Getting a settlement after you get hit by a semi-truck in South Carolina is a marathon, not a sprint. Your case involves highly complex trucking law. Worse, truckers and trucking companies use hardnosed insurance companies that, to the shock of many victims, start working to lowball you at the scene of the accident—often before police and the ambulance even arrive.
If you’ve got severe injuries, you’ll face high medical bills and potentially thousands of dollars in lost income. You’ve got a lot at stake.
It's so complicated to get a settlement for a South Carolina tractor-trailer accident, we've developed a process to for handling these cases.
All these factors lead to one conclusion for the wise: you need an experienced South Carolina trucking accident attorney. You owe it to yourself to get some advice and guidance early on. To get it in an easy, no-pressure way where your comfort is king, contact our Spartanburg 18-wheeler accident attorney. Call us toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.
Here are some major factors impacting how long it takes to get a South Carolina tractor-trailer accident case settled.
Your Recovery From Your Injuries
This is the most surprising factor for many semi-truck accident victims. Because a major part of your case involves the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life, we can’t fully evaluate how much you should get in a settlement until you’re released from treatment. It doesn’t mean necessarily you’re fully recovered. The medical term for this is maximum medical improvement (MMI).
When you reach MMI, your doctor can decide no further treatment will help you or assess whether you’re going to require future medical treatment. Potential future medical care has got to be computed into any settlement we consider.
Hopefully, you’ve begun to understand your doctor is a critical witness in your South Carolina tractor-trailer accident case. We often meet with your doctor to get a full understanding of the extent of your injuries and treatment, plus the nature of any future care. That often translates into a brief questionnaire we design, which can become a powerful piece of evidence. It’s a snapshot of your injuries, medical care, limitations, and what your medical future holds.
There’s another critical reason for waiting until you reach MMI: it gives us a more complete picture of the extent of your “pain and suffering”—which we call human loss. We do that because pain and suffering just doesn’t cover everything you may be entitled to get in a South Carolina semi-trailer settlement.
Gathering medical evidence is no easy task. Just getting all the medical bills and records from your case can cause long delays. It’s a frustrating process, often involving repeated follow-up requests to your providers. It’s so challenging for me as a professional that I have a dedicated staff member whose primary job is obtaining this evidence.
The Legal Process
Another factor impacting the time it takes to settle an 18-wheeler accident case in South Carolina is the legal process. However, it’s often worth it, as evidence derived from it can give us a better estimate of the value of your case, based on the story the evidence tells.
- Damaging admissions in trucking company documents that help prove fault. In one hotly contested case where the trucking company denied fault for the accident, we discovered trucking company documents revealing they fired the trucker for causing the accident!
- Evidence of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act violations that could enhance a punitive damages argument.
We also take depositions, which is where witnesses testify under oath outside court—usually in a lawyer’s conference room. We’ll get testimony from necessary witnesses like key trucking company officials and the trucker himself.
Of course, the insurance company gets their bite at the apple, too. They get to discover evidence about you, which may include getting past medical records where they hope to blame your pain on a prior injury—but we’ll be prepared to overcome that. They will take your deposition, plus potentially the depositions of your spouse and any other witnesses we name.
Information is power. Evidence gives us a fuller picture of your case. But we always remain mindful that an earlier resolution may be better for you—if the insurance company will do the right thing and pay a proper settlement. We move this phase of your case as fast as we can.
Giving Time to the Insurance Company to Consider Our Evidence and Negotiate
We do have to give the insurance company adequate time to evaluate the evidence we send them before it makes an offer. We usually give them about 30 days to evaluate our demand.
Once we get an offer, it often takes time to go back and forth with negotiations. We pride ourselves on heavy client involvement during negotiations, so you know exactly what’s going on in this critical aspect of your case. The insurance company makes an offer, we discuss it with you, and if it’s not acceptable, we’ll give them a counteroffer. After that, the process starts over with a shorter cycle. This can be maddening for untrained victims who have an emotional stake in the case, but we’re professionals paid to handle this for your best interest.
There is a process that can shorten negotiations in South Carolina 18-wheeler accident cases. It’s called mediation. It’s required before most lawsuits can go to trial. It usually takes a day. It’s totally voluntary—you don’t have to settle your case, and no one will “decide” how much you should get. But even if it fails, it can jumpstart negotiations for a proper settlement later.
You Need a Coach, a Teammate, and an Organization Backing You in Your South Carolina Tractor-Trailer Accident Case
This may well be the run of your life, like an Olympic marathon.
All Olympic marathon runners have a coach to guide them with advice and strategies from years in the field, teammates to run every step of the way with them, and an organization using the talents of many with the resources to pay direct costs to finance the effort.
That’s exactly what our Spartanburg trucking accident law firm does for you. Find out how we can help you win your case. You can contact us with a live chat, fill out a Get Help Now form, or call toll-free at 888-230-1841. We’re here to answer your questions and get you on the right road to a settlement with a FREE, EASY strategy session.