How Long Does It Take to Settle an 18-Wheeler Accident Case in Gainesville?
Truck accidents in Gainesville, FL, can cause serious and catastrophic injuries. Unless you were in a low-speed accident, you might need emergency care, medical treatment, and physical therapy after getting hit by an 18-wheeler.
Fortunately, trucking companies must have large insurance policies and surety bonds to pay for the injuries that result from collisions. The downside is that claim investigators for the insurance or surety companies will look for any reason to delay your claim.
Allen Law Firm, P.A. can help you maximize your compensation after a truck crash. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Gainesville truck accident attorney to discuss your case at (877) 255-3652.
How Allen Law Firm, P.A. Can Help After an Accident in Gainesville
Allen Law Firm, P.A. has been representing accident victims in Gainesville for over 15 years. Together, our Gainesville personal injury attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience. They have earned some of the legal community’s most prestigious honors, including AV Preeminent ratings from Martindale-Hubbell and Superb ratings from Avvo.
When you hire us, you can count on us to:
- Explain your rights and options for holding the truck driver and trucking company accountable
- Investigate the cause of your truck accident to gather evidence
- Identify your losses and calculate the value of your damages
- Work with leading experts to strengthen your claim
- Handle all communications and negotiations with the other parties
- Take your case to court to pursue fair compensation
After a truck accident, you will need to battle the trucking company’s insurers and sureties for fair injury compensation. Contact Allen Law Firm, P.A. for a free initial consultation to learn what an experienced Gainesville truck accident lawyer can do to help you.
How Common Are 18-Wheeler Accidents?
In one recent year, 18-wheelers were involved in 107,000 injury crashes and 4,832 fatal crashes. Since semi-trucks travel so much, you might expect them to have a higher likelihood of crashing. But on a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) basis, semi-trucks have roughly the same accident rate as passenger cars and trucks.
According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, the Gainesville Police Department investigated 172 truck crashes that same year. Those crashes caused two deaths and four serious injuries.
In 2021, Gainesville had a much more normal traffic year. Gainesville had 204 truck accidents with zero deaths and six serious injuries. That year, truck accidents accounted for 4.6% of traffic crashes in Gainesville and 5.1% of the city’s serious injuries.
Overview of How Long It Takes to Settle an 18-Wheeler Accident Case
The name 18-wheeler refers to the number of wheels on a semi-truck and trailer combination. Under federal law, an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, including the weight of the cargo.
When a tractor-trailer hits a passenger automobile, it transfers a large amount of energy to the auto. This energy destroys the automobile and injures the people inside. The massive transfer of energy can cause catastrophic head, neck, and back injuries. The crash can also break bones and tear soft tissue.
Settling a Truck Crash Case
In theory, an insurer could settle a truck crash case within 64 days of an accident. Under Florida’s insurance laws and regulations, an insurer has:
- 14 days to acknowledge a claim and supply claim forms to the accident victim
- 30 days to accept, deny, or partially accept a claim
- 20 days after acceptance to pay the claim
But insurers have many ways of dragging out the time to pay a claim, including:
Asking for More Information
The clock to accept or deny a claim only starts when the insurer receives proof of your losses. An insurer can delay a decision on your claim if it believes you did not provide enough proof. But insurers also use this to slow down your claim.
Denying Part of a Claim
An insurer does not need to accept or deny your claim in whole. It can meet its deadline by denying part of your claim and accepting the rest of it.
Some grounds an insurer might use to deny a claim include:
- You claimed a pre-existing injury
- The crash did not cause all the injuries you claimed
- At least some of the treatment you received was unnecessary
If the claim gets denied, you can respond. Even if the insurer believes it will eventually pay the entire claim, denying part of the claim can buy the insurer time.
Making a Low Offer
When the insurer accepts a claim, it will make a settlement offer. But the insurer can slow down the claim process by making a low offer.
You and your injury lawyer will respond to a low offer with a counteroffer. The time to settle your case will get delayed while you negotiate for a better offer.
Realistic Timeline for Settling an 18-Wheeler Accident Case
Very few truck accident cases settle in 64 days. Instead, you should expect your claim to take anywhere from a few months to over a year to settle. If you need to file a lawsuit to pressure the insurer or surety, your case may take even longer to settle.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Gainesville 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents cause devastating injuries, and you need compensation as quickly as possible. To learn what Allen Law Firm, P.A. can do to keep your truck accident case on track, contact us for a free consultation.
Our Gainesville truck accident lawyers are standing by to help with your claim.