment where you fully recover or recover as much as possible, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis.
It could take you months or longer to reach this stage in your treatment, especially if you suffered multiple injuries—common in truck accidents. However, you cannot know the amount of future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages you should receive until you reach your MMI.
#5: Settlement Negotiations
Settling your claim could also be slow if the insurance company argues about their insured’s liability, the seriousness of your injuries, or the damages you seek. Your attorney may need to collect more evidence or hire expert witnesses to resolve the disputes before settling your claim.
If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to file a lawsuit, will expire soon, your attorney would need to file a lawsuit for you and litigate your case. While your claim will most likely be settled before your jury trial date, it could take a year or longer to resolve your claim.
Were you or a family member injured in a truck crash in Flagstaff or Northern Arizona? Our knowledgeable truck accident lawyers can gather the evidence you need, value your claim, and go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve and need. Call our Flagstaff office at 928-226-0165 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about how we can assist you.