Semi-truck accident lawsuits often settle before going to trial. While this means avoiding an expensive and potentially drawn-out court trial, it doesn’t necessarily mean a quick resolution.
Accidents involving semi trucks can take longer to settle than you might expect. This type of accident often leads to severe injuries, extensive property damage, and the involvement of multiple parties. Given these factors, the average semi-truck accident settlement may be more than that from an accident between two passenger cars. And more money at play typically means reluctance on the part of insurance companies and trucking companies to pay you what you deserve, leading to longer negotiations.
Involving a commercial vehicle accident lawyer in your accident case can help to make the process go more quickly, but there’s still no guarantee that your lawsuit will settle as quickly as you’d like. Here’s what to expect from the settlement process if you’ve been injured in an accident with a semi truck.
Factors That Can Delay a Commercial Vehicle Settlement
There are many factors that can make a commercial vehicle settlement difficult, sometimes drawing out the process for years.
- The severity of your injuries. The impact of being hit by an 80,000-pound truck can lead to serious injuries to your spine, brain, bones, or other areas. These injuries can require long recovery periods and even surgery. Until you’ve fully healed and have a good sense of the damages you’ve incurred, determining a fair settlement amount is challenging. On the other hand, if you sustain a relatively minor injury that heals without surgery, it may be easier to establish a settlement amount more quickly.
- Who is liable for the accident. It’s not always clear who is liable in a semi-truck auto accident. There are many potential parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, other drivers, and third parties. Determining actual liability may mean having to recreate the scene of the accident, interview witnesses, and get expert testimony. It also means negotiating with insurance providers and trucking companies that want to absolve themselves of any liability so they don’t have to pay out a claim.
- How many parties are involved. The more people involved in an accident, the longer it can take to settle a lawsuit. It also means more paperwork, more coordination, and more negotiations for your commercial vehicle accident lawyer. Negotiating with multiple parties can also make it difficult to come to a suitable truck accident settlement and verdict because they may try to blame each other (or you) for the accident.
What Is the Average Semi-Truck Accident Settlement?
With so many variables, it’s not easy to determine the average semi-truck accident settlement. Accidents with more extensive injuries and damages are likely to have a much higher settlement amount, but you must also take into account the number of parties involved, who is liable, insurance payout limits, and a variety of other factors.
When a trucking company is determined to be liable, truck accident settlements and verdicts may end up being higher than when only an off-the-clock truck driver is found responsible for your injuries. The settlement may also be higher if the accident led to a long-term injury like paralysis or amputation, or involved a wrongful death.
When you’ve been in a semi-truck auto accident, an FVF truck accident lawyer in Austin can consider all of the factors in your specific case and give you a ballpark figure of what your average semi-truck accident settlement may be. They will review all of your medical expenses, any property damage, and insurance policies of all involved parties to make an informed estimate.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident?
So how long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident? It really depends on how quickly all of the necessary evidence is gathered, how complex the accident was, and how willing all parties are to negotiate. It can take months just for an insurance company to do its initial investigation of a semi-truck auto accident, and additional time to sort out the relevant insurance policies.
Once a lawsuit is filed, your Austin truck accident lawyer must investigate the defendant’s defenses, get depositions from witnesses, and plan a legal strategy. Doing all of these takes time, especially if witnesses are uncooperative or new evidence comes to light.
Trying to work out a suitable commercial vehicle settlement that everyone agrees upon can mean a lot of negotiating and mediation. Because your commercial vehicle accident lawyer is there to represent your best interests and get you as much compensation as possible, they won’t be willing to settle for an amount they deem unfair. This can prolong the process of settling but also result in a higher payout for you.
How FVF Can Help
You are never required to hire a commercial vehicle accident lawyer following an accident, but doing so will likely help you get a higher-than-average semi-truck accident settlement. You may be tempted to take a lower settlement than you’re entitled to simply to be done with the experience and move on. But attempting to negotiate with trucking companies and insurance carriers on your own can mean losing out on a lot of compensation.
At FVF, we have years of experience negotiating truck accident settlements and verdicts with difficult parties. We won’t stop until we know we’re getting you what you deserve — or more. We understand the challenges of settling a semi-truck auto accident lawsuit and know what steps to take to make the process go more quickly and smoothly.
We’ll never pressure you to hire us, but we can offer you guidance and education on how difficult your case may be to settle and what your settlement value may be. Contact us today to schedule a free, remote consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Austin.