Truck accident cases can take an extraordinary amount of time to adjudicate in California. While most injured plaintiffs file their claims relatively quickly, it still takes a considerable amount of time to finalize everything through to the very end. Insurance companies often want to negotiate quickly in obvious truck driver fault situations, but they can take a very long time to settle cases when they think fault percentages can be lowered in a significant way.
There are also court case benchmarks and requirements along the way in the legal system, and delays can still be requested in complicated cases that many truck accidents actually become. There is a massive number of court cases on the dockets in California already, and any postponements can be problematic. Adjudication can assuredly take a long time.
Many truck accident injury cases are settled before they reach court when total fault cannot be denied. However, California uses the pure comparative negligence law that allows those who are not totally at fault for causing motor vehicle accidents to receive some amount of financial recovery.
The primary issue with truck accidents is that truckers are required to carry extensive liability insurance and the potential for whole damages is high. Trucking company insurance providers will often want to negotiate the general damages component for ongoing medical and other life issues.
The first hearing following a truck accident will be the discovery process where the plaintiff presents their evidence for financial recovery. Sometimes the defendant will defend themselves there and make an offer to settle, but cases can then result in a docket date for a trial. This can take a significant amount of time in California, and cases get further delayed if no settlement is reached. This typically takes a few months.
The next official court date will be the trial unless a pretrial hearing is requested by either party. The pretrial hearing provides another opportunity to settle the case to avert going before a jury. Trials usually are not avoided when no agreement is reached at a pretrial hearing with a trial date typically being set within one year from the date of the accident.