Unlike ones involving passenger vehicles, truck accidents are very complex cases that involve a myriad of factors, rendering them challenging for standard car accident lawyers. The heightened extent of damage, distinct types of insurance policies, involvement of multiple companies, and the frequent crossing of state lines are some of the factors that contribute to this complexity.
Read on as we unravel the intricacy of a truck accident lawsuit and explain why is it so important to hire an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer from our team and all the ways we can help you pursue the fair compensation you rightfully deserve.
What to Do After an Indianapolis Truck Accident
In the unfortunate event of getting into a trucking accident in Indianapolis, the most important thing is to remain calm and act responsibly.
If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the situation. Check if there is anyone injured and in need of immediate medical attention.
Call 911. Even if it doesn’t seem like you or anyone involved in the truck collision has sustained serious injury. An accident involving semi-trucks can cause catastrophic injuries that might not show immediate symptoms.
Additionally, the police report can be an invaluable piece of evidence in commercial truck accident cases.
Also try to collect essential information such as:
- Names and contact information of all parties involved in the accident.
- Essential information, such as license plate numbers, makes, and models of the vehicles involved in the incident. Try to get the UDOT Number or Indiana ID Number of the commercial vehicle as well.
- Driving license numbers and insurance information of the drivers involved in the accident. Try to get names and contact information from the employers of the driver operating the commercial vehicle.
- Names and contact information of all witnesses.
Call your insurance company and request a Certificate of Compliance as soon as you deal with the circumstances that require your immediate attention.
However, make sure you don’t admit guilt or say something that can compromise your case when seeking compensation from one of the insurance companies of the parties involved in the commercial vehicle accident.
It is in your best interest to hire a truck accident lawyer. An experienced truck accident attorney can provide you with guidance and help you file a claim against the trucking company involved.
The Time Limits for Filing a Truck Accident Claim
The statute of limitations for truck accident claims in Indianapolis is established by state law. Under Indiana law, people involved in car accidents involving tractor-trailers or any other commercial vehicles have two years from the date of the accident to file claims for injuries or property damages.
However, the law also recognizes a few notable exceptions in which cases the time to file a claim may be prolonged. This is why seeking legal counsel from skilled truck accident attorneys before filing anything is always the best course of action.
Some of the exceptions recognized by Indiana’s statute of limitation include:
- If a minor has been involved in the accident, the two-year period begins at the moment they turn 18, not at the moment the accident occured.
- If a person involved in the accident was rendered legally disabled by being in a coma because of the injuries sustained in the accident, the two-year period is removed until they are no longer disabled.
- If a person involved in the accident dies during the two-year filing period, an additional eighteen months from the moment of death are added to the end of the statute of limitations.
In addition, if the semi-truck accident involved a local, state, federal, or government entity, another important time constraint to be aware of is the time limit for filing a notice of tort claim for property damage or personal injury.
Generally, this notice has to be filed within 270 days of the accident, but in some cases, like when filed against a city, county, or school district, it has to be filed within 180 days.
Hiring an Indiana truck accident lawyer can guide you through the process from the very start and ensure your claim is filed within the legal timeframes.
Liability in Indianapolis Truck Accident Cases
While in most traffic accidents, it is usually truck drivers who are held liable, commercial vehicle accidents are often more complex. In these cases, there are several parties that can be at fault and held liable, such as:
- The truck driver – in cases of negligence, recklessness, or violation of traffic laws.
- The owner of the truck – if the truck is not properly maintained or if ownership responsibilities, like ensuring driver qualifications, are neglected.
- The owner of the trucking company – if inadequate training or unreasonable schedules contribute to accidents.
- The manufacturer of the truck – if a defect in the truck’s design or production is identified as a contributing factor.
- The manufacturer of some of the auto parts – if a specific part malfunctions and leads to an accident.
- The party responsible for the maintenance of the truck – if inadequate maintenance, repairs, or inspections are found to be causative factors.
- The cargo shipper or loader – if improperly loaded cargo contributes to the accident or if they fail to comply with safety regulations.
- Government agencies – in truck wrecks involving vehicles such as garbage trucks, fire trucks, etc.
How Much Can Be Recovered in an Indianapolis Truck Accident Case Settlement
Determining the exact amount that can be recovered in a truck accident settlement depends on various factors. These may include the extent of injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and the overall impact on your life.
Our law firm has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for clients involved in truck accidents and their families. Here are a few examples that can give you an idea of the outcomes we have achieved:
- $5,750,000 – Settlement for a driver who suffered injuries to the legs and pelvis while unloading cargo at a distribution center. The compensation was obtained from the insurance carrier responsible for the logistics company involved in the incident.
- $14,100,000 – Settlement for the family of a motorcyclist who tragically lost their life in a trucking accident. Accident reconstruction experts demonstrated that the truck driver was exceeding the speed limit and negligently made a left turn into the motorcyclist’s path.
- $18,500,000 – Settlement for a client who sustained permanent injuries and experienced limited mobility following a head-on collision with a semi-truck. The resolution was achieved through mediation around one year after initiating the lawsuit.
Ultimately, there is no exact figure we use as a go-to settlement amount and it all varies on your case’s specifics.
Factors That Affect Truck Accident Settlement Amounts
Some of the most important factors that have a significant impact on truck accident settlement amounts include:
- Extent of injuries – the severity and nature of the injuries sustained by those involved in the trucking accident.
- Lost wages and earning capacity – compensation for income lost due to injuries and potential future income loss resulting from long-term disabilities
- Pain and suffering – non-economic damages reflecting the physical and emotional distress experienced by the injured parties.
- Cost of losses – encompassing medical bills, property damage, and other measurable losses resulting from the truck accident.
- Insurance coverage available – the amount and type of insurance coverage accessible to compensate for damages.
- Severity of property damage – the degree of damage inflicted on vehicles and property involved in the trucking accident.
- Liability and fault determination – the allocation of responsibility among involved parties, determined through evidence and legal assessment.
Naturally, factors like the presence of strong evidence and credible witnesses can notably impact truck accident settlements by influencing liability determination and overall compensation considerations.
Truck Accident Victims and Injuries Suffered
While all traffic accidents are unfortunate, victims of accidents involving large trucks typically sustain more severe injuries than those in accidents involving a passenger vehicle. Since semi-trucks are the largest vehicles on the road, truck accidents tend to be more devastating due to their sheer size and weight.
A typical accident involving large trucks is likely to cause serious injuries such as:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Multiple fractures
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Disfigurement and amputation
What’s more, trucking accidents are also more likely to injure multiple parties simultaneously due to the extensive damage they can cause. It is not uncommon for multiple vehicles to be involved in a single incident, leading to a higher number of individuals sustaining injuries.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in an Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawsuit
Our truck accident lawyers can help you recover several types of damages to compensate for the losses you have incurred. These damages typically fall into two main categories, economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses – compensation for current and future medical bills related to injuries sustained in the truck accident.
- Property damage – reimbursement for the repair or replacement of damaged vehicles and personal property.
- Lost wages – compensation for income lost due to the inability to work during recovery, including future earning capacity if impacted.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering – compensation for physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident and injuries.
- Emotional distress – damages for psychological trauma, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues arising from the accident.
- Loss of consortium – compensation for the impact of the injuries on the victim’s relationships and quality of life.
Additionally, in some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault party for gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim
In cases of fatal truck accidents, the families of the victims may be eligible to recover various damages intended to compensate for the losses and hardships endured as a result of the tragic incident. Such damages include:
- Medical expenses – recovery of medical expenses incurred before the victim’s death, including hospitalization, treatment, and related healthcare costs.
- Funeral and burial expenses – compensation for the costs associated with arranging and conducting the funeral and burial or cremation of their loved one.
- Loss of financial support – compensation for the financial contributions the deceased would have provided to the family, including lost income, benefits, and financial support.
- Loss of companionship – damages for the emotional and relational losses suffered by the surviving family members due to the absence of their loved one’s companionship, guidance, and support.
To ensure that families receive fair and just compensation for the profound losses they have suffered, it is crucial they consult experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyers. Our law firm can assess the specific circumstances of the case, determine liability, and navigate the legal process in the family’s best interest.
How Long Does Settling a Truck Accident Lawsuit Take
The average time needed to settle a truck accident case is around six months, but some cases can take longer. Several factors can extend the timeline and potentially lead to prolonged resolution, such as:
- Disputes over liability
- Evidence gathering
- Mediation and arbitration
- Insurance company negotiations
- Whether the case will go to trial or not
This is another reason why hiring a truck accident attorney as early in the process as possible is imperative for ensuring a desirable outcome in a reasonable timeframe. Our Indianapolis truck accident lawyers have the necessary expertise to navigate the intricacies of these cases swiftly and effectively.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers
The process of filing a truck accident lawsuit with an Indiana personal injury lawyer from our team begins with a free case evaluation, where we will assess the details and inform you about the specifics of your particular case.
If you decide to move forward after the initial consultation, the stages of the process that follow should be along the following lines:
- Case investigation – thorough examination of the trucking accident details, review of the reports, and interview with the parties involved to establish the case groundwork.
- Gathering of evidence – collection of crucial evidence like medical records, accident photos, and documentation to strengthen the case’s foundation.
- Consulting of experts – levying specialist insights from reconstruction experts and medical professionals to enhance the case’s credibility.
- Negotiation with insurance companies – equipped with a well-documented case and expert opinions, negotiating for a fair settlement on the client’s behalf.
- Preparing for trial (if necessary) – development of a compelling legal strategy to present the case in a court of law, if the negotiations didn’t result in a favorable outcome.
You can rest assured that our legal team will navigate every step with precision and dedication to ensure the optimal results for your truck accident claim.
Types of Cases That Our Truck Accident Lawyers Handle
Our team handles all kinds of trucking accident lawsuits. While there is no official classification of the types of truck accident cases, based on a variety of circumstances, these cases can be categorized into:
Cases Based on the Vehicle Involved
- Semi-truck accidents – It was recently estimated that cases involving a semi-truck (a large freight vehicle with a detachable trailer) account for 53% of fatal accidents involving large trucks on a yearly basis. 
- Cargo trucks – cases involving a commercial truck designed for transporting goods, which carry 72.6% of the US cargo by weight. 
- 18-wheelers – cases involving large trucks with 18 wheels. 91% of the fatal accidents involving an 18-wheeler resulted in a fatality, and that wasn’t the occupant of the large truck in 82% of them. 
Cases Based on Who’s at Fault
- Truck driver – cases where the accident was caused by truck driver negligence. In 7.3% of the yearly fatal accidents involving a truck, the truck driver was speeding. 
- Other drivers – cases where the accident was caused by other drivers, not the one driving the truck. In about 80% of trucking accidents, there are car drivers who are at fault. 
- Manufacturers – cases where the fault is found at the truck manufacturer.
- Trucking company – cases where the company that owns the truck is found at fault.
Keep in mind, that there are cases where multiple parties can be found at fault, such as semi-truck drivers, trucking companies, etc.
The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver error – truck drivers are found to have made a mistake in nearly a third of all accidents that involve trucks. 
- Fatigue – despite strong regulations, driver fatigue is found as a causative factor in 13% of all truck accidents. 
- Driving under the influence – Over 5% of all truck drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for drug use. That said, almost 60% of drivers were never tested. 
- Tire defects – in about six percent of all truck accidents, tired defects like pressure loss, tread separation, or full-on blowouts are involved. 
- Brake problems – even more than tire defects, brake problems seem to be a common cause in about 30% of truck accidents. 
- Roadway issues – circumstances like standing water, large potholes, and missing traffic signals or markings are present in 20% of the cases involving accidents with trucks. 
Of course, there are other factors that can cause accidents with commercial vehicles like breaking traffic laws, unsecured cargo, and poorly maintained equipment, though the above are the most prevalent.
How Much Does Hiring an Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorney Cost
Hiring an Indianapolis truck accident attorney from our team comes at a contingency fee. This is an arrangement where you will not pay any costs upfront, and we only receive a percentage of the settlement if we successfully handle the case.
This fee structure allows you to seek legal representation without paying fees unless your truck accident lawyer secures the compensation you’re entitled to.
Contact an Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
Commercial truck accidents are a complex legal matter that requires a special kind of expertise to be handled efficiently, which only the most skilled truck accident lawyers have. There are many factors and parameters that can seriously impact the outcome of a truck accident case so you don’t want to take chances with substandard legal representation.
Call our truck accident attorneys toll-free at (888) 424 – 5757 today for a free case evaluation. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for countless clients injured in accidents involving trucks.
If you are worried about the financial burden, remember that our trucking accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, so we will only get paid after we help you get paid.