Crucial Answers to Help Big Rig Crash Victims Seek Justice & Compensation
Liability, damages, and your options for filing a truck accident claim are essential to understand if you or a loved one has been hurt in a tractor-trailer crash. In fact, the more you know about a potential claim and how to proceed, the more empowered you’ll be to protect your rights and pursue the full, fair financial recovery you may deserve.
Sharing more about these key matters, the following FAQs unpack how 18-wheeler wreck cases work, how long they can take, and how a truck accident lawyer can help victims recover.
When Should I File a Truck Accident Case?
File a claim as soon as you can after the wreck for better chances of a stronger case and a successful resolution. There are few key reasons why promptly filing 18-wheeler wreck cases can serve victims’ best interests. Those include (but are not limited to) the facts that:
- Key evidence may not be available for long: Witnesses can forget or move. Accident photos can get lost or destroyed. And important records related to a tractor-trailer, its cargo, or its motor carrier can go missing. So, if you drag your feet and wait too long to file, you could be making it more difficult for yourself to present a strong case and win the damages you may deserve.
- At-fault parties may already be mounting their defense case: If insurance companies, motor carriers, or others anticipate a truck accident lawsuit, they can get to work ASAP after a crash, sending out quick response teams to gather evidence and start building a defense against victims’ claims even as the dust from the crash is still settling. Again, waiting to file can mean you end up facing more challenges with a claim because you’ll be going up against a much more prepared (and likely formidable) defense.
- State law limits the time to file big rig accident cases: You only have two years in Texas to file an 18-wheeler accident case. That is not a lot of time, especially when claims involve more complex circumstances, multiple vehicles, and/or catastrophic injuries.
Remember, you do not need to know all of the details, who’s liable, or the exact extent of your injuries before you file a claim. You also don’t need to pursue legal action alone — an experienced truck accident attorney can file and oversee your case for you, working on contingency so that legal fees don’t hold you back from exercising your rights to justice.
Will My Truck Accident Case Go to Trial?
The details of your 18-wheeler claim, along with your choices and objectives, can impact whether your claim is settled out of court or whether it goes to trial. Generally, however, most claims are not resolved via trial but, instead, are settled out of court. That’s because many parties can reach mutually agreeable settlements ahead of trial, which often means more efficient resolutions.
That said, sometimes, it is necessary to go to court and battle it out in a trial. This can be the case whenever there are disputes over fault and/or damages.
Regardless of whether your case does end up in trial, partnering with a lawyer can help you both when it comes to:
- Out-of-court negotiations and settlement talks
- Settlement offer evaluations and determining whether to take a case to court
- Preparing for trial and advocating your rights in court
How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Truck Accident Claim?
There are not defined terms for how long 18-wheeler wreck cases take because:
- Every case is different.
- The circumstances of a specific big rig crash can impact how long it takes to build and resolve a case.
- Victims’ choices can also play a role in the duration of a claim.
Usually, 18-wheeler crash cases are not resolved in a matter of days, as it takes time to investigate wrecks, deal with insurance companies, and negotiate fair damages. Plus, rushing to resolve a case can mean:
- Leaving compensation on the table
- Giving your opponents leverage to try to undercut and hardball settlement offers because they know you just want to end the case
Instead of focusing on how long a case will take to resolve, it’s generally better to concentrate on the strength of your claim and making the best choices at every phase. That’s where an 18-wheeler accident lawyer can play a key role, guiding and representing victims to help them achieve efficient, favorable resolutions.