If you or a loved one is a victim of a truck accident resulting caused by a negligent trucker, you should recover compensation for bodily injuries for your injuries under California law. Unfortunately, settling an injury claim through an insurance company is not easy even when the truck driver was clearly at fault.
The injured party must prove that the trucker was guilty of negligence to qualify for compensation. That said, you’ll need a skilled truck accident lawyer in Bakersfield for legal counsel and representation if need be. But why are truck accident claims typically complex to resolve?
5 Reasons Why Truck Accidents are Hard to Settle
It’s not easy to accurately state how long truck accidents take to settle because each accident is unique. However, what we know is that cases with strong evidence settle faster than cases with weak. A truck accident claim with strong evidence will likely settle before it goes to court. The claims process will go much faster if you hire a truck accident lawyer to assist you with negotiations. The following are some of the reasons why truck accident claims take longer to settle.
- Severity of Injuries
A serious truck accident can cause serious injuries or even death. Victims of truck accidents often suffer long-term injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, disability, or internal organ damage. The post-accident injuries require costly medical treatment and can affect the ability of the accident victim work to fend for themselves. The situation is even worse if the victim is the breadwinner. The injured person is entitled to more compensation if the injuries are sustained. The downside is that the larger your compensation, the longer the settlement will likely take.
- High Stakes
A trucking company and/or trucker must have significant insurance coverage to compensate the plaintiff (accident victim) sufficiently. Consequently, most insurance companies will do anything to fight the claim and hopefully avoid paying the accident victim.
- Exposure to More Regulations
Truck drivers or trucking companies are required to follow complicated laws designed to prevent or reduce the risk of truck crashes, including rules on
- Trucker qualifications;
- Maintenance of trucks;
- Hours of service, and more.
Violation of the trucking laws contributes to many truck accidents which can complicate the process of establishing the cause of an accident hence, delaying settlement.
- Multiple Negligent Parties
Sometimes you’ll find multiple parties are responsible for a truck accident, meaning that the victim in a truck accident can receive compensation from any party, depending on the rules of your state. Unfortunately, most trucks are owned by businesses or corporations who have the resources to fight a truck injury claim and deny the plaintiff their deserved compensation. Common parties that may be liable in a truck accident can include:
- Truck driver;
- Trucking company–employer;
- Truck maintenance team;
- Shipper of the truck, and
- Product and parts manufacturer
- Varying Negligence Claims
The common cause of truck accidents can include speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and more. However, truck accident claims are based on negligence, such as negligent hiring, hours of service violations, and poor truck maintenance of the truck, which can complicate the recovery process.
How The Settlement Process Works
The first thing to do before filing an injury claim for a truck accident is to hire a skilled and experienced truck accident attorney. Your lawyer should file the claim on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company or the defendant (trucker or their employer) for your settlement. The following are the steps involved in the settlement process.
Investigation of the Accident
Your lawyer should conduct an independent and extensive investigation to determine the cause of the truck accident and establish the party responsible for the accident. The investigation process can involve the following activities:
- Visiting the scene of the accident,
- Obtaining statements from witnesses;
- Reviewing the accident report
- Reviewing pictures that were taken at the accident scene, and
- Hiring a truck crash reconstruction expert.
Your attorney should also send a notification letter to the trucking company informing them of the claim.
The next step is to send a demand letter to the insurance company. A demand letter is written by the plaintiff or their legal team stating that their client is responsible for the accident. The main aim of the letter is to demand a specific amount (damages) for the loss incurred by the plaintiff.
A claims adjuster reviews your demand letter once it’s submitted to the insurance company and responds to the claim. In most cases, the insurance company will either deny your claim or make an unreasonable settlement amount.
Truck accidents can be difficult to litigate and can take longer to settle. That said, it’s important to hire a truck accident attorney before filing an injury claim.