You may have heard horror stories about lawsuits dragging on for years, and you want to know what you can expect for your truck accident injury case since you sure could use the money from a settlement or verdict. Every claim is different. Many factors can affect whether your case settles quickly or drags on for a long time. Some injury claims end up in full-blown trials, and others settle out of court.
Though common causes of truck accidents are known, no one can predict what will happen in any particular case. Some of the elements that can delay a case are entirely outside of your lawyer’s control. Sometimes it is to your advantage to wait for a while before settling your truck claim.
Factors That Can Affect Whether Your Truck Accident Goes to Court
Some of the aspects that can impact whether your truck accident case settles quickly or goes to trial include:
The cause of the accident. You might be surprised at how often an at-fault driver invents a wild story about how the accident happened, to try to get out of liability. When there is a dispute as to the cause of the wreck, we might have to hire an expert to investigate and analyze the evidence to determine the actual cause of the crash. Sometimes evidence can come from the trucking company themselves. An accident reconstruction expert could fulfill this function.
Other expert witnesses. There can be several reasons to use expert witnesses in truck accident cases. In addition to accident reconstruction, sometimes we use medical experts to explain injuries to the court, vocational experts to show how certain injuries prevent a person from being able to work for a living, and engineers to prove defective vehicle equipment. Using experts can add months to a case timeline.
Your injuries. When a person has significant injuries or has experienced complications, the doctors might recommend that we wait to see how your healing will progress before committing to a settlement figure. Once we accept a settlement, we cannot go back and ask for more money, even if you end up not healing as well as expected. Medicine is an art as well as a science, and doctors cannot tell the future.
The insurance companies. You might think that insurance companies want to settle claims quickly to get them off of their books, but that is not always the case. Sometimes an insurance adjuster wants to make a name for himself with his boss, so he plays hardball on every case, no matter how clear the liability is. At other times, the insurance company does not want its claims adjusters to settle claims until after a certain point in the fiscal year.
Bad faith denial of legitimate claims. The law tries to deter insurers from acting in bad faith. Sometimes when an insurance company refuses to pay valid claims, the judge can add additional damages to the award, but the company’s actions usually have to be outrageous.
Disputes that need a judge. Some cases need to go in front of a judge for a ruling on a disputed issue. For example, you might think the other driver was 100 percent at fault, but he might claim that you were just as negligent as he was. If the parties cannot resolve a disagreement like this, the case will have to go to trial.
The Montero Law Center helps injured people, so we will be with you through the claims process, evidence-gathering, negotiations with the insurance company, and if need be, the trial. Call us today at 954-767-6500, so that a truck accident attorney and our team can get started.
The first step is a free consultation, where we will answer your questions and talk about your truck accident claim. We do not charge legal fees until you get compensation.