Why Do People Settle Truck Accident Claims?
The first thing to understand when addressing truck accident settlements is the purpose that they serve. From your standpoint, truck accident settlements should restore you to the exact position that you were in immediately prior to the accident. While you cannot undo the injury or other damage that you have suffered, you can be compensated for your damages in those areas.
First, it is important to note one of the major possible differences between truck accident settlements and car accident settlements. Sometimes, the driver of the truck is an employee of a company and their driving is within the scope of their work duties. If that is the case, you will be negotiating with the company’s insurance, which introduces potentially deeper pockets into the possible settlement amount. In other words, the company’s insurance will be able to offer a higher settlement amount than the actual truck driver. The company will likely have lawyers on retainer so it is essential to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Do Most Truck Accidents Result in a Settlement?
The truth is that very few truck accident cases will ever see the inside of a courtroom. Each side has its own reasons why it wants to stay out of court. The truck driver’s insurance company will likely realize that a jury has the potential to make a large award to the plaintiff. The claimant is likely to be dealing with injury and damage and will need their money sooner rather than later. It is the confluence of the insurance company’s desire to control their risk and the claimant’s need to be compensated that keeps most of these cases out of court.
How Long Will a Settlement Take?
This will depend on the severity of the injuries and the size of the possible settlement. The worse you are injured, the higher the possible damages. This will mean that the settlement may take longer to negotiate. Remember that the insurance company’s initial offer will not always be the best, because truck accident settlements are negotiation processes. While some claims may settle in short order, this is the exception rather than the norm. It is not uncommon for truck accident settlements to be reached right before trial. This means that the settlement may take several years to negotiate. Of course, there is no hard and fast timetable for a settlement and you may be able to reach a quick settlement agreement with the insurance company. However, you should be prepared for intensive negotiations. This is where a personal injury lawyer can help you since insurance companies will often try to offer lower amounts in truck accident settlements when the claimant does not have a lawyer.
Once a settlement agreement is reached, it will not take long to get your money. However, getting your check is not instantaneous. It takes a few weeks for your payment to go through the accounting department of the insurance company, and there are still some more paperwork steps to complete. The best guess for how long it will take for your check to be issued and sent to you is roughly four to six weeks.
How Is Your Eligibility for a Settlement Determined?
Whether or not you are able to receive a settlement depends on whether you are found to be responsible for the accident. Your insurance and the other driver’s insurance will decide between themselves who is liable for the accident. If the truck driver is responsible, their insurance company will be obligated to compensate you for your injuries. Insurance companies will also need to figure out whether your actions contributed to the incident in any way and whether that affects your liability.
What Is Included in Truck Accident Settlements?
The truck accident settlement should compensate you for your injuries and damages. Here is what is included in a truck accident settlement:
- Lost Wages – Time that you have missed from work in the past and time that you will miss from work in the future is compensable.
- Medical Bills – Anything that has come out of your pocket to cover medical costs, as well as costs for future medical care, can be in a settlement.
- Compensatory Damages – This will pay you for the injuries that you have suffered.
- Pain and Suffering – This is generally a multiple of the amount for your physical injuries.
- Emotional Distress – Some settlements can include your distress and trauma from the accident.
- Loss of Consortium – These damages are available to a spouse or partner.
- Wrongful Death – If the truck accident has resulted in a death, there are additional damages that may be available.
A truck accident settlement will not include punitive damages based on how egregious the truck driver’s actions were. If the case we’re to go to trial, it would be up to a jury to assess punitive damages.
Speak With a Truck Accident Attorney Today
As mentioned above, truck accident settlements will likely involve higher amounts. Chances are that you have experienced an injury, and the settlement is your chance to cover past, present, and future costs. Therefore, it is essential that you do not settle for pennies on the dollar. When you are on your own, you may not know how much your claim is worth or how to get fair value from the insurance company. The attorneys from The Eichholz Law Firm can effectively represent you in negotiations with the insurance company to get a fair settlement. We are familiar with the process and know how to fight to protect your interests.
Call our law firm today to set up an initial consultation to learn more about truck accident settlements.