When a person sustains an injury caused by the negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, it may be necessary for them to file a civil lawsuit in order to recover compensation. It can take some time for these claims to resolve, but there are various factors that go into determining how long a truck accident settlement takes overall. Here, we want to discuss the nuances of these cases and examine why having an attorney could help shorten the time frame.
Will the Claim Settle With an Insurer?
The vast majority of truck accident settlements will reach a resolution with the insurance carrier(s) involved. Typically, this is the insurance carrier of the trucking company or the truck driver if they are an owner-operator of the vehicle.
When a claim is settled with the insurance carrier, this typically means that it will not take quite as long as it would if a personal injury lawsuit had to be filed. However, the insurance carriers are not always quick to payout a settlement. In fact, most insurance carriers will put up a fight from having to pay a fair settlement, and they could deny the claim altogether.
Before an insurance company settles a claim, they are going to conduct an investigation. If there is any dispute over fault for the incident, or if the insurance carrier sees a way that they can limit how much money they payout, this could significantly extend the timeframe for how long it takes a claim to settle.
When fault is relatively straightforward, a claim could be resolved within a few weeks or a few months after the incident occurs. In the event the insurance carrier puts up a fight, it could take multiple months or more than a year for the claim to resolve.
Filing a Civil Personal Injury Lawsuit
If an insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement or if they deny the claim, it may be necessary for the injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company directly. This puts the case into the civil court system, and it will also extend how long it takes the claim to resolve.
When a civil lawsuit is filed, the discovery process will commence. Attorneys for the injury victim and the defendant will exchange information. Negotiations often continue between both parties during the discovery process, particularly as more information about the case comes to light. Most claims that reach the lawsuit level are still resolved before they go all the way to a jury trial. However, this could take well over a year to occur, depending on how quickly the investigation proceeds.
In the event the defendant still refuses to offer a fair settlement after the truck accident occurs, it may be necessary to take the case in front of a jury. Sometimes, jury trials do not occur until years after the initial incident happens.
Working With an Attorney
It is critical to work with a skilled truck accident lawyer in Colorado who has extensive experience handling these claims. You need a lawyer by your side who has the resources necessary to fully investigate the case, handle all communication with other parties, and fully represent you in court in front of a jury if necessary.