Injuries and losses due to truck accidents can be so disastrous. If you are injured in a truck accident or face material losses due to one, you will face a long road to recovery. Unfortunately, the insurance companies understand how complicated truck accidents are; hence, they will do all they can to ensure they do not pay you fairly. Fortunately, though, when you hire an excellent personal injury lawyer in Indiana, you can be sure to get maximum compensation for your injury and losses. Let’s learn some things together so you are better prepared in case a truck accident causes you harm or material damage.
The Laws Governing Truck Accidents in Indiana
In the US, it is the federal laws that govern the commercial trucking industry. The laws have set specific standards to which trucking companies and their drivers must adhere. These federal laws are found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. They cover the following:
- Transportation of unsafe materials
- Maximum weight of the vehicle
- Licensing requirements
- Drugs and alcohol testing
- Emergency signaling equipment
- Vehicle inspection
- Usage of hand-held devices
On the other hand, the Indiana Department of Transportation has separate trucking regulations besides federal laws. They provide more requirements such as obtaining oversized load permits and other size and weight regulations, lane restrictions, truck drivers’ qualification standards, hours of service rules, etc.
Can You Hold Trucking Companies and Their Drivers Accountable for Their Mistakes?
Yes, you can sue truckers and trucking companies for the losses and injuries you sustain after a truck accident in Indiana. The law in Indiana provides for anyone injured in a trucking accident to get fair compensation. The parties responsible for the accident will be held financially accountable for the harm and loss they caused. The law includes compensation for the following:
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Future lost earnings
- Mental anxiety, pain, and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses in cases of wrongful death
If you are involved in a truck accident in Indiana, you should learn more about the modified comparative negligence rule. This rule applies in cases where negligence has to be proved, and each party’s liability demonstrated. This legal doctrine allows partial awards, so you can receive damages if you were 49% or less at fault for the accident.
The modified comparative negligence rule is a legal concept that considers both parties’ contributions to the accident. Typically, the higher the percentage of fault, the lower the compensation you can expect. The law is very complicated, and it is vital to have the advice of an attorney.
This rule applies to almost all personal injury cases in the state. It does have some exceptions, though. First, the courts will determine the percentage of fault each party had. Then, it will allocate that responsibility to each of the parties involved. This way, if one party were only 20 percent at fault, a plaintiff would only get a slice of the compensation asked via the claim.
The modified comparative negligence rule in Indiana focuses on the percentage of fault the plaintiff bears compared to the other party. If a plaintiff is less than 51% at fault, they have the right to file a compensation claim. Nevertheless, if they are 51% at fault for the accident, they don’t even have the right to file a claim.
How Do Lawyers Prove Liability in Truck Accidents and Build Your Case?
To prove liability in a truck accident, lawyers must gather evidence that strengthens your claim. This evidence can take many forms, from surveillance video to witness information. Often, a truck accident attorney must hire an accident reconstruction expert to analyze the accident. This expert will examine the evidence collected in the crash and use engineering, physics, and computer modeling to determine who caused it, how, and why.
In many cases, the trucking company is responsible for the accident. However, during the investigation, an attorney will find out if the company is cutting corners around safety and pushing the drivers beyond their limits. In other cases, the trucking company may share liability for the accident with the truck manufacturer because of faulty equipment or a lack of care during production.
The liability for truck accidents differs from car accident liability. The truck driver is typically an employee of a trucking company, and the trucking company is the truck owner. The trucking company may also have a duty to inspect and maintain their vehicles in good condition. If they fail to do so, they are open to paying extensive compensatory or even punitive damages.
What Should You Do after a Truck Accident?
You can follow the following four steps when you are involved in a truck accident in Indiana.
Stop and Assist
After an accident, please stop at the scene and provide the injured or dead victim’s name, registration number, address, and driver’s license to others involved in the accident or the authorities. Then, if you are safe, try to assist the casualties.
Gather as much evidence as photographs of the crash scene and the damages. Get the contact information of witnesses and the contact information of the passengers and the driver involved in the truck crash.
Visit the Doctor
Always visit your doctor, even in cases where you think you are not seriously hurt. You could have serious internal injuries; typically, these do not show symptoms immediately after the accident. They can take hours on end or even days to show.
Consult Your Lawyer
Truck accidents usually involve severe injuries and, at times, death. Thus, if you have been involved in one, it is critical to talk to your experienced personal injury lawyer. You can search for a reputable truck accidents law firm such as Yosha Law, if you do not already have one. Get an excellent lawyer to evaluate your case and provide viable options on how to sue the truck driver or company for losses and injuries sustained.
How Long Can a Truck Accident Claim Take to Settle?
Commercial truck accident cases in Indiana civil court can take a long time, typically because of the vast number of defendants involved in the said accident. These may include the trucking company, truck driver, insurance carrier, and other parties involved. A quick settlement may not always be obvious since the insurance company may want to carry out their investigation; hence your lawyer must build a strong case. The case might involve deaths too. While some of these cases may take years to settle, a good personal injury lawyer has a way of obtaining a fair settlement.
The first step in suing for injury and loss after a truck accident is seeking a lawyer fast. The faster you do this, the faster they can start working to build a water-tight case.
Truck accident cases often take months or years to settle. Trucking companies usually try to minimize the claim, hoping the injured person will accept a reduced settlement. In addition, a case involving multiple defendants can take months, or even years, to resolve. Nevertheless, an experienced attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve if you have been injured in a truck accident.