A truck accident can leave you with serious injuries that prevent you from going to work, enjoying the things you once did, and even performing basic daily tasks. If someone else’s negligence caused your crash, you may be able to file a claim against them for compensation.
One of the most common questions our Baton Rouge truck accident lawyers hear is how long it will take for victims to obtain the full compensation they deserve. No one can say exactly how long your case will take. A lawyer can provide an estimate of how long your case will take, and there are other guidelines you can use, as well. These are explained in more detail below.
The Process of Gathering Evidence
In order to prove your truck accident claim, you must present strong evidence. Police reports, photographs, and statements from eyewitnesses are just a few types of evidence used in accident cases. In truck accident claims specifically, there are additional forms of evidence you may need to obtain, such as log books and maintenance records from the trucking company. Collecting these pieces of evidence could require more time.
Determining who is liable, or at fault, for a truck can be more complicated than when a crash involves smaller passenger vehicles. There are multiple parties who could be at fault for a collision involving a commercial truck, and they may not all be at the accident scene. Some of the most common liable parties in truck accident cases are as follows:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the truck or the truck parts
- Truck inspectors or mechanics
- Government entities
Your Own Degree of Fault
Louisiana is governed by pure comparative fault law. Under this law, you can still file a claim for compensation even if you are found to be 99% at fault for the crash. However, any damages you receive will be reduced by your own degree of fault. For example, a truck driver may improperly change lanes at the same time you are speeding. The truck driver may be found 80% at fault for failing to check their blind spots, while you may be found 20% at fault for driving over the speed limit. If you received $100,000 in damages, they would be reduced by 20%, leaving you with $80,000 in compensation.
As with any other auto accident, the insurance company representing the negligent party will conduct a full investigation to determine fault and how the crash happened. This can take quite a bit of time. Additionally, trucking companies often purchase separate policies for their drivers, trailers, rigs, and hauling equipment. When a case involves multiple insurance companies, it can take even longer to receive the settlement you deserve. Still, it is important to identify all liable parties so you claim full damages.
The Nature of Your Injuries
Truck accidents will cause some of the most serious injuries, such as broken bones, internal injuries, and even amputations and paralysis. The nature and severity of your injuries will play a large role in how long your truck accident claim takes to settle. You should never resolve your claim until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), or at least know what your future treatment needs will be. This means your injuries will not become any worse, but they also will not get any better, or your compensation will include the amount needed for your future care Only once you fully understand the losses you have incurred are you in a position to put a monetary value on your injuries.
The Statute of Limitations
As in all other states, you only have a certain amount of time to file a truck accident claim. In Louisiana, if you do not file your claim within one year of the crash, you will be barred from collecting any compensation at all. There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they are very limited. It is important to note that your claim does not have to be resolved within one year but it does have to be filed with the insurance company within that time. There may be instances where you can file your claim after one year in another state even though your crash was in Louisiana.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Baton Rouge Can Help You Know How Quickly to Settle Your Claim
At Big River Trial Attorneys, our Baton Rouge truck accident lawyers will take the necessary time to settle your claim so you obtain the maximum damages you deserve. Still, we know how to proceed with these claims in a timely and efficient manner so you receive the compensation you need to cover the expenses related to your injuries. Call us now at (225) 963-9638 or contact us online to request a free review of your case and to get more information.