Different Types of Settlement Options for a Truck Accident

Types of Settlements for a Truck Accident

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

June 24, 2022

THE MEDICAL BILLS ARE PILING UP

Because you were forced to take time off work owing to your injuries, you have little or no revenue coming in.

You need the money from your semi-truck accident claim right now, but it feels like it’s taking forever. You may be asking how long it should take to settle following a semi-truck collision if you need dollars in your hands quickly, whether medical bill collectors have begun calling or you need the funds to pay your other payments.

If you or a loved one is now dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident, you should consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

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The Quick Resolution

Immediately after a semi-truck accident, the truck driver’s insurance company—whether the driver’s insurance company or the trucking company’s insurance company—will often contact you with a settlement offer. This offer may occur as soon as a few days after the accident. You may still have no clue what a complete recovery from your injury would entail, including what medical bills you may incur during that time.

Do not accept this offer without first consulting with a truck accident lawyer

Often, the first settlement provided by an insurance company represents the insurance company’s attempt to decrease the expenses involved with the accident rather than the money you receive for your injuries. Some insurance companies may give settlements that are insufficient to cover the cost of your car’s repairs, much alone your medical expenditures.

Others may make a settlement offer that is just high enough to seem appealing, particularly when you consider the medical expenditures you have already incurred and those that will inevitably follow. Typically, this offer does not represent the entire degree of your injuries or reflect the maximum amount authorized under the insurance policy.

If you sign and accept the settlement offer, the insurance company may be relieved of future financial responsibilities related to your semi-truck accident. Some accident victims find themselves in a financial bind as they try to pay for medical bills or make up for lost wages while recovering.

Others may lose out on important medical treatments that might help them recover faster. A quick settlement for a semi-truck accident seldom represents the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. If you consult with an attorney, you’ll have a clearer notion of what you’ll be missing out on if you accept that offer.

Getting to a Reasonable Agreement Following a Semi-Truck Accident

The timing for settling your semi-truck accident claim, like so many other aspects of the process, including the amount of money you get, is determined by several circumstances, many of which are beyond your control.

How long did you hesitate to seek legal advice?

You should contact an attorney as soon as possible following your semi-truck accident. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner that attorney can begin gathering evidence, filing a fair claim with the insurance company, or negotiating on your behalf with the insurance company.

Many accident victims, on the other hand, wait before contacting an attorney. Some people don’t become aware that the insurance company isn’t obligated to pay them the full amount owed for their injury. Others get so engrossed in the recuperation process that they do not seek legal counsel until weeks or months after the event.

Contacting an attorney early in the process makes gathering evidence simpler. After an accident, an attorney should have easy access to the semi-truck driver’s records and data. However, the longer you wait to call an attorney, the more difficult it will be to acquire further proof. The data from many security cameras, for example, is frequently wiped.

Witness testimonies are more closely aligned immediately after the accident if the evidence gathering procedure is started early. The longer you wait to speak with witnesses after an accident, the more likely those witnesses will forget everything about it.

Details in their heads may fluctuate, making them less dependable. Even your account of the accident and memory of it may become less credible as time passes. Even if you don’t have traumatic brain damage, you may forget about the accident in certain situations.

You may start the clock on your settlement by contacting an attorney as soon as possible. Often, you won’t be able to start the settlement process until you speak with an attorney. As a result, the sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner the process may begin, and the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve for your injury.

What injuries did you sustain, and how long do you expect to be out of commission?

After a semi-truck accident, you may need to fully comprehend the scope of your medical claims and the costs connected with them before settling. For example, a total spinal cord injury resulting in severe tetraplegia might cost $1 million or more in the first year after the event.

In many circumstances, you may not have an accurate or realistic picture of what medical expenditures you will face until you know what your recovery looks like—and those medical costs play a key part in the settlement you get.

In other circumstances, you may not know how much mobility you will regain if you can return to work after your injury or how your injuries may restrict you in your daily life until after the accident. Consult your lawyer about when to start the claims procedure and how far along you should be in your recovery before making your claim.

Are you requesting a normal claim, or do additional considerations affect the amount of your claim?

Your lifestyle or habits may affect the amount of money you get from an insurance provider in certain situations. An actress who suffers serious burns in a semi-truck accident, for example, may find it difficult to return to her previous job owing to scars, but an athlete paralyzed in a semi-truck accident may experience greater mental stress than another.

Each semi-truck accident claim has its own set of circumstances; nevertheless, if your claim deviates significantly from the norm, it may take longer to achieve a settlement than if you just want conventional compensation from the insurance carrier.

What benefits does the insurance coverage of the truck driver or the trucking firm provide?

Many semi-truck drivers have insurance plans that provide more coverage than other drivers. This allows businesses to comply with regulatory rules and allows them to compensate victims of semi-truck accidents for the more serious injuries they typically suffer.

However, the larger the policy’s coverage, the more the insurance company may strive to preserve its financial interests, resulting in a lengthier battle to collect the reimbursement you deserve after an accident.

WHO WAS TO BLAME FOR YOUR MISHAP?

Many people and organizations might be held partially responsible for a semi-truck disaster. A lawyer can assist you in determining who is accountable for your accident; nevertheless, responsible parties might include:

The chauffeur

When a truck driver is at fault for your accident, he or she may be held responsible for the accident and any injuries you get as a consequence. When truck drivers are distracted, such as texting while driving, eating while driving, or using a GPS gadget instead of paying attention to the road, they may be held liable for an accident. If they opted to drink and drive, drove recklessly, or failed to take adequate measures before changing lanes or turning, they may be held liable for the accident.

The transportation firm

In many circumstances, the trucking firm has insurance coverage that completely covers both the driver and the trucks, regardless of the cause of the accident. On the other hand, the trucking firm may share blame for the accident if:

The company ordered the driver to falsify records or drive more than the legally allowed maximum amount of hours (11 hours in a 14-hour shift).

The firm compelled the driver to continue driving in dangerous conditions or situations, such as extreme weather or driver sickness;

The driver had a history of accidents, yet the company continued hiring and permitting them to drive.

When a trucking firm acts unethically toward its drivers, it may be held directly responsible for the accident rather than via the truck driver.

Overserving an intoxicated driver in bars and restaurants

Drunk drivers, particularly truck drivers, are solely accountable for their acts. When servers or workers can fairly anticipate the driver to get back on the road, bars and restaurants have a legal and ethical obligation to prevent customers from overindulging.

If a bar or restaurant overserves a truck driver while fully aware that the driver must return to the road, the bar or restaurant may be held liable for your accident.

Mechanics or service businesses that worked on the car

For large cars, mechanical issues may be quite dangerous. Mechanics who maintain and repair such cars must look for any possible difficulties, particularly mechanical breakdowns. When a technician fails to recognize a mechanical defect that should have been visible during a normal inspection or another repair, or when a mechanic fails to fix the car correctly, that mechanic or his firm may be held liable for any accidents caused by that mechanical failure.

Manufacturers of trucks and components for trucks

Manufacturers, like mechanics, are responsible for maintaining the components of the truck and trailer and developing and selling high-quality parts. When an accident occurs due to a mechanical failure caused by faulty components, such as bad tires, the manufacturer may be held liable.

When many parties are responsible for your accident, settling may take longer

To decrease the amount of compensation owed to you, each insurance company may claim that someone else is partial at fault for the accident. The more circumstances that played a role in your accident, the longer it may take to settle.

In the Meantime, What Can You Do?

When your semi-truck accident claim takes a long time to settle, you may be tempted to accept a low settlement offer simply to get money in your hands. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in the interim to reduce your financial stress.

Review your company’s rules

After an accident, many companies may enable you to take sick leave. You may also be able to apply for short-term disability benefits to help you pay for your medical bills while you recuperate from your injuries. Consult your HR department to learn about your choices after your accident.

Contact the billing department at the hospital

As your medical expenditures increase, you may begin to feel bothered by the different physicians and hospitals who contribute to your treatment. Consult with each company’s billing department.

You may make plans to pay what you can each month, or you could explain your position to the hospital and ask for a grace period until your medical costs are due.

Make contact with your creditors

After a semi-truck accident, your usual expenses do not vanish. Keeping up with such payments may seem more challenging than ever in certain situations. Make contact with your creditors, particularly your mortgage lender and your auto loan lender. While you wait for your settlement, you may be able to lower or renegotiate your payments, particularly if you have an excellent history with that specific provider.

Inform your lawyer if you are having financial issues

Personal injury lawyers are often familiar with services that might assist you in keeping your finances in order while you recuperate from your injuries.

Contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible if you were seriously injured in a semi-truck accident. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner that lawyer can begin working on your behalf—and, in many situations, the sooner you will get the compensation you deserve.

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