A truck accident can result in catastrophic injuries, mounting medical bills, lifelong pain and suffering, and in the worst cases, regrettable loss of life. Moreover, truck accident claims differ from regular car accident claims. When fling a truck accident claim, it is vital that truck accident victims understand the differences between truck accidents and car accidents and how these differences can affect their claim. At Wagner Reese, an experienced Indianapolis accident attorney can help those injured in truck accidents navigate the legal difficulties involved with truck accident claims and obtain the compensation they truly deserve.
How Truck Accident Claims Differ from Car Accident Claims
Truck accident claims are different from car accident claims in some significant ways. The differences most important to an Indianapolis truck accident claim are as follows:
- More Severe Injuries
People injured in truck accidents often need intense medical treatment, ongoing care, and long-term income replacement. Truck accidents are also more deadly than car accidents. In fact, a truck accident is about three to five times more likely to result in death than a car accident.
- More Property Damage
In addition to the injuries, a truck accident often causes more extensive property damage. Even with an empty trailer, a semi-truck with an average weight of 35,000 pounds can cause a great deal of damage to vehicles, real property, and personal property.
- Multiple Defendants
With a truck accident, there are often multiple parties who may all be liable for the resulting injuries. Some of the most common defendants in an Indianapolis truck accident case include the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The shipper
- The loader
- The maintenance company
- The truck’s manufacturer
In addition, third parties may also be liable for a truck accident. This can include another motorist who may have caused or contributed to the accident or a government entity that was negligent in its repair, design, or maintenance of the road. This type of liability can be more challenging to determine, which is why all truck accident victims should consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer.
- Different Insurance
The insurance on a truck is different from the insurance on the average passenger vehicle. The truck and driver typically have their own coverage, and the trailer (which another company may own) typically has its own coverage. Moreover, truck accidents frequently involve the driver, carrier, shipper, broker, and other parties, who may all be legally responsible for the accident, and may all have different insurance coverage.
While multiple policies and policyholders increase the likelihood that a truck accident victim will receive just compensation for their injuries, they also make a truck accident claim more difficult to navigate. A skilled lawyer can help navigate the insurance claims process after a truck accident to ensure the injured party is made whole.
- Rules and Regulations
There are federal and state trucking regulations governing the operation and maintenance of commercial trucks and other vehicles in interstate commerce. Most importantly, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) set forth minimum standards for trucks and other commercial vehicles involved in interstate commerce.
Under the FMCSR, truck drivers can only drive for a limited amount of time per day to protect against fatigue. In addition, drivers must keep logbooks showing their time behind the wheel and how many miles they travel each day.
Truck drivers must also satisfy additional requirements to maintain their commercial driver’s license, such as background checks and medical exams. They must also be physically fit and healthy.
Furthermore, there are many other rules that companies in the trucking industry must abide by, covering things like truck maintenance, labeling, freight loads, etc. Discovering that a truck driver or trucking company ignored or violated any of these regulations can be pivotal to the success of a truck accident claim.
- The Investigation
Following a truck accident resulting in injuries, hiring a truck accident lawyer is imperative. Evidence can disappear quickly, along with the opportunity to recover much-needed compensation.
Although a thorough investigation needs to be performed after any motor vehicle accident, given the extent of the injuries and likelihood of death in a truck accident, the investigation should be performed by an experienced accident attorney Indianapolis residents trust to do the job right.
This is not only because of the extent of personal injuries common to truck accidents, but also because of the unique mechanics, different sets of rules and regulations, and multiple parties who may be liable for a truck accident.
How Our Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
At Wagner Reese, our experienced and compassionate Indianapolis accident attorneys help truck accident victims and their families investigate and hold all possible defendants liable for damages sustained in truck accidents in Indiana. This may include the truck driver, trucking company, truck maintenance company, and any other defendant whose actions caused or contributed to the accident.
We communicate with the liable parties on the victim’s behalf and often hire leading medical and liability experts to help build and prove our case against the defendants. We are dedicated to helping truck accident victims recover the compensation they need to recover both physically and financially after a devastating truck accident.
Contact Wagner Reese Accident Attorneys in Indianapolis
Truck accidents are different from car accidents. As such, to get the most from an Indianapolis truck accident claim, it is essential that a truck accident victim work with an accident attorney in Indianapolis who specializes in truck accidents.
No two truck accident claims are the same. But no matter the circumstances, our Indianapolis accident attorneys are available to explain the various options for financial recovery and help with successfully navigating the claims process. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We charge no attorney fee unless we recover compensation for you.
This content has been reviewed by the attorneys at the Wagner Reese offices.