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

Published On: January 9, 2023
Categories: Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can be devastating, and putting your life back together after the crash is overwhelming. Large insurance companies and defense attorneys may try to intimidate you into settling quickly or dropping your case. You may get exhausted by the idea of how long a civil case may take to resolve. The first question you might have is, “How long is this going to take?”

Many factors determine how long a semi-truck accident case takes to settle. Anything from the insurance company’s willingness to settle the case, how long it takes to properly serve the defendants, to the severity of your injuries can affect the timeline of the case.

Hiring a truck accident attorney is the best way to get fully compensated for your injuries and keep your case moving forward. Contact a local lawyer today if you have suffered an injury in an accident with a semi-truck driver.

To learn more about what affects how long it takes to settle a semi-truck accident case, continue reading.

Multiple Responsible Parties

​How Long Does it Take to Settle a Semi Truck Accident?

There will likely be multiple responsible parties in a semi-truck accident. Locating each responsible party and naming them in a lawsuit can be challenging. When a truck driver works for a trucking company and was working at the time of the accident, the company may be responsible for the crash if the driver was negligent.

This is only one example of how semi-truck accidents usually have multiple defendants.

Potential defendants in semi-truck accident cases include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The parts manufacturers
  • Mechanics that made repairs to the trucks
  • Employees hired to load cargo
  • Other drivers
  • Insurance companies
  • State and local governments

Accident victims need the help of truck accident lawyers to ensure they identify each responsible party and name all appropriate parties in the lawsuit. If you have been in an accident with a semi-truck, your best next step is to call an accident attorney in your area.

Negotiations With the Insurance Company

The time it takes to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company affects the timeframe for resolving a semi-truck accident case. Insurance companies are profit-driven. They lose money each time they pay an accident claim.

Because of the risk to their bottom line, insurance adjusters may reach out to you and use tried and true tactics to avoid paying a settlement to an accident victim.

Some of the tactics insurance companies use to deny your claim can include:

  • Downplaying your injuries
  • Locking you into your story quickly
  • Offering a settlement quickly
  • Delaying offering a settlement

Going back and forth with the insurance company can delay a settlement for weeks or months. Having an attorney speak to the insurance company on your behalf can add legitimacy to your claim. Insurance companies often try to bully unrepresented accident victims, but an attorney will ensure that you only accept a settlement from the insurance company that will cover all your losses.

The Severity of Your Injuries

Semi-truck accidents are serious and are often deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large truck crashes have caused 4,965 deaths and 146,930 injuries in recent years. The severity of injuries caused by semi-truck crashes can take a long time to heal. Some injuries remain and do not become apparent for weeks or months. Some accident victims make the mistake of settling before they fully recover or know how much money they will need to pay for future care.

The severity of your injuries affects how long it takes to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The longer it takes for your injuries to reach MMI, the longer it will take to resolve your case. Although it is frustrating to wait to settle the case, being patient while you recover will positively impact your case. The closer you are to a full recovery, the better your chances are of being fully compensated.

Common Injuries Semi-Truck Accident Victims

Truck accident victims may suffer from various types of injuries.

Some common injuries victims face after semi-truck accidents can include:

  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Bruises
  • Sprains and strains
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation
  • Paralysis
  • Head trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium and loss of companionship

The Case Involves a Wrongful Death Claim

The case becomes more complicated if a semi-truck accident victim loses their life. A wrongful death occurs when the action of an individual causes the untimely death of another person. Wrongful death claims are highly technical and one of the most difficult types of cases a civil litigator may face. The laws on who can sue for wrongful death vary depending on the state. If you have lost a loved one in a semi-truck accident and believe you have a wrongful death case, contact an attorney in your area.

Because of the complex nature of wrongful death cases, if a semi-truck case involves a fatal injury, the case may take longer than it might if the victim survived the crash.

The Accident Injured Multiple Victims

Cases with multiple injured victims can get complicated. The more plaintiffs in a case, the longer it will take to resolve. More victims mean more players, including more plaintiff’s attorneys, insurance companies, and defense attorneys.

For example, if a semi-truck loses control on the interstate and crashes into four cars, each injured person must contact their insurance company and hire an attorney to represent them.

In this example, there will be at least four private insurance companies, the truck driver’s insurance company, and the trucking company’s insurance company. Each party will likely have an attorney. Each of these players must work with each other to resolve the case. Even if you can settle the case, it will not happen quickly.

Your Case May Go to Trial

If you and the insurance company cannot reach a satisfactory settlement, the next step to resolving your case is heading to trial. A civil trial can be overwhelming. Accident victims should rely on the experience and skill of their semi-truck accident attorney to guide them through their case.

Civil trials do not resolve quickly. The case must go on the appropriate court’s docket, and the court’s schedule may be backed up for months or years.

In addition to the time it takes to get a trial date, trial prep can take a significant amount of time. Here is what must your lawyer must do before your case goes to trial:

File and Serve the Lawsuit

A lawsuit begins by filing a complaint with the correct court and serving each defendant with process. A complaint includes the plaintiff’s allegations regarding the accident. The complaint must be served to each defendant.

Service of process is the formal way a defendant learns they face a civil lawsuit. Service of process is complete when a process server finds the defendant and hands the complaint and summons to the defendant. Some states require the defendant to sign a copy of the summons and have the signed copy returned to the court by the process server.

Service of process can take time, especially if there are multiple defendants. Your semi-truck accident case may experience delays while process servers look for each defendant.


The investigation phase is an essential part of the pretrial phase, but completing it will take some time. The investigation phase of pretrial is called discovery. Discovery is mandatory, and the applicable rules vary based on state civil procedural rules.

You must comply with many procedural rules, which most accident victims are unfamiliar with. You can trust that your semi-truck accident attorney is knowledgeable about the rules of civil procedure and will ensure that you follow them, so your case does not fail on technical grounds.

Depositions are an important part of the investigation phase of a civil lawsuit. A deposition is an out-of-court interview of a witness. There is no judge present at depositions, but the testimony given is under oath and has the same weight as testimony given at trial.

Witnesses must tell the truth or face the penalty of perjury.

Witnesses usually give depositions if they cannot testify live at trial. Expert witnesses, like doctors and accident reconstructionists, usually testify by deposition.

The investigation phase of the pretrial process can take a long time to complete. Coordinating witness and attorney schedules can be challenging. Getting the schedule right can certainly keep a case from moving forward.

How Can the Attorney I Choose Affect the Outcome of My Case?

The attorney you choose can have a great impact on the outcome of your case. Before hiring an attorney, vet them for qualities that will improve your case’s likelihood of a successful outcome. Look for an attorney with the following attributes:


You need an attorney with experience handling semi-truck accident cases. The attorney you hire should have a percentage of their practice dedicated to representing accident victims in semi-truck cases.

Proven Track Record

The attorney you choose should have experience and successful outcomes. A track record of success shows the attorney’s ability to negotiate, present evidence, and try cases. You can learn more about an attorney’s track record by reading online reviews from past clients.

The Attorney’s Reputation

An attorney’s reputation is important. You may want to find the most aggressive attorney, but the most effective attorney will be one with a reputation for being an honest and intelligent advocate. Insurance companies and defense attorneys should know that you have a hardworking and competent attorney.

Civil attorneys with good reputations tend to get swifter outcomes for their clients. Trials are expensive. Insurance companies want to avoid paying the cost of a jury trial. If the insurance company knows your attorney will not accept an insufficient offer and is not afraid to fight it out in court, the insurance company may be willing to offer a satisfactory settlement offer.


You and your attorney need to communicate well. Good communication can move the case forward more quickly and efficiently. During your initial meeting, ask about how the attorney typically communicates with clients. You may receive communications from the attorney or their staff.


Civil lawsuits can take a long time to resolve. You want to hire an attorney you can get along with because you will spend a lot of time with them and their team. Choose someone you can trust because the attorney and their office will learn intimate details about your life.

Team Player

Choose an attorney who works well with their team. A cohesive legal team can help you get the results closer to the results you want and speed up the process. A good legal team works as a well-oiled machine to ensure they meet all deadlines, file all motions, and nothing delays the resolution of your case.

No Attorney Should Ever Make a Guarantee

No attorney should ever make you a guarantee that they can settle your case within a set amount of time. There is no way to predict the timeline of a civil case. Beware of any website or advertisement you see that promises to resolve your case within a specific timeframe.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Having an attorney working for you will help your case move forward more smoothly than if you choose to represent yourself at trial. Semi-truck accident attorneys can help you spot legal issues, prove damages, and help you avoid pitfalls that unrepresented accident victims may fall prey to. Hiring a lawyer is the best way for you to get the most out of the compensation available to you in a semi-truck accident claim.

Contact an Attorney Today

Negotiations With the Insurance Company

Call an attorney immediately if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident involving a semi-truck driver. You should speak to an experienced semi-truck accident attorney about options and how to protect your financial and legal rights after an accident.

There is no reason for you to figure it out on your own, and trying to do so can jeopardize your entire case. Speak to a qualified Florida personal injury lawyer in your area today.