Were you the victim of a truck accident in Indiana? It’s not surprising, considering that the number of accidents throughout the state has been rising throughout the past few years. There were no less than 16,731 wrecks in 2017 alone. Most of them were in Marion County. Many of their victims ended up turning to an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer to help them with their claim. Since trucks weigh tons and are often driven at high speed, they cause severe damages and injuries. Their victims often need months or years to fully recover from the accident. Since they have a limited period to seek compensation for their injuries, they need to act fast. Letting Indianapolis personal injury attorneys experienced in truck accidents take over the compensation claim is the best thing to do in such situations. It allows the victims to focus on their recovery while their lawyer obtains their due compensation. At Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers, we have handled many truck accident cases. We know how devastating their consequences are, and we have made it our mission to help their victims. We can help you too! From assessing how much your case is worth to getting you the due compensation, you can count on us. Call Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers at (317)593-3014 today to schedule your free case evaluation.
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How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?The first thing most of our clients want to know when we review their case is how much money they can obtain. Providing an answer is not easy, as there are many variables involved. In order to establish claim value, we take several factors into account.
Factors Influencing Truck Accident Claim Value
- Property damages
- Total medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Injuries severity
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Truck accident fault
- Available insurance coverage
What Are The Minimum Truck Insurance Requirements In Indiana?Indianapolis, Indiana, law forces trucking companies and their drivers to maintain minimum liability insurance. The amounts depend on truck specifics and routes. For trucks that never leave the state and exceed 10,000 GVW, the minimum coverage requirements are:
- $750,000 for general freight
- $1,000,000 for oil transport
- $5,000,000 for hazmat
- 300,000 for household goods
Why Rush Settlements Are Not a Good IdeaSometimes insurance companies will offer a settlement shortly after an accident. We recommend you not take this without speaking with an attorney for the following reasons:
- Some injuries only display symptoms later and it is important to cover all of them in the compensation claim.
- As accident victims receive treatment, their requirements and evolution may change. Each person is different and responds differently to treatments, and sometimes injuries aggravate or develop complications.
- The compensation claim should cover the strain on the victim’s personal life as well, not just their financial losses. It may take months for a truck accident victim’s spouse to file for divorce.
- Emotional pain and suffering takes more time to reach the surface. When their recovery lasts long or is unsuccessful, many accident victims develop depression. Quite a few are unable to get behind the wheel again, experiencing severe panic attacks.
- It takes time for truck accident victims to assess the total impact of the accident on their health, finances, and personal and professional life.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?Many victims in Indiana avoid contacting an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer because they fear the fees. Some worry that they will pay attorney fees even if they lose. That is certainly not the case with Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers. We prefer contingency agreements. These stipulate that we only get paid when we win. Our fee is usually a percentage of the compensation we obtain for our clients. The percentage will vary according to the specifics of each case and the amount of work it will involve. The good news for this type of arrangement is that paying high attorney fees means receiving high compensation. Also, you do not have to worry about motivation. The higher the compensation we obtain for you is the more money we get. It is therefore in our best interest to work hard and get you the maximum compensation. Also, keep in mind that truck accident cases often require technical expertise and in-depth investigations. If you take matters into your own hands, you will have to pay for these out of your own pocket, long before receiving compensation. When you work with us, we take care of everything and only get paid at the end, upon winning.
Are Truck Accident Cases Different from Car Accident Cases?While an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer may be able to handle a car accident case, you should not trust a car accident lawyer without experience in truck accidents with your case. There are significant differences between the two types of accidents. It is one thing to be hit by a car and a completely different thing to be hit by a truck. The impact is much more severe in the latter case due to the much larger size and weight of the truck. Cars weigh around 3,700 pounds, while trucks weigh around 80,000 pounds plus cargo. But there is also good news: the insurance coverage available in truck accident cases is higher. Of course, this does not mean easy access to compensation. Insurance companies will always fight hard to avoid paying or at least diminish the amounts. To make them pay, you will need a lawyer with extensive experience in truck accident cases. They should be familiar with the state and federal safety standards and regulations. To get you the compensation you deserve, they will need to prove liability. Whether the fault belongs to the truck driver, the trucking company, or a third party, uncovering and proving it will not be easy. They will need to check compliance with The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act, especially regarding:
- Driver background checks and periodic evaluations
- Driving schedules
- Drug and alcohol test results
- Cargo loading and security requirements, etc.