In Bloomington, Indiana, sharing the open road with commercial trucks is part of daily life. Nevertheless, no one anticipates experiencing the trauma of a truck accident. In an instant, a collision can forever alter your life. The sheer size and weight of a truck can cause severe injuries — even in a minor accident.
In the aftermath of your accident, astronomical bills can mount and your recovery journey could feel impossible. Truckers typically have multiple forms of insurance companies, and battling with each to receive a just settlement may feel impossible on your own.
So how can you receive compensation for your pain and suffering? What legal recourse do you have? You shouldn’t have to walk this path alone.
A Bloomington truck accident lawyer might be the answer. The attorneys of Yosha Law have helped the victims in many truck accident cases, and can walk beside you in your pursuit of justice.
What you need to know about Bloomington truck accidents
In the aftermath of your accident, it’s helpful to understand what a Bloomington attorney can do to help you, how truck collisions can impact your life, what to do in the moments after your accident, and what damages you may be entitled to from the insurance companies.
Let’s take a look.
- How a Bloomington truck accident lawyer can help
- Important information about trucks and truck accidents
- Determining liability after a truck accident
- Damages you may be owed after a Bloomington truck accident
- Laws that impact Bloomington truck accident claims
- What are the most common causes of Bloomington truck accidents?
- Contact a Bloomington truck accident lawyer today
How a Bloomington truck accident lawyer can help
At Yosha Law, our Bloomington truck accident lawyers understand how to contend with the red tape of insurance companies. We won’t let you get coerced into accepting a denied or lowball settlement for your insurance claim.
We can work alongside you and allow you to focus on your healing while we take care of the legal process.
Although 95% of personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of court, we will fight for you in court if a settlement cannot be reached. You can choose to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit on your own, but it may be tough to prove liability without an attorney.
Similarly, insurance companies can prove reluctant to offer a payout larger than a policy’s coverage allows, and you may find your claim is denied or greatly reduced by claims adjusters.
If you contact Yosha Law, our Bloomington truck accident lawyers can also:
- Calculate the settlement amount you should seek:
Often, an insurance company will offer you payment for the present medical bills you’ve incurred. However, your suffering may amount to far more than the costs of your initial doctor’s appointments and treatment.
A lawyer can help you estimate your past, present, and future costs related to your truck accident, and calculate your damages.
- Collect evidence:
We can collect evidence from the scene of your accident, including photo and video documentation and police reports.
- Explore the merits of your case:
We can determine whether or not your case is worth your time. We’ll honestly explain the merits of your personal injury claim to help inform your next step.
- Handle all paperwork and legal filings:
You shouldn’t have to deal with the mountains of paperwork associated with a truck accident claim. We can ensure you sign all necessary documents and that any time-sensitive paperwork is filed before a deadline.
- Obtain eyewitness and forensic expert testimony:
Eyewitnesses to your accident and those who’ve witnessed the impact of your accident on the rest of your life may strengthen your case. For example, a spouse or an employer can provide first-hand experience of the impact of your injuries on your work or personal life.
Crash reconstructionists, professional truckers, and other forensic experts may provide credible expertise in your legal case.
- Provide representation:
Our Bloomington truck accident lawyers will represent you in any and all negotiation meetings and required court appearances.
Important FAQ about trucks and truck accidents
Any vehicle accident can result in trauma, severe injury, or even death. However, the sheer mass of semi and big rig trucks can turn a fender bender into a destructive collision. These trucks weigh anywhere between 10,000 and 85,000 pounds.
In dry weather, it can still take commercial trucks 525 feet to stop, which is 40% longer than a regular-sized car. Thus, truckers need to practice extreme caution when following other vehicles or coming to a red light.
Cargo can make a difference in truck accidents as well. Wind speeds can cause an improperly loaded truck to flip. Truck cargo often consists of toxic or hazardous material, which can present a multitude of problems in a crash.
If you follow a truck too closely and it abruptly stops, your car could become wedged underneath its trailer. A speeding trucker may find it difficult to control their vehicle, which could cause the truck to jackknife.
Determining liability after a truck accident
A Bloomington truck accident attorney can use specific data to calculate the amount of compensation you may be owed, and may present the following to strengthen your personal injury claim:
- The truck’s black box: Much like planes, trucks are equipped with black box data recorders. An attorney can peruse the records for any anomalies or poor driving decisions made.
- Maintenance and safety records from the truck company
- Trucker’s logtime records
- Trucker’s Commercial Driver’s License, driving record, performance reviews, and training records
Who could be liable for your Bloomington truck accident?
Truck accidents can result in the liability of multiple parties. In order to prove negligence and accurately attribute fault, it’s important to remember that the trucker may not be the only at-fault party.
One or more of the following parties may be considered liable for your Bloomington truck accident:
- Cargo company:
A cargo company is responsible for the containment and storage of a trucker’s haul. If a spill of cargo occurs in a truck accident, or the cargo isn’t loaded properly, a cargo company may hold partial or full fault for your collision.
A trucker may hold personal insurance while they’re on the road. If a trucker is responsible for your accident while driving off the clock, they may be liable. However, their employer is responsible for any driving time on the clock.
- Trucking company (Employer):
A trucking company may be negligent in your Bloomington accident if they don’t comply with employee training, trucker driving time mandates, maintenance, or safety regulations.
- Truck manufacturer:
The manufacturer of a truck may be held liable for your accident if a truck recall has been issued, or if manufactured parts malfunction.
For example, if an engine part malfunctions and causes a trucker to lose control of his big rig, the manufacturer could be found negligent and may have proven legal liability.
Damages you may be owed after a Bloomington truck accident
Recently, Indiana landed on a list of the top 10 states most dangerous for truck drivers and in 2020, 12% of all US truck accidents that led to life-threatening injuries occurred in Indiana.
In the aftermath of an accident, damages refer to the categories of compensation that you may be owed for your pain and suffering.
A Bloomington truck accident lawyer can help you discern which damages you should seek. Monetary compensation cannot heal the trauma you’ve endured, but it can help alleviate your stress and provide the financial help necessary on your road to recovery.
Legally, damages fall into three categories. Let’s explore each and what they allow you to claim.
Common examples of non-economic damages
In Bloomington and elsewhere, non-economic damages (or, general damages) cover the types of injuries that don’t have a quantifiable monetary value. These injuries still deserve compensation, and are often sought in truck accident cases.
Here are examples of the injuries that fall under non-economic damages:
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of limb
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of vision
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
Economic Damages after a truck accident
Economic damages (or special damages) refer to the quantifiable losses you suffer, and can be calculated based on your past, present, and future bills amassed as a result of your collision.
Examples of economic damages after your accident include:
- Lost wages or reduced income
- All medical bills pertaining to your truck accident
- Property repair or replacement costs
- Reduced earning potential
- Increased cost of living as a result of your accident
- Funeral expenses after a wrongful death
- Assisted living expenses
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) are rare, but can be the result of a personal injury claim. They’re handed down by a judge or a jury as a defendant’s punishment rather than as straight compensation.
Punitive damages go above awarded economic and non-economic amounts, and although they can be included in your claim, they’re almost always included after the verdict is in.
These damages send a message to the defendant and others that their actions deserve consequences. For example, if your truck accident is a result of gross negligence on the part of the at-fault party, a judge may choose to award punitive damages.
In Indiana, 75% of punitive damages go directly into the Violent Crimes Victim Compensation Fund, while 25% are awarded to the plaintiff.
Laws that impact Bloomington truck accident claims
After your accident, a Bloomington truck accident attorney can help ensure that you adhere to Indiana laws and understand Indiana regulations pertaining to your claim. Here are several of the vital laws to understand.
Comparative negligence in Indiana
Along with 12 other states, Indiana has comparative negligence (or, comparative fault) laws on the books. This means that if you’re found at least 50% liable for your truck accident, your truck accident lawyer in Bloomington may suggest that you do not file a claim, as your case will no longer hold legal merit.
However, if you’re found to be over 0% liable, but under 50%, you can still pursue a personal injury claim but your eventual compensation will reflect your liability. Ultimately, the only time you won’t be impacted by comparative negligence is if you are 0% at fault for your accident.
Strict federal regulations determine the amount of non-stop driving time for a truck driver (11 hours non-stop after 10 hours off-duty) and also determine the amount of cargo weight a truck can carry ( up to 80,000 pounds).
Statute of limitations in Indiana
Indiana code § 34-11-2-4 sets the statute of limitations for your personal injury claim as for two years from the date of your truck accident. A Bloomington truck accident lawyer can help you to make sure you file your claim before this deadline.
Exceptions can be made when the claimant is a minor or mentally incapacitated at the time of the accident. However, if you wait too long, you may no longer have a legal avenue for compensation.
What are the most common causes of Bloomington 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 that will mean another party is liable. These can include:
- Cargo spill
- Driver inexperience
- Faulty brakes
- Inability to stop
- Inclement weather
- Jack-knifed trucks
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of training
Contact a Bloomington truck accident lawyer today
We understand how traumatic and overwhelming your recovery process may feel: That’s why it’s important that in the immediate aftermath of your collision, you contact a Bloomington truck accident lawyer to help you navigate through the legal process.
At Yosha Law, our clients become a part of our extended family. We know that every traumatic experience is unique to the individuals who endure them, and we want you to be able to concentrate on healing.
We can fight the insurance company and help you pursue your personal injury claim.
Connect with us for a free case evaluation where we can help you explore the merits of your case. You don’t have to walk this path alone.