Of all the safety hazards on Indiana’s roads, commercial trucks pose one of the biggest risks. Accidents between semi-trucks and ordinary cars are almost always catastrophic. These crashes often happen at high rates of speed, and big rigs are incredibly heavy.
If you have been injured or someone you love was killed in an accident with a truck in Indiana, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to cover the costs of your losses. Truck accident claims can cover both monetary and non-monetary damages, and a truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you are owed.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through your options for how to file a truck accident claim in Indiana.
What to Do Immediately Following the Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a truck accident, your first step should be to seek medical care. This may come in the form of being checked out by an EMT, being transferred to a hospital, or going to your doctor for a follow-up appointment after the accident.
Because most truck/car accidents are so serious, it is common for accident victims to need:
- Emergency medical transport
- Emergency room treatment
- X-rays and other scans
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Pain medication
- Follow-up medical appointments
- Reconstructive surgery
Keep copies of all of your medical bills and expenses, as these will become important documents in your truck accident claim.
In addition to seeking medical attention, you will need to collect evidence from the scene of the accident. If you are well enough to collect this evidence on your own, that’s great. You may also have a friend or family member collect evidence for you, or you can depend on the police report.
After the accident, an attorney can help you collect additional forms of evidence, which may include:
- Photos and videos of the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness testimonies
- The police report
- The commercial driver’s logbook
- Vehicle inspection records
- Physical evidence such as skid marks, debris, and damaged property at the scene
- Dashcam footage/electronic data
- Toxicology reports
You will also need to get the contact information and insurance details of any other drivers who were involved in the accident.
Call 911 and support the police in their immediate investigation. If you are seriously injured and are taken to the hospital for medical treatment, the police will be called on your behalf. An attorney can collect evidence for you, too.
Determining Who to File Your Claim Against
Did you know that more than one person or entity can be responsible for an accident? Although people usually think about the other driver as the responsible party for an accident, Indiana allows multiple entities to be held responsible.
Essentially, if multiple parties were at fault for the accident, then they can all be named in your claim.
An experienced accident attorney can help you identify all responsible parties and determine what part they played.
Responsible parties may include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company (if they failed to maintain their vehicles or enforce safety rules)
- The manufacturer (if faulty manufacturing caused the accident)
- Other drivers who were involved in the accident (such as a distracted driver who started a chain collision on an interstate)
- Shippers or loaders (if the truck was overloaded or the cargo was improperly secured)
Calculating Damages for Your Claim
At Yosha Law Firm, we have significant experience with calculating damages for truck accident claims. Often, our clients don’t realize just how many damages they have accrued because of the accident.
Damages can include both economic and non-economic losses.
Types of Economic Losses
- Medical expenses (both current and future costs)
- Lost income from missed work
- Lost earning capacity if you had to leave your job altogether
- Rehabilitation costs
- Property damage
Types of Non-economic Losses
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
Calculating economic losses mostly involves keeping receipts and doing calculations based on your income, but calculating non-economic losses is much more complicated. An attorney can help you determine the most possible value for your claim. We know that you would rather have your life back than money, but you deserve to be compensated for these losses.
Filing the Insurance Claim
You will need to provide the truck driver’s insurance company with your claim, including evidence that the negligence of either the driver or their employer caused your injuries. Clearly state your damages and the costs associated with your injuries.
It would be great if insurance companies paid out fair value for accidents, but unfortunately, that rarely happens. You should expect to be offered a compensation amount that is far below your actual costs and losses.
It’s also possible that the insurance company may try to deny the claim altogether.
At that point, your attorney can negotiate further or begin the steps of taking the court to litigate the claim.
Litigation for a Truck Accident
If your claim is denied, or if the insurer offers a low-ball total to try to wrap up the case quickly, your next step is to prepare for litigation.
Although you can technically file a lawsuit without an attorney, the process is daunting. You are more likely to be successful with your case if you have an attorney on your side who understands the ins and outs of personal injury law in Indiana.
Although most of the cases we take are settled in the negotiation phase, we are always prepared to take any case to court if necessary!
Yosha Law Firm – Your Advocate After a Truck Accident in Indiana
Filing a truck accident claim can seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
Our experienced attorneys at Yosha Law Firm have the knowledge to guide you through the process, from gathering evidence and calculating damages to filing a lawsuit and fighting for your rights.
With strong legal advocacy, truck accident victims can gain the compensation they deserve after suffering catastrophic injuries. Our legal team approaches every truck accident case with compassion, empathy, and expert knowledge.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a negligent truck driver or trucking company, know that we are here to stand alongside you until you get the resolution you need.
Contact Yosha Law for a free case review of your accident. At Yosha Law Firm, we work on contingency, so none of our clients pay a dollar unless we win the case for them.