One of the first things Indiana truck accident victims want to know when consulting a lawyer is their claim’s value. The answer is difficult to give in any accident case, but more so when trucks are involved. In order to provide it, an experienced Indiana truck accident lawyer will take into account several factors:
- The value of all economic damages the victim incurred
- The victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Whether the victim contributed to their injuries and to what degree
- Available evidence and chances of obtaining more
- Available insurance coverage
This last factor is very important in truck accident cases.
How Insurance Coverage Influences the Value of an Indiana Truck Accident Claim
Trucks are often covered by commercial insurance policies. These have higher values than the usual insurance and follow the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It is not uncommon for a truck accident lawyer to discover insurance coverage of $1 million.
That is why, before establishing a claim value, most attorneys will want to know the available coverage. This means finding out whether the truck driver, the truck, and/or the trucking company carry insurance and in what amounts.
To discover this, most lawyers will follow specific procedures. They will notify the insurance company that they have taken over the case and demand a DEC. It is a certified declarations sheet specifying the available coverage for the respective truck or trucking company.
Sadly, unpleasant surprises are common as well. Sometimes, there is no insurance coverage available, or the amount is too low. In such cases, experienced car accident attorneys will look into alternate solutions.
They may seek compensation from the victim’s own insurer if the victim carries Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Coverage. They may also find another party to sue in court. Common examples include the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo owner, or the trucking company’s service providers.
Leaving insurance coverage and recovery options aside, truck accident claims should cover several types of losses.
Types of Losses an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer May Claim
Indiana law allows truck accident victims to recover all their past, current, and future losses due to the accident. These losses fall into two different categories:
1. Economic Losses:
- The cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle and any other assets damaged or lost in the accident
- Medical expenses: hospital bills, doctor visits, medical procedures and devices, treatments, recovery therapies, etc.
- Lost income (wages, bonuses)
- Disability expenses and losses (lost earning capacity, home and car adjustment expenses, wheelchair, home case, etc.)
2. Non-Economic Losses
This category includes any physical and emotional pain the victim incurred due to the accident. Common examples include pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, etc.
Such losses are usually awarded in truck accident cases involving severe injuries. Claims involving them can reach huge amounts. Of course, losses of millions of dollars do not guarantee equal compensation. The victim’s own negligence could greatly diminish the amount.
How Comparative Negligence Impacts the Value of Truck Accident Claim in Indiana
Sometimes, truck accident victims are partially at fault for their own injuries. Depending on their share of fault, they could even lose their right to compensation. Indiana law bars recovery for victims who are more than 50% at fault for their injuries. It also stipulates that the compensation a victim can receive will be diminished according to their fault percentage.
It goes without saying that most defendants will try to blame the claimant. Each percentage of fault they succeed to assign to the latter means less money out of their own pocket. That is why it is so important to work with an experienced Indiana truck accident lawyer.
The latter will know exactly what to do in order to secure the highest compensation for their client. They will prove accident fault, account for all expenses and losses, and negotiate a fair settlement. If the situation requires it, they will not hesitate to go to court.
Schedule a Free Case Review with an Experienced Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer Now!
Were you the victim of a truck accident and you would like to know how much your case is worth? You can obtain the information you need, for free, by contacting Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers.
Our Indiana truck accident attorney will review the details of your case and assess your claim value. They will answer any questions you may have and advise you on how to approach your case. If you allow them, they will work with you to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.