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How Long Does it Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Case?

What Kind Of Time Frame Am I Looking At To Resolve My Illinois Truck Accident Injury Case?

When you're in a car accident with a large truck, it can be hard to know what to do and how long your case will take. Every semi-truck accident is unique, so there are no set timelines for settling truck accident claims.

The amount of time that passes before an auto insurance company offers fair compensation depends on many factors, including the severity of the injury, medical costs, and lost wages.

Were you injured at work? Don't go through this alone! At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys will protect your rights as an employee while fighting for fair treatment of your injury claim with maximum benefits available under Illinois law.

Call our experienced truck accident attorneys today (888) 424-5757 or email us now to schedule a free consultation!

Recovering Compensation Through a Truck Accident Claim

Unfortunately, truck accidents are all too common on the roads of Illinois. As a result, many victims do not recover compensation equal to their damages. It is because automobile accident cases are not always an easy win for plaintiffs, even if the defendant did everything wrong and the injured person was not at fault.

However, there are three types of truck accident claims that almost always provide a relatively easy opportunity for compensation:

  • Hit & run collisions
  • Speeding accidents
  • Semi-truck crashes

If you can show that the defendant's negligent conduct caused your minor or life-altering injuries, you have a good chance of recovering money to pay for your losses.

The term "truck accident claim" is usually attached with the meaning that you allege that the trucker negligently operated their vehicle.

A fair settlement in an eighteen-wheeler truck accident case takes an average of six months. While this may seem like a long time, it can be difficult to claim fair compensation in truck accident cases.

Arriving at a fair settlement can involve a variety of factors. For example, some factors that play a role include the following:

  • The defendant's driving history and experience,
  • The value of any cargo being carried at the time
  • The damages incurred by the truck and its driver

Settling a trailer-truck accident litigation case usually takes at least a couple of years.

Trailer-truck, accident settlement claims can take long before the insurance company agrees to pay out any settlement money. The time could depend on the accident's severity and how much time it takes to get all truck accident claims approved.

It's crucial to involve a truck accident lawyer in semi-truck accident settlement negotiations as soon as possible. Reaching a truck accident settlement is beneficial to all parties involved in payment, as it is the only way to avoid going to trial.

Even using legal representation, a trailer-truck accident claim could take anywhere from six months to three years to settle.

Contributing Factors in Resolving Claims

Our attorneys consider many factors when evaluating how long it will take to settle a semi-truck accident claim. In general, the smaller the case value and injury, the faster it will be resolved—the larger the case value and injury, the longer it will take to settle.

In general, a semi-truck accident claim involving a neck injury will take between one and four years to settle. The main reason for this is that trailer-truck accident neck injuries can be significant, and therefore the insurance company will not provide a quick settlement.

The amount of time it takes to settle a semi-truck accident claim involving a neck injury will depend on the severity of the injuries.

Signing a Settlement Contract

When settlement negotiations are reached, it is customary for both sides to sign a Settlement Agreement.

A settlement agreement, also called a "Settlement Contract," specifies the settlement terms and how much time each party has to back out of the deal. For example, in some contracts, one side can cancel if the other side doesn't complete its end of the bargain.

For example, if there was a Settlement Agreement where Party A agreed to pay Party B $10 million over five years if Party A failed to make a payment, Party B could cancel the agreement.

A similar term is the "Settlement Clause," a clause in a contract that allows one or the other party to cancel the entire agreement.

The Settlement Agreement, as well as the settlement clauses, can be essentially anything. However, sometimes clauses make one party responsible for financial losses incurred by the other party if they cancel the agreement or fail to complete their end of the bargain.

Truck Driver Responsibilities to Maintain Safety

A truck driver also called a trucker, is a person who drives a semi-trailer truck or a tractor-trailer. These commercial vehicles could include delivery vans, flatbeds, long haulers, single trailers, and tractor-trailer combinations.

By law, the trucker must be at least 18 and have a valid commercial driver's license (CDL) from their home state or province. A commercial driver's license enables a person to drive trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds to transport interstate commercial goods.

Licensed truckers must first pass a written and driving test before obtaining a CDL. The trucker must also successfully pass a comprehensive physical exam before licensing.

The medical requirements vary with the type of license. However, all licenses include a required Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test. In addition, Illinois requires truckers to have at least 30 days of rest between workweeks.

Unfortunately, many truckers ignore this regulation and drive for over 70 hours a week. Driving long hours every day and week places other motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles in grave danger when the trucker makes a mistake while sharing the road.

A semi-truck driver needs a lot of skill, knowledge, and experience to operate a large vehicle and drive safely.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers must adhere to specific rules, regulations, and laws. The FMCSA regulates CDLs. A CDL enables a person to drive trucks transporting goods throughout the country.

A CDL also requires an understanding of many traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, how to navigate challenging weather conditions, and emergency procedures.

The FMCSA regulates hours-of-service (HOS). For example, HOS limits the amount of time a trucker can drive in 1 week and in 1 day. The FMCSA also prohibits commercial drivers from using alcohol or drugs while driving.

Illinois State Motor Vehicle Laws

Drivers must obey state motor vehicle laws when driving a commercial vehicle in Illinois. The state requires truckers to have a CDL Class A license if the truck weighs more than 26,000 pounds. This type of CDL allows the trucker to drive any commercial motor vehicle that requires a Class B or Class C license.

Drivers with this type of license must successfully pass written and driving tests before receiving a Class A CDL. In addition, the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) requires approval from the federal motor carrier to add endorsements such as hazmat or tankers to a CDL license.

While driving in Illinois, a trucker must also maintain the DOT drug and alcohol testing standards. In addition, truckers should not consume alcohol within four hours of operating a commercial vehicle.

Truck Driver Safety Tips

The U.S. DOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and FMCSA provide many safety tips to prevent truck accidents. For example, bus drivers should watch carefully for trucks that turn right at an intersection.

Many truckers and bus drivers claim that car drivers do not watch for them when they're turning right. However, an accident can occur when a large vehicle turns or crosses paths with a smaller passenger vehicle.

The FMCSA recommends the following safety tips:

  • Always check your mirrors before changing lanes on the highway
  • Cameras, sensors, radar devices, and other technology available can help prevent accidents
  • Always wear your seat belt while driving a commercial vehicle
  • Don't drive when you're tired or need to use the bathroom. Allow enough time for rest stops during your trip
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phones and loud music
  • Truck operators should never operate any type of vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Investigating a Catastrophic Truck Accident

A truck driver is perceived to be more guilty than any other driver on the road. However, truck accidents are also tied to extremely long semi-truck accident cases; after all, a truck driver has a lot of information to share.

A truck driver is professional - they know every aspect of how a vehicle works and what could happen if they don't abide by it. During investigations, posing some questions to a semi-truck driver requires more time than drivers operating passenger cars.

Investigating a Catastrophic Truck Accident

A truck driver is perceived to be more guilty than any other driver on the road. However, truck accidents are also tied to extremely long semi-truck accident cases; after all, a truck driver has a lot of information to share.

A truck driver is professional - they know every aspect of how a vehicle works and what could happen if they don't abide by it. During investigations, posing some questions to a semi-truck driver requires more time than car drivers.

For example, after an accident involving a semi-truck and any other type of vehicle, law enforcement officials must investigate the scene for hours before determining what happened.

After evaluating the evidence related to semi-truck accidents, investigators need to look at tire tracks, skid marks, damage made to vehicles or objects surrounding the crash site, broken glass, and other evidence.

For example, if a driver claims that another driver ran a red light, the investigators would need to look at the color of the lights on each vehicle involved in the crash. If one light was broken before or during the accident, it could prove the point made by the truck operator.

Not only does an accident investigator look for evidence implicating the other driver, but they also need to find out why a trucker didn't see it coming.

  • Are there issues with safety equipment such as blinkers or brake lights?
  • Was the other vehicle hidden from sight until the last minute?

After conducting their investigation and determining what happened during an accident, investigators typically list fault on their crash report under state/local traffic laws.

Victims of a truck accident have legal options available. Drivers who survive a crash or family members may be able to pursue compensation for medical expenses related to an injury through wrongful death claims.

Holding a Trucking Company Legally Responsible for a Semi-Truck Crash

In addition to holding the trucker responsible for causing the crash, the truck company might also be legally accountable for what happened. According to the FMCSA, the trucking company ensures roadway safety. Their responsibilities include:

  • The hauling company operates a fleet of trucks to move freight safely
  • A truck used for hauling must be a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Large trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration.
  • A driver is a person who controls a vehicle while it is being driven who has received proper training and licensing.
  • The trucker, commercial vehicle driver, or bus driver must use a logbook that records driving time, distance, or other data.
  • The logbook is a record of the driving activity of commercial vehicle drivers required in some countries. Logging can also record the hours worked by commercial drivers and must be made available to enforcement officials on demand.
  • The trucker must follow hours of service. Hours of service are the number of hours a CMV driver may be behind the wheel.
  • Hours-of-service (HOS) regulations are meant to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue. HOS contains provisions governing the number of daily and weekly hours a CMV driver may operate a CMV.

After an accident, the future damages that can be expected are often unclear. The amount of damage that the truck company suffers and its cargo and other factors like the cost of emergency repairs, the need for future medical treatment, and the expected lost wages are sometimes unpredictable.

Tractor-trailers have been involved in other accidents which have claimed lives and caused property damage.

Were you involved in an accident? If so, lawyers from the law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can discuss your case and give you a good idea about how long your case might take from start to finish.

Truckers and Trucking Companies Maintaining Truck Insurance

According to Illinois law, a semi-truck company must carry insurance coverage at a minimum limit of $750,000. This amount is designed to take care of the needs of other drivers who are involved in accidents with a semi-truck.

Whatever the amount is in your particular case, insurance can provide you with financial assistance in many ways, including:

  • Paying for property damage
  • Covering medical expenses related to an injury
  • Coverage of living expenses in case your household income has decreased due to a wrongful death claim

It is important to discuss what types of coverage are available to you as a victim.

In addition to seeking financial assistance, victims also have other legal options available. For example, injured parties can seek restitution through a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim against the responsible party and their insurance company.

Every truck accident lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is committed to helping clients understand all of their legal options, including what to do if they have been injured in a truck accident and how to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

If multiple parties are involved in a truck accident, an injury claim could take even longer to move forward. The best way to handle multiple parties in large trucks accidents is to work with a lawyer who will fight for the rights of each involved party.

Resolving a Claim through an Insurance Company

When insurance companies delay the payment of benefits, they hope that the claimant will forget about the claim or die. As a result, insurance adjusters working for insurance companies will use various tactics to slow down resolving a case.

Two factors that directly affect the time it takes to settle a claim are the severity of the injury and whether or not there is a significant liability. Semi-truck accidents with life-altering injuries tend to settle more quickly than those without considerable liability. However, there are still personal injury cases where an insurance company will take years to resolve.

The available insurance plans or policies of an insurance company are a mystery to most people. In short, the price of an insurance plan depends on several factors that are not immediately apparent to the consumer.

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. Sometimes, they offer victims too small amounts of money to fairly resolve their truck accident claims.

Many truck companies have strong relationships with insurance companies that can abuse their power when dealing with clients who have been injured or suffered a loss because of a negligent driver on the road. As a result, those victims might be treated unfairly, leading to insurance companies delaying or even denying compensation for damages.

Getting Legal Assistance to Fight an Insurance Company

If you are dealing with an insurance company that is withholding payment of your benefits, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC may be able to help. We will fight hard to ensure the insurance company pays what it owes and does not attempt to cheat you out of the compensation you deserve.

When hiring a law firm, many people are concerned about how much it will cost to resolve their case. But, unfortunately, insurance companies use delaying tactics to take advantage of victims by making them wait for months or even years before settling typical truck accident claims.

As mentioned above, insurance companies have entire teams whose only job is to slow down the rate at which truck accident claims are resolved. With this in mind, victims mustn't wait too long to resolve their claims because doing so may cause their truck accident cases to become more complicated and costly.

Receiving Maximum Compensation

If you are the victim of a semi-truck accident caused by the negligent trucking company or driver, call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today to schedule your free case evaluation.

We will not rest until you receive maximum compensation for your losses. Our consultations are free and completely confidential.

Our legal team will get to working on your case immediately by:

  • Reading the police report and medical records
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Gathering evidence from the truck stop
  • Obtaining records from all trucking companies involved
  • Estimating your economic and non-economic losses
  • Negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you recover compensation for your damages

Trucking companies and their insurance companies will work hard to keep costs low and prevent payouts in accidents involving negligent drivers. However, our attorneys will not let them get away with their attempts to cheat you out of the money you deserve.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a truck accident, please contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC. We will explain your options and how we may help you receive full compensation for your damages.

For more information on insurance companies, trucking company policies, and negotiating truck accident claims, please call (888) 424-5757 today to speak with one of our attorneys about your case.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Did you lose a loved one in a fatal trucking accident? Is your family financially devastated losing third weekly earnings?

Under Illinois law, surviving family members can file a civil suit against the trucker, truck company, or both, who caused a wrongful death.

In addition, if they are killed due to the negligence of another, surviving family members have the right to sue for damages for mental and physical pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of anticipated financial support, and loss of consortium.

Qualifying family members could include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and even aunts and uncles.

If the at-fault party is convicted of a crime concerning the accident that caused your loved one's death, then you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to penalize dangerous, negligent parties for their behavior.

In addition to compensatory damages, surviving family members are allowed to file a wrongful death claim to recover the money that should have been spent on their loved one's care before death.

Generally, this includes child support payments, medical bills, third-party benefits (e.g., Social Security), funeral expenses, and loss of inter-spousal companionship.

The Illinois Statute of Limitations

The Illinois State Legislature has enacted the statute of limitations on recovering compensation for car and truck accident damages. The law mandates that an injured party must file suit within two years of the accident date.

There may be leeway that extends that time under certain circumstances that were not foreseeable. For example, if the family member was a minor when the accident occurred, they have until their 21st birthday to file suit.

Additionally, if a person became incompetent before his death, they have two years from the date of incompetency to file a claim.

Death Benefits Under the Family and Medical Leave Act

The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act entitle surviving family members to job protection following a death. In addition, the FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to grieve the loss of an immediate family member.

The FMLA defines "immediate family" as a spouse, parent, child, or employee's next of kin designated by the employee. It is helpful when the employee's spouse or parents are deceased.

The FMLA also requires employers to provide a diligent search for a replacement employee capable of performing a temporary position created by the absence of a grieving family member. If no qualified applicant can be found, employers have two options: hire an outside contractor to fill the spot or rescind the offer of employment.

If you are not an eligible FMLA recipient, you may be able to file a claim under the Illinois Employment Rights Act or Long Term Disability. The ILERA allows employees who have been employed for at least six months to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave time to deal with mental health issues caused by a death in the family.

A Long Term Disability plan may also allow you to tap into mental health treatment expenses benefits under your insurance policy.

Help is Available with Your Wrongful Death, Personal Injury, or Trucking Accident Case

Truck drivers at fault in fatal accidents are often insured by companies that say you cannot sue them.

However, suppose the trucker was driving negligently or recklessly. In that case, our legal team may be able to negotiate with the trucking company's insurance carrier to file a wrongful death claim on your behalf.

To ensure your case is not dismissed, please be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your truck accident or a legal representative if your claim has already passed the time limit.

Settling a Semi-Truck Accident Case FAQs

When someone is injured in an accident with a semi-truck, they deserve to know that their health and well-being are of utmost importance. Unfortunately, the sheer size of these vehicles often leads to long wait times during the settlement process of a personal injury claim.

A personal injury lawyer from our law office has answered some of the most pertinent questions on timely resolving a truck accident case. Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for additional information or schedule a consultation for immediate legal advice.

What can I do if I am injured in a trailer-truck accident?

If you have been involved in a trailer-truck accident, you should immediately seek medical treatment. You can also contact a personal injury attorney to ensure you receive all of the benefits you are entitled to for your injuries.

What documentation is necessary for a semi-truck accident claim?

In addition to standard documentation from your doctor, you should also gather records from the hospital where any necessary procedures or surgeries were performed.

Also, obtain any information from the ambulance company that transported you for medical treatment and any witnesses who may have seen what happened.

How do I know if I can file a claim against the truck company?

You may be able to file a third-party claim for damages if the truck driver was operating his vehicle in an unauthorized manner or was negligent, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If the trucker, truck company, or others were at least 50% responsible for causing the crash, you are entitled to seek financial compensation for all damages. In addition, filing a civil lawsuit extends to surviving family members who lost a loved one in a catastrophic fatal truck accident.

What is an example of a truck accident case?

Truck accidents can take many forms and often result in severe personal injury claims. One typical example is when an eighteen-wheeler rear-ends another vehicle, pushing it into the back of a third truck.

Trucking accidents can involve commercial vehicles, buses, school buses, or vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds.

How long does it take to settle a trailer-truck accident case?

The amount of time it takes for an injury claim involving a semi-truck to settle can vary greatly. Generally, these truck accident cases are often much more complex than other personal injury lawsuits and require thorough liability investigation.

Simple fender benders involving commercial trucks can settle as quickly as a few months. However, more complex cases, especially those involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, could take many months or years to resolve completely through a negotiated settlement amount or jury award.

Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer to Settle a Commercial Vehicle Accident Case

Were you involved in an accident involving a semi-tractor-trailer? Were you injured, or did you lose a loved one in the crash and want to settle a semi-truck crash case?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our truck accident attorneys specialize in vehicle collisions where one or more drivers' negligence led to the crash. Discuss your case with a truck accident lawyer to determine your legal options from one or more parties.

Our experienced truck accident attorneys will not leave any stone unturned in their resolve to secure you the best possible compensation. If your truck accident lawyer doesn't win, there won't be any legal fees or expenses charged to our clients.

It doesn't matter if this was a typical car accident or trucking collision; we work on a contingency fee basis, which means no upfront costs whatsoever! Call us today at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review to discuss our legal services, the litigation process, receiving maximum compensation, and a typical settlement timeline!

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