Whether a speeding truck driver caused the accident that resulted in your severe injury or the negligence of a loading company was to blame, you want justice. You’re facing mounting medical bills, can’t work, and want those responsible for your suffering to pay. A skilled attorney will work to make that happen. They’ll also help walk you through the timeline of a truck accident claim, making sure you’re in the loop every step of the way.
Penn Kestner & McEwen truck accident attorneys have that skill and years of experience helping people get the money they have coming. We’ll do everything we can to help you obtain maximum compensation. You can schedule a free case review by contacting us online or calling (800) 732-3070.
When Does the Timeline of a Truck Accident Claim Start?
The time limit for filing a truck accident lawsuit, also known as the statute of limitations, can vary depending on the state where the accident occurred. In most states, the statute of limitations is typically two to three years from the date of the accident—when the process starts. However, there are exceptions, such as cases involving a government entity, which may have a shorter statute of limitations, or cases involving minors, which may have a longer statute of limitations. It’s essential to be aware of the specific time limit in your jurisdiction and to take action promptly, as missing the deadline may result in losing the right to file a lawsuit.
1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately After Your Accident
Seeking medical attention is crucial for several reasons. First, some injuries, such as head trauma or a spine injury, may not be immediately apparent but can have serious long-term consequences if not treated promptly. Second, prompt medical treatment can help to document the extent and cause of injuries, which may be necessary for a personal injury claim. Early treatment can improve the chances of a full and quick recovery.
Delaying medical treatment could be used against you in a personal injury claim, as the insurance company may argue that you didn’t take the necessary steps to mitigate your damages.
2. Hire an Attorney to Represent You
Hiring an attorney is a good idea for several reasons. An attorney can provide legal guidance and representation in negotiations with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case. They can also help gather and present evidence to support a personal injury claim and provide advice on the claim’s value and the compensation that may be available.
A lawyer can also handle communication with the other party and their insurance company, taking that burden off you as you recover. Additionally, an attorney can protect your rights and help negotiate a settlement or represent you in court if necessary.
3. Your Attorney Will Start Building Your Case and Establish Liability
Your attorney will build your case by gathering and reviewing all relevant information related to the truck accident, including police reports, witness statements, medical records, and other documentation. They’ll conduct their own investigation to determine the cause of the accident and establish liability. This may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing traffic cameras, and consulting with experts in trucking regulations and safety.
Once your attorney establishes liability, they’ll evaluate your damages and build the case for compensation. Building that case will typically involve negotiating with the other party’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit, if necessary.
4. They’ll Investigate the Truck Accident
During the investigation, your attorney may request maintenance and inspection records of the truck to determine if any mechanical issues were a factor in the accident. The attorney may also conduct independent inspections or reconstructions of the accident to gather additional evidence.
The goal of the investigation is to gather enough evidence to support your claim and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
5. They’ll File a Claim Against the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
Filing a claim involves preparing and submitting a demand letter that outlines your damages and the compensation you seek. The demand letter will include supporting evidence and documentation obtained during the investigation. If the insurance company agrees to the demands, your attorney will negotiate a settlement to resolve the case. Your attorney may file a lawsuit if the insurance company does not agree to the demands and won’t offer a fair settlement.
6. A Settlement will be Negotiated
Attorneys negotiate a truck accident settlement using their expertise and knowledge of the law to represent your best interests. They gather evidence and communicate with the insurance company and the trucking company’s legal team to come to a fair settlement amount. Your attorney will consider factors such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering when determining the value of your case. They’ll then work to reach a settlement that fully compensates you for your damages and helps you move forward from the accident.
7. Or Your Case Will go to Trial
If the two sides can’t reach a settlement, your lawyer will present your case to a judge and jury. They’ll cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, and argue the law to support your case. The ultimate goal, of course, will be to secure the best possible outcome.
8. You’ll Receive Your Award
Truck accident victims typically receive their jury award through a structured settlement or a lump sum payment. A structured settlement is a long-term agreement in which you’re paid periodic payments. On the other hand, a lump sum payment is a one-time payment of the entire award amount.
The payment method depends on various factors, including the award’s size, immediate financial needs, and future expenses. An attorney can help you understand your options and decide how you’d like to receive your award. Once you agree to the payment method, you’ll receive a direct payment. The money may also go to your attorney or a trust.
If you arranged with a doctor to receive medical care without payment, your attorney would pay the doctor first. They’ll then take their fee out of your compensation and send a check for the rest.