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How Long Does it Take to Settle a Truck Accident Claim?  

Posted on February 2, 2023 in Truck Accidents

A truck accident can cause life-changing injuries and expensive property damage. As a victim of a Los Angeles truck accident, it is normal to want to resolve your claim and receive a payout as soon as possible. However, it is important to know that once you accept a settlement, you cannot reopen your case – even if you realize that you rushed into an unfair agreement. Learn the average timeline of a truck accident case so that you know what to expect.

Timeline of a truck accident claim in CA

Insurance Company Response Deadline: 15 Days

You should always file a truck accident injury claim as soon as possible after your crash, for a few different reasons. The first is that there is a time limit on your right to pursue a personal injury claim in California. You have no more than two years from the date of the crash to bring a lawsuit. The second is that if you act quickly, the chances are higher of having strong evidence, such as accurate eyewitness statements. Finally, most insurance companies require claimants to report accidents as soon as possible to qualify for compensation.

Once you file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance provider, California’s Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations give the insurance company no more than 15 days to respond to your claim. If you do not receive a response from the insurance company within 15 days, you can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance. The Department can investigate to determine if there has been an unreasonable delay in settling your claim, otherwise known as insurance bad faith. If so, you may be able to file an additional suit against the insurer for mishandling your claim.

40-Day Claim Investigation Time Limit

After the initial response to your claim, the insurance company will launch an investigation into who or what caused the truck accident. In California, an insurance company has no more than 40 days after receiving your proof of claim forms to investigate and make a decision on your claim. If it needs more time, the insurer must notify you in writing of the extension and give a valid reason.

Payout Timeframe: Immediately, But No More Than 30 Days

If the insurance company accepts your claim and you reach a settlement, the insurer must pay the claim immediately, but at least within 30 days of the date that a settlement was reached. The total amount of time that a settlement takes to reach depends on the case. The average insurance settlement takes around six months from start to finish. However, this timeline can vary based on the individual facts of the case.

Since truck accident claims often involve catastrophic injuries or wrongful deaths, the claims process may take longer than usual. The case may require a more thorough investigation, for example, or the victim may have a long time before reaching his or her point of maximum medical improvement. A complicated investigation or a liability dispute between parties could also extend the settlement process.

Insurance Settlement vs. Truck Accident Trial

One of the main factors that determine how long a truck accident settlement takes is whether it reaches an insurance settlement or goes to trial. If the defendant’s insurance company rejects your claim or refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, you may need to go to court. In this case, your best option is to hire an experienced truck accident attorney to represent you. An attorney can make the trial process as efficient as possible.

A truck accident trial can take one year or longer. The timeline depends on factors such as the willingness of the parties to cooperate, whether the case reaches a settlement before the start of the trial and how busy the courthouse schedule is. While you may wish to avoid a time-consuming truck accident trial, it is critical not to rush into a fast settlement. Accepting the first offer from an insurance company may lead to an inadequate award. Instead, take your time and consult with an attorney to ensure a settlement offer is fair before signing away your rights.