Accidents involving semi-trucks in California often result in severe injuries and substantial property damage. In the aftermath of these incidents, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine liability. If a commercial truck crash was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, victims should be entitled to compensation for their losses. In most situations, these cases will be resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers, but it may be necessary to take a semi-truck crash claim all the way to a jury trial. Here, we want to discuss the semi-truck accident settlement timeframe in California.
Settling a Case Without Going to Trial
The vast majority of truck accident claims are resolved through settlements with the truck driver’s or truck company’s insurance carrier. In general, we will find that the trucking company will be held responsible for the actions of a driver who crashes while conducting job-related duties.
How long it takes for an insurance carrier to settle will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular case. Often, these accidents result in higher settlement amounts, which means that the insurance carriers are going to be more meticulous when it comes to the investigations into the incident. In other words, a truck accident settlement could take much more time than traditional vehicle crash insurance settlements.
If a truck company’s insurance carrier thinks that they are inevitably going to lose a case due to overwhelming evidence against them, they may push for a quick settlement. However, quick settlements are not always in the best interest of a truck accident victim. An early settlement offer should be seen as the beginning point of a negotiation, and a truck accident victim will likely be able to secure much more.
Negotiations with insurance carriers can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. In some cases, a claim may drag on for more than a year. If the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement or if they end up denying a claim, it may be necessary for the truck crash victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, the truck company, and the insurance carrier.
What Happens if the Insurance Carrier or At-Fault Party Refuses a Fair Settlement?
If a truck accident insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement or if they deny the claim, the crash victim will need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation. This officially enters the case into the civil court system, but this does not necessarily mean that the case will go all the way to trial. Even after a lawsuit is filed, most claims are typically resolved before they are heard in front of a jury. However, it is still important to hire a skilled Orange County truck accident attorney if you have suffered injuries in a semi-truck accident.
The discovery phase will begin in these situations, which is when both sides will exchange evidence so they can gain a full understanding of what evidence the other side has. Usually, either the plaintiff or the defendant will realize that it is in their best interests to settle the claim. In some cases, a settlement is mutually beneficial to both parties in order to stave off the expense and time it will take to go to trial. However, it could still take a significant amount of time after a lawsuit is filed before the claim is eventually settled – anywhere from a few months to a few years.