One of the most common questions we are asked by truck accident victims is how long an accident claim takes to settle, but even the most experienced truck accident attorneys may struggle to answer it. This is because every situation is different, and the circumstances of your accident will affect how long it takes to reach a settlement.
If your personal injury claim is quite complex, the longer the process will take. When it is reasonably clear who was at fault, and the details of the accident are clear, the case will be settled much quicker. In any case, the legal process involved in an accident case should not be rushed.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, the personal injury lawyers at The Law Place can help. With over 75 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and expertise needed to secure the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation. Our telephone number is (941) 444-4444, and our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How Common Are Semi-Truck Accidents in Florida?
Semi-truck accidents happen all too regularly in Florida. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) in 2018, 46 people were fatally injured in accidents involving large commercial vehicles. In the same year, 225 people were seriously injured in semi-truck accidents, and a further 771 people sustained minor injuries.
What Is Involved in a Truck Accident Claim?
To understand how long a truck accident claim takes to settle, you will need to familiarize yourself with Florida’s auto accident laws. The State of Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that you cannot make any claims against another driver’s car insurance company unless your damage isn’t covered by your own insurance provider, and this is why the process can take some time.
If your accident involved minor injuries, you might find that your damages are sufficiently covered by your insurance company. However, where more serious injuries are involved, your insurance company may not cover all of your losses. When this happens, you will need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to be fully compensated, and this is when determining fault becomes important. The courts in Florida will follow the comparative fault rule, as stated in Florida Statute 768.81, to determine liability and will then award damages to the victim.
How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Truck Accident Case in Florida?
According to Florida law, within 30 days, all insurance companies must either accept or deny a claim or confirm in writing that the claim is being investigated, as per Florida Statute 627.4137. Whilst it is considered unfair practice for insurance companies to fail to meet this deadline, all they really have to do is say that they are investigating it. A personal injury lawyer can speak to your insurance company on your behalf and encourage them to make a decision so that you can decide what to do next.
Once a settlement has been agreed upon, insurance companies have 20 days to pay you.
Will My Claim Be Settled Quicker if My Injuries Are Serious?
Some victims assume that their claim will be settled sooner if they have sustained serious injuries, but this can actually have the opposite effect. If your injuries can be treated easily and you are healed within weeks, your lawyer can proceed with your truck accident case. However, when victims sustain more catastrophic injuries that are likely to have long-term effects, they may require life-long medical treatment, and the cost of this can take longer to calculate and agree upon.
It is in your best interest not to rush the process and ensure that your prognosis is clear so that you are fully compensated for any future damages. An experienced truck accident lawyer from The Law Place will work with trusted medical professionals who will be able to give a good indication of your future medical needs, not to mention the non-economic impact these types of injuries can have on your life.
Will a Better Lawyer Settle My Truck Accident Case Quicker?
You may find that certain law firms will promise to have your claim settled quicker than others, but it is important to remember that a quality lawyer will make no such promises. The legal process involved in an accident claim is complex and should never be rushed. If certain steps are skipped, your case could be thrown out of court, leaving you with nothing. Nothing happens overnight in the Florida justice system, and it takes time to draft, deliver, and respond to any claim. You may be desperate to hurry your case along so you can pay your bills, but it is important to be certain that your semi-truck accident attorney is doing everything properly.
What Are Tactical Delays in Truck Accident Cases?
The actions taken by each side can delay the case. The other party, such as the lawyer of the at-fault driver or their insurance company, will not just sit back and accept everything that is put forward. They will aim to settle for as little as possible. The other side may tactically delay the process, and you may feel pushed to settle for lower than you need, but a good lawyer will be able to spot these maneuvers and work to get your case moving. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows which moves and strategies to consider.
Does the Complexity of My Truck Accident Claim Matter?
The circumstances of some truck accidents are clear and very easy to investigate. A driver may have clearly violated the rules of the road, with their actions causing property damage and injury. However, in some circumstances, the cause of the accident is more easily disputed, and many different factors may come into play. Your lawyer may need to establish negligence and will require a sufficient amount of time to subpoena specific evidence. Your case could even involve litigation against more than one defendant, such as the semi-truck driver and the trucking company. Therefore, the more complex your case is, the longer your case will take to settle.
How Can I Speed Up the Legal Process Following a Truck Accident?
There are certain steps you can take to assist your attorney and reduce the time it takes to settle your claim:
- Take photos – Photographs of your vehicle, the accident scene, and your injuries will be vital evidence to support your claim.
- Take details -Write down all the details you need from the other driver(s), the trucking company, and the contact information of any witnesses.
- See a medical professional – Even if you think your injuries are minor, get checked over by a doctor straight away. Your medical records will be a key component of your claim.
- Co-operate with your attorney – If they request a certain document, give it to them as soon as possible. If they call asking for information, answer the call or call them back straight away. If any of your information changes, update them.
- Attend all your medical appointments – Don’t miss any scheduled appointments and complete any courses of treatment. If you do not, the insurance company will argue that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. And if your case goes to court, juries will assume the same, and you could lose your trial.
- Keep detailed records – It is a good idea to keep a record of all your appointments and medical treatment so that your attorney can obtain all of your records. Keep a record of anything else that could be relevant, such as days missed off work and vehicle repairs.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident and are looking to file a lawsuit, it is in your best interest to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. This is because all types of legal actions have time limits known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida is four years.
These legal time limits exist to encourage accident victims to pursue a lawsuit before evidence and witness testimonies become unreliable. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, so you should consult with a lawyer before assuming your time limit has passed, and they will be able to advise you if you have a viable truck accident claim.
Call The Law Place Today
If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident in Florida, you don’t have to go through the legal process alone. Our team of experienced accident attorneys is ready to get to work for you. We have been representing clients like you for years and can help you to secure the settlement that you deserve.
We are available to speak to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can answer any questions you have about your accident during a free, no-obligation consultation. We do not get paid until we win your case, so don’t let a lack of money stop you from hiring the support you need. Call us today at (941) 444-4444 to get started.