Most truck accident claims are settled out of court. You’ll have to negotiate with the insurance company representing the party at fault.
Indianapolis, IN – In 2020, there were 14,221 crashes involving commercial vehicles in Indiana, accounting for 8% of all traffic accidents in the state. According to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, 90 percent of the commercial vehicles involved were large trucks. If you’re like most people and have only been in minor collisions so far, you may think you’ll be able to handle a truck accident claim on your own. This may prove a costly mistake. It’s not you against the trucker. This is a completely different ball game, one you cannot possibly win without the assistance of seasoned Indianapolis truck accident lawyers.
You may be facing an army of well-versed lawyers
Go back to the immediate aftermath of the crash. There you are, scared, confused, and probably in pain. You just got out of your car and you’re wondering how bad you’re hurt and how much a trip to the ER will cost you.
Statistics show that over 70% of those injured or killed in truck accidents are occupants of regular cars. Not truckers. The trucker that hit you didn’t climb out of his cabin yet. He’s on the phone with his boss. Truck drivers are instructed to notify their employer of an accident right away. It’s not that the boss wants to know the trucker is safe. The boss will immediately deploy his legal team. Their well-paid lawyers will be at the scene as soon as possible. Their mission is clear – minimize the company’s involvement in the crash so they don’t have to pay for your damages.
You need to get your own Indiana truck accident lawyers working on the case as soon as possible if you want to recover the damages you are entitled to.
You must discover the true cause of the accident
You cannot rely on the police report solely. They’re only interested in the criminal aspect of the accident. They may easily find the trucker responsible, charge him with one or several offenses and the case is closed as far as they’re concerned.
You, on the other hand, must file a civil lawsuit to seek damages. Without a lawyer, chances are you’ll never know what really happened there and the real culprit will be off the hook.
Here is a quick example. The police report might say that the trucker was distracted and this is why he veered into your lane unexpectedly. Sounds like a good explanation, doesn’t it?
Your truck accident lawyers may wonder whether the trucker was exhausted and not distracted. Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of truck accidents in the US. Truckers are required to follow the FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations. A trucker cannot drive for more than 11 hours in one 14-hour shift, after which he must rest for 10 hours. The question is whether the employer was aware the trucker was breaking the rules or if he actually encouraged the driver to forget about sleep and hurry to the destination.
According to the law, if the employer knew or should have known the trucker was not abiding by the rules, they can be held accountable for damages.
You may say it doesn’t matter to you as long as you get the money you deserve. That’s exactly the problem. If you go with the police report saying it was a case of distracted driving, you’ll have to file a claim against the trucker’s insurance. If you have sustained severe injuries or lost someone in the crash, the trucker’s coverage may not cover your financial losses.
If your lawyers manage to build a case against the trucking company, you stand a better chance of getting fair compensation. Trucking companies operating interstate carry at least $750,000 in liability coverage
You must determine how much your claim is worth
Most truck accident claims are settled out of court. You’ll have to negotiate with the insurance company representing the party at fault. You cannot do that unless you know exactly how much money your claim is worth. You cannot expect the insurance adjuster to tell you the truth as that would not be in his employer’s best interests.
Only good lawyers will tell you how much money you should seek, taking into account the severity of your injury, the extent to which it affected your life, and their professional expertise.
If you want to understand how accident claims work, you may want to educate yourself a bit on legal matters. You’ll want to sound knowledgeable when talking to your lawyer or the insurance adjuster.