How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Case?

One question we often get is “Will it take longer to settle my car accident case because it involved a semi-truck?”

Understandably, those who have been involved in an accident with a large truck are eager to recoup their losses and move on from the unfortunate event. While the answer will always depend on the circumstances of your particular accident, it is often the case that semi-truck accident cases take longer than other auto accident cases to resolve. Keep reading to learn why and what that means for your case.

Three reasons semi-truck accidents may take longer to settle:

1. Semi-truck accidents are more dangerous.

Although every car accident has the potential to be dangerous, the sheer size of semi-trucks make them inherently more deadly. Accidents involving semi-trucks are more likely to result in fatalities, serious injuries, and significant damage to any passenger vehicles involved than typical car accidents. As such, it’s often the case that those involved in truck accidents have higher medical bills, more vehicle damage, and more pain and suffering than those involved in car accidents.

While the costly consequences of semi-truck accidents often make plaintiffs eager to reach a settlement, obtaining a fair level of compensation may take significant time, since insurance companies are trained to make offers as low as possible.

2. Semi-truck accident cases are different.

There are several significant differences between cases that involve semi-trucks and ones that do not which may result in the case taking longer.

For example, determining responsibility for an accident with a semi-truck is more complicated. As with auto accidents, truck accidents may result from the driver’s negligence. However, there are many situations where other factors, such as the maintenance of the truck, are relevant.

Other times, it may be negligence on the part of the trucking company itself. If a driver has a history of unsafe behavior and a trucking company continues to employ them, the company may be on the hook for any mistakes or accidents that driver causes.

Another major difference between the two types of cases is the law. In automobile accidents, drivers are generally regulated by state law. Trucking companies, on the other hand, are largely regulated by the federal government. The fact that truck drivers and the companies they work for are required to obey federal law and have special licenses to operate can make truck accident cases more complicated.

3. Semi-truck accidents require more investigation.

Investigating a semi-truck accident requires a higher level of sophistication than typical car accident investigations. When it comes to large trucks, investigators must take into account the maintenance of air-brakes, the loading and shifting of cargo, the number of hours that a truck driver works in a given period, as well as many other factors. Once the investigation has been completed, it’s often necessary for expert witnesses to testify during the trial and explain these complicating factors to the jury.

While the investigation may delay the settlement of a semi-truck accident case, it’s crucial to successfully achieving fair compensation for the harm caused.

Semi-truck accidents require an experienced attorney

Because of the above factors, it’s important that anyone pursuing a semi-truck accident case has an attorney with the knowledge and experience to be successful. Knowing how to conduct a thorough investigation, collecting the right evidence, and presenting a clear case is imperative if a person wants to recover damages after an accident with a large truck.

If you’ve been involved in such an accident, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced semi-truck accident attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield for a free consultation.


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