There is no average amount of time for how long truck accident settlements take in Maryland. In most instances, it is not even possible to predict up front how long it will take to settle your case. This is because Maryland truck accident cases are affected by so many different factors that are not in your control, including:
- The presence or absence of high-quality evidence
- Whether the insurance company cooperates with your case
- Whether you have to take your case to court
Evidence You Need for a Truck Accident Settlement
To recover a settlement, you must prove that the other party failed to behave in a reasonable and lawful manner and that this failure led directly to your truck accident and resulting injuries. Evidence your lawyer needs to prove your case includes:
- Medical records to show that you were injured badly enough to need treatment
- The police report, which contains vital details about the collision
- Testimony from you and the truck driver to get both sides of the story
- Witness testimony that can help prove or disprove what you and the truck driver have said about the accident
- Audiovisual footage that shows the accident as it happened and/or the aftermath
- The trucking company’s records, which can show both the driver’s history and the company’s history, including prior accidents
Unfortunately, such evidence may not be available in all cases. For example, maybe the accident occurred at night on a nearly empty stretch of highway. You would not be able to rely on witnesses or camera footage in this case.
It may help to consult an attorney about your accident. They can do the work of locating and analyzing the evidence on your behalf, even if they have to do a little digging to find that evidence.
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
How Insurance Companies Handle Truck Accidents
No insurance company wants to pay more than they have to after an accident. As such, they may do what they can to make it harder for you to recover the money you need—even if they are your insurer.
Insurance companies can draw out how long truck accident settlements take in Maryland by:
- Taking a long time to respond to your lawyer’s phone calls and emails
- Refusing to negotiate in good faith or not coming to the negotiating table at all
- Not turning over evidence that your attorney requests in a timely manner
All of these factors could drag out your legal case, and that is exactly what the insurance company wants. They hope that you will get so frustrated and impatient that you will accept any small, insufficient settlement they offer.
The insurers may be more likely to try such tactics if you represent yourself. They know they have more power and resources than any individual. If you hire a truck accident lawyer to protect your rights, the insurer might choose to cooperate instead.
Going to Court Over a Truck Accident
Sometimes, trying to pursue a truck accident settlement is not a good use of your time. This might be the case if:
- Your lawyer cannot convince the insurance company to come to the table.
- Negotiations have gone on for a while with no progress made.
- Extenuating circumstances convince your lawyer that it would be useless to even try to negotiate.
Instead, you have the option of taking your case to trial. This process would involve:
- Picking jury members
- Selecting trial dates
- Submitting evidence to the court
- Presenting oral arguments
- Preparing and questioning friendly witnesses
- Cross-examining witnesses for the defense
- Objecting if the defense does not respect your rights
As a general rule, trials take longer to resolve than settlements. You would probably have to wait a much longer time before receiving a jury award, but, again, sometimes, this is the only way to get the money you deserve.
The good news is that just because you file a lawsuit and prepare for trial does not necessarily mean your case will get that far. The act of filing a suit could persuade the insurance company that you are serious about getting fair compensation, and they may decide to come to the negotiating table, even at the last minute.
How Long You Have to Seek Truck Accident Compensation
In essence, truck accident cases take as long as they take. By comparison, the law is very strict about how much time you have to begin your case.
To have a chance of recovering a truck accident settlement, you must take action within three years, according to Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 5-101. If there were casualties in your truck accident case, you must file within three years of your loved one’s death, per Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 3-904.
In addition to keeping within the law, there are practical considerations for starting your case as soon as possible, including the following:
- You need compensation as fast as you can get it. Truck accident cases can take a while to settle, so you should get started quickly to get the ball rolling.
- You want to settle this case and start the process of moving on with your life. Delaying your case only means that you will have to keep reliving the accident for longer than necessary.
- Evidence can lose value over time. For example, witnesses’ memories will fade, and important documentation might be destroyed by the owners. Generally, it is easier for your lawyer to find evidence sooner after the crash rather than later.
It can take a long time to recover a Maryland truck accident settlement, but you do not have to go into this fight alone. A personal injury law firm could fight for your settlement so you have more time to spend receiving treatment or with your loved ones.
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Getting a Fair Truck Accident Settlement
At Adam Smallow Injury Lawyers, we focus on helping individuals, not big organizations like trucking companies. No matter how long truck accident settlements take in Maryland, we stick with our clients from beginning to end. Find out more by getting in touch with our office today.