Truck Accident Timeline
Our DC truck accident attorneys have been handling truck cases since 1954. Having practiced tort law for the greater part of a century, we understand precisely what is involved in the process. We will walk you through a systematic, step-by-step approach for tackling a truck accident case in Washington, DC. It is important to note that this guide, while thorough, is not comprehensive. Each case is unique, so what works for one case might not work for another. Meaning, you should still seek assistance from a seasoned truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. The truck accident timeline below cannot be exact because the length of time for each step is entirely dependent on the severity of your injuries as well as some factors outside of anyone’s control such as the insurance company representing the defendant.
Injured: Day Zero
This section requires no explanation. You are involved in a motor vehicle accident where the defendant, the party you are suing, is in a truck. The truck driver handled his truck in a negligent or intentional manner, which resulted in injury to you, the plaintiff. Keep in mind, we handle truck accidents involving a bodily injury. This means that if you would like to sue a negligent truck driver who damaged your motor vehicle, but you are not hurt, we will not accept that type of accident as we are a personal injury law firm. If you are seriously injured, you may go to the hospital immediately following the truck accident.
Consult Your Attorney: Within Days
This is a crucial step, and it does several things to make your life easier. First, your lawyer can help you find reputable doctors. Having handled truck accidents for several decades, we know different doctors in a variety of cities who we have heard good things from former clients. Of course, this is a mere suggestion, and you are welcome to use a doctor you are familiar with if you would feel more comfortable. Additionally, having a wealth of experience, we are well-acquainted with this timeline. Accordingly, we can answer any questions you may have regarding next steps and how long each step will take based on the particular facts of your case.
Treatment Plan: Months to Years
At this step, you should have some idea of what your injuries consist of and what your treatment plan looks like. Again, this will depend entirely on you and your injuries. So, we cannot predict how long this will take. But in general, this step can take anywhere from a few months to years. The most important thing to remember at this point is you need to get better. Your life may be drastically altered by the truck accident. Returning to normalcy is no easy feat and should not be taken for granted.
By this point, you may or may not be fully healed. However, ideally, you have at least stopped regular therapy appointments following the truck accident or some surgery related to the accident. You may never get to the point of being fully recovered, but you may be at the point of maximum medical improvement. Once your attorney has received all your bills and records from your various medical providers as well as information from you and your employer regarding your lost wages, your lawyer can begin settlement negotiations. Going to court can take years.
Additionally, paying for expert witnesses can be expensive. Both your personal injury attorney and the insurance company representing the defendant are aware of this. Accordingly, settlement can sometimes be in the best interest of both parties to save time and expense. So, it is often in your best interest as the client and plaintiff to wait. If you have an experienced truck accident lawyer, he or she will know rather quickly if the defendant’s insurance company is making lousy offers of settlement and when it is time to ignore them and push forward with filing suit.
Lawsuit: Moths to Years
The reason the time estimation includes months is primarily because sometimes, once we have filed suit, the insurance company will take a better look at the merits of their case and decide to make a better settlement offer. If that is not the case, then there are several steps involved with filing suit.
First, there is discovery. This involves the exchange of information from both sides. This can include depositions, interrogatories, as well as motions from both sides which require court intervention. Then, the court may require mediation or a settlement conference. If successful, this can be to your benefit. However, it can also be a massive waste of time as well as costly. Then comes the actual trial. For a truck accident case, this part of the process is relatively short. The longest part of this step will be simply waiting for the trial date, which again can take months or years. Also, there is no guarantee at trial. Even if the defendant made offers of settlement, this is not an admission of liability and is not always even admissible in court that they made an offer at all.
Truck Accident Timeline: Resolution
By this point in the truck accident timeline, you have won your case and the money from the settlement or judgment is in your lawyer’s trust account. The lawyer then will disburse the money to the various parties such as the medical providers as well as Medicare or Medicaid and you, the plaintiff. It may take months or years to get to this stage, and success is never guaranteed. This is why it is important to do your research when hiring a truck accident lawyer. Look for a lawyer who has years of experience and explains to you effectively the process. You want a timely communicator should you have any questions. We have offices in Washington, DC and Maryland.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer