Truck accidents can be some of the most highly contested personal injury cases in the West Virginia court system. Trucking companies are relentless when it comes to defending accident cases. Along with their insurance providers, they work diligently to deflect fault away to all other drivers involved in the incident. There are usually several material articles of evidence in a truck accident, especially when crashes occur in congested traffic at a high rate of speed. When cases get complicated, it takes time to adjudicate the case entirely.
Many personal injury claims stemming from truck accidents never make it to a trial when fault is obvious. The defending insurance company will want to settle the case quickly for as little payout as possible. However, any time fault is questionable, defending insurance companies and any other respondents might have to fight the case in court. Serious injury cases can take even more time unless the plaintiff attorney wants to take the case to trial immediately. Even then, the docket entry can be time restrictive as well.
The trial process
Once a case is set for the docket, the parties will go through the discovery process and schedule a pretrial hearing to be followed by the actual trial. These court appearances give all sides an opportunity to settle before going to a full trial. One complication that can cause a truck accident to take an extended amount of time is when punitive damage awards may be available from a sympathetic jury. While the potential for punitive damages can impact a quick settlement negotiation, it is often the only method of obtaining whole damages in truly bad truck accidents.
Overall, it can take over a year to finally settle a truck accident injury case. However, it may be best to let the process play out when pursuing full compensation for losses rather than accepting a low initial settlement.