The hub of thousands of truck drivers carrying their cargo on I-465, I-65, I-70 or I-74 throughout the Midwest, Indiana sees numerous truck accidents. Many of them occur in Indianapolis and its surrounding, and involve trucks of delivery companies. With Amazon and other online retailers increasing their sales, the need for delivery services is on the rise. Indiana truck accident lawyers receive an increasing number of inquiries as well.
According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute reports, the number of collisions involving large trucks increased by 5.7% from 2013 to 2017. The rising tendency is noticeable when it comes to the number of injuries and fatalities related to truck accidents as well.
If you were the victim of a truck accident, you should consider getting in touch with an Indianapolis truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Truck accident claims can rise to record amounts, as they benefit from high insurance coverage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes minimum insurance coverage of $750,000. However, accessing that coverage is not easy, and should not even be attempted without legal help.
How Can an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
1. Accident Scene Assistance
Given the high coverage, insurance adjusters will act fast when notified of an accident. They will rush to the accident scene and take measures to limit their losses. They will collect evidence, witness statements, and maybe record your own words without you knowing it. They will do everything in their power to reduce the fault percentage assigned to their driver and, implicitly, the compensation they will have to pay.
If contacted in due time, your truck accident lawyer can come to the scene to defend your interests. They will teach you what to say and do, protect your interest, and gather evidence to support your claim. They will deal with the insurance adjusters and any other parties involved on your behalf and gather all the information they need for the case.
2. Insurance Coverage Assessment
To protect their reputation and their interests, many trucking companies carry insurance coverage much higher than the minimum required by the law. Of course, they will not reveal the information, as any incidents involving their trucks and claims filed against them could raise their premiums. Your truck accident lawyer will obtain the information directly from the insurer and find out exactly to what coverage they have access.
In Indiana truck accident cases, the burden of proof falls on the victim. If you want to recover your losses, you will need to prove the liability of the other party and the nature and value of your losses. Obtaining the necessary evidence is not easy, especially when you know nothing about truck operation regulations. Do not forget that the truck that caused your accident and could hold most of the evidence belongs to the company you are seeking compensation from or their client.
Your attorney can place a hold on the truck to avoid losing evidence of having it damaged or tempered with. They will access the truck’s log-book and verify if the drivers complied with the hours of service regulations. They will also check the cargo’s weight and ties, and the trucks’maintenance and repairs schedule.
The driver’s history and records will not escape their vigilance either. If the trucking company tried cutting corners to save money, your truck accident lawyer will find out and prove it. To do so, they may turn to experts for technical expertise, character witnesses, case precedents, and more.
4. Formalities and Paperwork
Filing a truck accident claim involves following numerous formalities. From filling in specific forms to filing notices, subpoenas, and summons, everything takes time and specific knowledge. If the case reaches court, things get even more difficult. There will be hearings, witness cross-examinations, statements, and more. Your truck accident lawyer can handle them all. After all, these are mere routine for them.
5. Settlement Negotiations and Appeals
Insurance and trucking companies prefer to avoid bad publicity. Once they realize that they have no choice but to compensate you for your losses, they will try to settle. This means that they will offer you an amount of money and ask you to give up any claims in return.
They will obviously try to save money and pay less than you deserve. It will be up to your truck accident lawyer to assess whether their offer is worth accepting or not. Depending on your case details, they may be able to negotiate better terms.
If they are not, and the offer is not worth accepting, they will not hesitate to appeal the insurance company’s decision, complain with the insurance commissioner, or even file a lawsuit. They will do whatever it takes to protect your interests and get you a fair compensation.
Get Help from an Experienced Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer Now!
To benefit from all the above and more, contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers today and schedule a consultation. Our Indianapolis truck accident attorney will review your case for free and help you obtain the highest compensation available.