A truck accident in Indiana can prove one of the most traumatic and frightening experiences of your life. You may find yourself suffering from severe injury and facing an enormous mountain of bills as a result.
You feel lucky to be alive, but you have no idea how to start the arduous journey to recovery. You might have taken all of the right steps after your truck accident, but the insurance company is dragging its feet: It seems there’s always a new hoop to jump through every time you deal with them.
You hesitate to call a lawyer. Retaining an attorney feels like another expense you can’t handle — will a lawyer truly provide needed help? Why should you hire a truck accident lawyer?
After a traumatic collision, you don’t want to have to battle insurance giants on your own. An empathetic expert lawyer can fight in your corner and help you navigate through the legal process.
Understanding U.S. Truck Accidents
Semi and big rig trucks can weigh up to thirty times more than a regular sedan. On average, these trucks can weigh between 10,000 and 85,000 pounds. Thus, regardless of speed, truck accidents can cause major damage to all vehicles involved.
Trucks take longer to brake and come to a complete stop, and their sheer size makes it easier for these large vehicles to topple over. The cargo trucks carry could also present issues for other vehicles. Frequently, a truck hauls flammable material or products which could spill onto the road and cause other vehicles to crash.
Annually, long haul semi trucks cover over 300 billion miles of U.S. highways and carry 72% of the nation’s cargo. In 2021, large trucks were involved in 4,000 fatal collisions in the U.S., or about 11 per day, and caused 130,000 injuries. The prevalence of semi trucks accidents in Indianapolis contributes to these national statistics, highlighting the need for specialized legal representation in such cases. In Indianapolis, where semi trucks are a common sight on highways, the risk of accidents and the complexity of ensuing legal battles necessitate the expertise of a truck accident lawyer who understands the local traffic laws and regulations.
It can prove difficult to discern the at-fault party in a truck accident. For example, if a truck experiences a parts malfunction, the truck’s manufacturer may be responsible for your compensation. If a trucking company fails to perform a safety inspection on a vehicle they own, this company may find itself on the hook for any owed accident compensation. If improperly stored cargo causes a truck to ignite and other vehicles are engulfed in its flames, the cargo company may owe other drivers personal injury settlements.
An expert truck accident lawyer with a proven case record can help you determine the at-fault party in your accident. A seasoned attorney is better equipped to help you receive the full amount of any settlement for which you may be eligible.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Your truck accident may upend all aspects of your daily life. In the accident’s aftermath, You may find yourself in desperate need of time to heal and to get back to your normal routine. A number of factors could have factored into your collision.
It’s vital you know some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
- Driver inexperience: Long haul truck drivers are required by federal law to obtain a CDL license in order to operate a large truck. Legitimate trucking companies also require a certain amount of logged CDL miles before they allow a trucker to take heavy cargo on long road trips. If an inexperienced trucker drives on a long haul, they may make costly mistakes which could lead to an accident.
- Lack of sleep: Both the truck operator and the trucker’s employer may be liable if lack of sleep causes an accident. Companies should have driving time policies in place to avoid a fatigued driver, and there are national standards, too. Nonetheless, too many drivers and companies cut corners and take risks on the road.
- Parts malfunction: The biggest culprits of truck part malfunction are faulty brakes.
Truck accidents fall under specific FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulations which include federal commercial vehicle standards. Without an Indiana truck accident lawyer, you may have a tough time understanding how these regulations can positively or negatively impact the compensation you seek.
Why you may deserve compensation after a truck accident
After you’ve suffered in an Indiana truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation which will help offset financial hardships such as mounting medical bills or missed work time. Some of the compensatory damages you may deserve after your accident include:
- Emotional or mental distress: Documented psychological treatment you may have received as a result of your truck accident.
- Loss of consortium: If your accident negatively impacts the quality of life you enjoy with your spouse, this may be cause for compensatory damages.
- Medical expenses: Medical expenses include any past, current, and future doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescriptions, and procedures due to your truck accident.
- Lost wages or reduced earning potential: Time you’ve had to take off of work after your accident. If your accident temporarily or permanently impacts your earning ability you may be entitled to compensation.
There are many thick layers of red tape you could face when seeking justice for your trauma. On your own, you may not know what legal claims to compensatory damages you possess. You stand a chance of getting buried by mounting paperwork from the insurance companies. It’s important you find a truck accident lawyer who can help guide you through your legal claim.
Statute of limitations to file a claim
If you’ve suffered injury after a truck accident, you may not have a timeless right to file a legal claim. In Indiana, a statute of limitations is in place for accident claims. You have two years to file a personal injury claim with the courts. However, the law does provide exceptions if an injured party was underage, mentally impaired, or physically disabled when the collision occurred.
A truck accident lawyer can help file your legal claim for you so that you have time to concentrate on your recovery. A seasoned Indiana truck accident lawyer will help you through each step of the legal process so you don’t have to walk the path toward justice alone.
How a truck accident lawyer can help you in your battle
Trucking companies are required to insure all of their vehicles and drivers with specific commercial vehicle trucking insurance. These policies are nuanced and may vary based on variables like the type of carried cargo and the pre-loaded (or unladen) weight of the truck. For a party injured in a truck accident, navigating through these policies can become overwhelming.
Similarly, truck accidents can result in murky liability: Although the truck driver may be responsible for your collision, liability could also fall to the trucking company, cargo company, or truck manufacturer. You may receive the run-around when attempting to connect with the appropriate parties, and any liable party may try to skirt liability.
By retaining an empathetic, experienced truck accident lawyer, you’ll have a legal representative who’s on your side and willing to fight on your behalf.
At Yosha Law, we are passionate about our clients, and consider them part of our family. We will help with your personal injury claim and fight for what you’re owed.
We also offer an initial free case evaluation where we can help you explore the merits of your case and guide you through the legal process.