Life After a Trucking Accident – What to Expect When Settling a Claim

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No accident is a pleasant ordeal. However, when a crash involves a truck, the chances of suffering severe, life-altering injuries or even death can be high.

While compensation cannot undo the damages caused by a truck accident, it can help make your life more bearable after an accident resulting from the negligence of a truck driver. But getting compensation does not happen as soon as you get into an accident; it’s a process.

But worry not, as this post highlights several things to expect when settling a claim.

It Is a Complicated Process

Personal injury laws are meant to be straightforward in design so everyone can handle the process independently. But navigating a personal injury case can be more complicated than it is on paper, especially for accidents resulting in severe injuries, such as truck accidents.

Even though the value of a claim increases with the increasing severity of injuries, high-value claims, such as truck accidents, also attract quite some pushback from the at-fault party or their insurer.

If you approach such a claim without a lawyer, your chances of recovering fair outcomes can be slim. So ensure that you let an experienced truck accident attorney look into your case to establish its worth and help you fight for what you deserve.

The Process Can Be Long

While the disruption of your life in an accident happens in a fraction of a second, reclaiming it through compensation for damages can take years. Several factors can determine the length of your claim, including:

Medical Evaluation

While you may feel like you need your compensation money to settle your rising medical bills following a truck accident, it is important to wait until your doctor determines you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI typically means your condition cannot improve any further through treatment.

The main reason you will need to wait that long is that you want to have the correct figure in terms of medical costs.

Case Complexity

Another factor that could influence the time needed to navigate a claim is the case’s complexity. Complexity can be in terms of the type of evidence needed to gather evidence, contested liability, and the claim’s value. Severe injuries can mean high-value claims and more case complexity. So, you can expect to spend a little more time on a truck accident claim than you would if you suffer bruises and bumps. Having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side is recommended to ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process.

Steps in the Claims Process

The claims process has several stages, with each step potentially taking either a long or a short time based on the case’s complexity. The first stage of the claims process is filling a claim with the at-fault party or their insurer. After filing your claim, the at-fault party or their car insurer will write a response seeking to settle or asking for more details, which could mean they are willing to go to the next stage.

The second stage is discovery. In the discovery phase, both your and the defendant’s sides share evidence in each other’s possession. After sharing evidence, each team can gauge the other team’s strengths, which then forms the basis of how they approach the third stage, the negotiations stage. If the defendant’s insurers or lawyers deem your case as strong, the higher their counteroffer will be.

Most cases settle at this phase, but some may require the intervention of a mediator to iron out contentions. If mediation fails to work, the claim goes to trial, where the jury or the judge determines the claim’s value. The whole claims process can last for anything between one and three years.

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About the Author: Brian Novak