Many Indiana truck accident victims mistakenly believe that their case is no different from any car accident case. They rush into hiring the first accident lawyer they come across. That is a huge mistake that could end up costing them serious time and money, perhaps even their case. Indiana truck accident cases are very different from car accident cases and should be handled by an experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyer. What are the differences and why are they so important? We will review them in the following lines.
Main Differences between Car and Truck Accidents in Indiana
Insurance and licensing requirements for trucks, truck drivers, and trucking companies are very different from those for cars and drivers. Cars only need the minimum liability insurance, of $25,000/person and $50,000/event for personal injury and $25,000/event for property damage.
Insurance requirements for trucks are much higher. Besides the minimum liability insurance imposed by the law, trucking companies have separate insurance policies covering not only harm to their own fleet and drivers but also their driver’s liability to third parties, damage to the cargo, etc.
While there are no rest time requirements for car drivers, truck drivers need to abide by strict hours of service regulations and rest for a given number of hours. If they fail to do so and they get into accidents, their violation could become a proof of liability.
Truck accidents always cause more serious injuries and property damages than car accidents. Weighing ten times more and driven at considerable speed, when they crash, their additional weight increases the impact speed. In fact truck accidents are often deadly and cause capital damages to the other vehicles involved.
3. Claims Process
Recovering losses after a car accident is fairly easy. The victim usually has to file a claim with the insurer of the party at fault or their own, if the party at fault is uninsured or underinsured. In the worst case scenario, they will have to sue the party at fault in civil court.
Indiana truck accident cases are usually much more complicated, as one or more of the following parties could be at fault:
- The truck driver, if they disobeyed traffic laws and breached their duty of care to the other traffic participants
- The trucking company, if they hired an inexperienced driver, failed to ensure the necessary truck maintenance and repairs, or forced the driver to comply with a hectic schedule
- The cargo owner, if they overloaded the truck, failed to secure the cargo properly, or failed to provide important cargo details to the truck driver and/or their employer.
- The truck repair shop, if they failed to provide the contracted services or did a poor job at it.
- The parts supplier, if they provided defective or inadequate parts that malfunctioned and contributed to the accident.
Assessing the fault of any of these parties requires specific knowledge that only an experienced Indiana truck accident lawyer possesses. The latter will need to carry out detailed investigations and gather solid evidence. After all, they will be battling reputed insurance companies or truck accident attorneys with huge resources and only one goal: to limit their losses to a minimum.
4. Claim Value
Car accident cases, by having fewer and less serious consequences, involve lower claim values. Many times, the value of the claim falls within the insurance coverage limits. Since Indiana truck accident cases involve more severe injuries and higher property damages, they reach much higher values, often of hundreds of thousands of dollars or even over one million dollars.
However, it is important to note that the value of the claim needs to be justified. From medical expenses and car repairs to lost income, disability-related losses, and pain and suffering, all losses need supporting evidence.
An experienced Indianapolis truck accident attorney will know exactly where to look and how to document their clients’ losses. They will use photos, video recordings, hospital bills, medical reports, drug receipts, witnesses, expert testimonies, case precedents, and more.
Consult an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
If you were the victim of a truck accident, do not entrust your case to just any lawyer! Make sure you work with an experienced truck accident attorney who will not rest until they get you the compensation you deserve.
You will find them at Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers and you can even benefit from their advice for free. Call our office or fill in the contact form and schedule a free consultation now! Our Indianapolis truck accident lawyer will provide the answers and solutions you need.