Being involved in a semi-truck accident in New Mexico can be a difficult and confusing time for you and your family. It is normal to want the insurance claims process to be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible so that you can move forward with your life. The length of time a semi-truck accident case takes to settle, meaning for an agreement to be reached between the victim and insurance company, depends on the circumstances.
On Average: Three to Six Months
Many factors can affect the timeline of a semi-truck accident case in New Mexico. This includes the severity of the victim’s injuries, the number of defendants or liable parties, and whether there is a dispute regarding fault for the crash. On average, a simpler case with minor to no injuries can reach a settlement faster than a more complex case with catastrophic injuries.
If a commercial truck accident claim does not encounter any roadblocks or challenges, the victim can expect to reach a settlement within about three to six months, on average. A settlement is a signed contract between the victim (or victim’s representatives) and an insurance company that agrees to clear the defendant of any further liability for the truck accident in exchange for a specific amount of money to resolve the legal dispute.
It typically takes at least six months to reach a settlement agreement after an insurance claim is filed. An uncomplicated truck accident case with just one liable party and clear evidence of fault could result in a settlement in just a few months. The victim’s attorney may need several weeks to negotiate for a fairer settlement, however.
With Complications: One Year or Longer
Semi-truck accident cases often come with complications. They are different from standard car accident cases in many ways, including more severe harm inflicted, unique types of evidence, federal trucking laws, and multiple liable parties. For this reason, truck accident cases in New Mexico can easily take one year or longer.
For example, if a commercial truck insurance company refutes its policyholder’s fault, attempts to blame the victim for the truck accident, wrongfully rejects the claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, the case may go to trial. Depending on the complexity of the case, the length of the discovery phase and how busy the courthouse is, waiting for a trial date alone could take one year or longer.
During a personal injury trial, both sides of the case will have the chance to present evidence and witness testimony before a judge and jury. The plaintiff or injured party will need to prove that the defendant or accused party caused the truck accident based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means with a certainty of at least 51 percent. The entire legal process for a truck accident trial could take several years, in some circumstances.
Can You Speed Up the Claims Process?
It is important not to rush the semi-truck accident claims process unnecessarily. Rushing into a quick settlement could mean accepting less than you need and deserve for life-changing injuries. However, it can benefit you to keep the legal process timely and efficient, such as by saving money on legal costs.
The best way to save time is by hiring an attorney to handle confusing legal paperwork and processes for you. Your lawyer can file your truck accident claim before New Mexico’s deadline. Then, your lawyer can take over negotiations with an insurance claims adjuster to reach a fair settlement in a timely manner. If this is not possible, you can trust an attorney to go to trial on your behalf as soon as possible.
Obtaining a specific time estimate for a semi-truck accident case requires consulting with an attorney, since the timeline will depend on a multitude of factors. Contact The Fine Law Firm today for more information.