If you’re considering filing a truck accident lawsuit, you may be wondering how long a typical truck accident lawsuit takes. There is no straightforward answer; truck accident lawsuit length will vary depending on the severity of damages, number of parties involved, and more.
That said, the typical truck accident case length will be anywhere from one to several years.
Much of that time can be spent in negotiation, which stretches the truck accident lawsuit length. Many times, settlements and rulings cannot happen until after a victim has recovered.
What Is a Truck Accident?
A truck accident is any motor vehicle accident that involves both a commercial truck, such as an 18-wheeler or semi, a garbage truck, or a delivery truck, and at least one other motor vehicle. Since they are extremely heavy vehicles, weighing up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, truck accidents can be severe and highly damaging to the other cars.
Many types of truck accidents happen in a similar fashion to other car accidents, including rear-ends, head-on collisions, sideswipes, tire blowouts, and more. Some truck accident types are unique to tractor-trailer style commercial trucks, such as jackknife accidents, cargo accidents, and underride truck accidents.
What a Truck Accident Lawsuit Involves
Truck accident lawsuits are often much more complex than car accident lawsuits, involving extensive investigations, industry rules and regulations, negotiations, and more. Truck accident lawsuits involve the victim(s), the truck driver, the trucking company, and the insurance company.
As long as you are not 50% or more responsible for a truck accident, you can file a lawsuit against the liable parties and win the compensation you deserve.
Truck accident lawsuits begin with investigations. A victim may seek out legal help after the accident, but if the victim has a lawyer already, the lawyer may join other investigators on the scene.
Investigations will include looking at the truck driver’s regulatory documents, such as weigh-in information, logged hours, travel documents, and more. Damage will be assessed by all investigative parties. After on-scene investigations, a truck accident lawyer will dive deep into the company and the trucker’s background to find anything that can help build a case against them.
Commercial truck drivers have an additional set of rules and regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The rules and regulations encompass both driving and cargo, such as a lower BAC level, certain weight limits, rules around hours of service, and more. These regulations help keep people, property, and the environment safe and reduce the number of truck accidents.
During the investigation, your lawyer may find that the trucker and/or trucking company wasn’t following trucking industry rules and regulations. This can be used to prove their negligence and fault in causing your damages. It is common for truck accident lawyers to cite one or more regulations that were not followed to prove the negligence of the at-fault party.
The negotiation process can be lengthy in truck accident lawsuits. Mediation or negotiation with a third party can go back and forth discussing details, evidence, settlement offers, and more.
Parties will go into the details of the damages suffered, deciding who is at fault and who will pay for the damages. Negotiations can be time-consuming and tedious, and a lack of settlement can lead to trial, especially if there are high stakes involved.
How long truck accident lawsuits can take is comparable to the amount of damages one can claim from actual car damage to serious injuries, long-term pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
It is vital to have documents validating all of the victim’s damages. The amount and severity of these damages will help determine the settlement amount, along with whether or not the other party can be proven at-fault.
Your truck accident lawyer needs to establish the negligence of the truck driver, trucking company, and/or truck manufacturer that caused the victim’s damages. Negligence is defined as a breach of duty of care, either unintentional or intentional, which caused harm to the victim.
The lawyer will show that the liable party acted negligently due to a driving or judgment error, a lack of following rules or regulations, vehicle errors, or something else. This is vital in receiving the full compensation that the victim is owed.
Contingency Fee Agreement
Truck accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee agreement, so clients don’t pay until the case is settled. The contingency fee agreement will state how much of the settlement will be paid to the lawyer, typically 30-40% percent. If the case is not won, the lawyer will not get paid.
The goal of a truck accident case is a settlement. You want to be compensated for your losses in full, and a settlement offer will likely be given to you by the trucking company’s adjuster quickly after the accident. It will be low and it is only used to keep the case out of court.
Your lawsuit settlement amount will be determined based on the severity of the damages, the length that the damages occur, the impact on the victim’s life, and many other factors. Total compensation can be anywhere from thousands to millions – check out Mike Rafi’s successful truck accident settlement results.
To settle a truck accident lawsuit, it could take a year or it could take a few years, and many factors cause delays. In some cases, cases don’t close until a victim is fully recovered to accurately compensate. Since case lengths vary, you can talk with Mike Rafi about his outlook on the length of your case.
Get Your Free Consultation
If you’re ready to get your case in the hands of a top truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, get in touch with Mike Rafi at 404-948-3311 or send our team a message now. Mike will help you settle your lawsuit as quickly as possible and get all of the compensation you deserve. Learn how our top Atlanta truck accident law team can help today!