How long does it take to get compensation after a Washington semi-truck accident?

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injured and annoyed man sitting by bed in hospitalCompensation After a Washington Truck Accident

Truck accident claims can pose unexpected difficulties, especially if they involve serious injuries and multiple defendants. While you should never have to wait to receive compensation for an accident that was not your fault, insurance negotiations and litigation can be time-consuming processes. Although you could receive a settlement offer in a matter of weeks, your case’s timeline will likely depend on an assortment of other circumstances, including the at-fault party’s willingness to admit liability and agree to a fair resolution.

An experienced Washington semi truck accident attorney can help you resolve your claim quickly. However, you should be skeptical of anyone who promises a settlement check within a matter of days, weeks, or even months.

The Timeline for Typical Semi-Truck Injury Settlements

Nobody—not even an experienced lawyer—can tell you how long it will take to settle your claim.

Every personal injury case is different. In general, semi-truck-related litigation takes longer to resolve than automobile-related lawsuits. Before you can receive a settlement, you must still:

  • File an accident report in accordance with Washington state law.
  • Notify the trucking company and its insurer of your claim.
  • Document your accident-related injuries.
  • Provide evidence of the semi-truck driver and trucking company’s negligence.
  • File an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
  • Negotiate a settlement, or prepare for a court trial if negotiations fail.

Why Semi-Truck Accidents Take Longer to Resolve Than Car Crashes

Even though semi-truck companies are required by law to purchase and maintain high-limit liability policies, insurance agencies are still for-profit enterprises. Consequently, insurance companies are usually more concerned about their profit margins than an accident victim’s physical and financial well-being. Even if the semi-truck driver or their employer was clearly at-fault, the insurance adjuster might still try to devalue your settlement by challenging your treatment or arguing over the costs of your long-term care.

You likely stand your best chance of recovery when you have an experienced, competent attorney advocating for your rights. Without legal counsel, the defendants and their insurers are unlikely to take your claim seriously. They could present you with unfair settlement offers or try to use your own words against you. Even if you are clearly entitled to compensation, they might still try to wear you down, asking for never-ending documentary evidence and disputing your calculation for compensatory damages.

What Influences the Duration of a Semi-Truck Accident Claim

While there is no “average” time to settle a semi-truck accident claim, your lawsuit could be affected by:

  • How fast you act. Washington affords every resident the right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit after a serious semi-truck-related accident. However, the state also has a strict statute of limitations. If you wait too long to take action, the statute of limitations could prevent you from securing compensation, even if you had an otherwise open-and-shut case.
  • The quality of available evidence. Insurance companies will not usually negotiate high-value settlements in the absence of compelling evidence. Even if you were unable to take photographs of the accident site or speak to law enforcement after the crash, an experienced Seattle-area semi-truck attorney could help you investigate the cause and circumstances of your accident.
  • The extent of your injuries. Semi-truck companies and their insurance carriers are usually less likely to offer “easy” settlements if you sustained serious injuries, like a lost limb or irreversible cognitive damage, that require expensive medical treatment and long-term care.
  • The number of potential defendants. Unlike conventional automobile accidents, semi-truck-related lawsuits usually involve multiple defendants. You might have to file separate claims against the semi-truck driver, the trucking company, and even an automotive parts maker. Max Meyers Law could help you determine who should bear the costs associated with your legal recovery.
  • Whether you hire a lawyer. Insurance companies often recommend that claimants negotiate a settlement independently, saying that a lawyer will “only make things more difficult.” However, research has shown—time and time again—that semi-truck crash victims who have lawyers are more likely to both successfully settle their claim and receive more compensation than victims who do not have an attorney.
Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.