If you were in a semi-truck accident in Indiana, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Your settlement amount is based on the details of your case, including the severity of your injuries and the negligence of the involved parties.
Read on to learn what factors affect your semi-truck accident settlement in Indiana and how the attorneys at Wagner Reese can maximize your compensation.
Why Are Trucking Accidents a Serious Issue?
Semi-trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger cars, making them far more dangerous in a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 71% of people killed in accidents with a large truck were occupants of a passenger car. Those who survive large truck collisions often suffer severe injuries or permanent disability.
How Much Can I Receive for My Truck Accident?
There is no specific amount you can expect to receive in a truck accident settlement; it depends on the particular details of your case. Generally, serious injuries and blatantly negligent actions by the other driver tend to lead to higher settlements
Our firm has previously won numerous multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of victims killed or critically injured in accidents through truck drivers’ negligence.
However, the best way to obtain a realistic estimate for your accident is to consult with an Indiana semi-truck accident attorney from Wagner Reese.
What Factors Affect My Truck Accident Settlement?
While the facts of the case will determine much of your settlement, a skilled lawyer can help you maximize your compensation. Significant factors influencing your settlement include:
- How serious are your injuries? Generally, victims receive more compensation for severe injuries. Someone with severe injuries, such as a spinal cord injury, brain injury, or disfiguring injury, will have higher medical bills, experience more pain and suffering, and will need longer to recover. Some victims may even become permanently disabled and will need more compensation.
- How much did your medical bills or treatments cost? Intensive or long-term treatments, including rehabilitation, often require more than a single appointment and a follow-up visit. These treatments factor into your settlement amount, including ongoing and future medical care.
- How have your injuries cost you in other ways? You deserve compensation for the ways your injuries have negatively impacted your ability to perform daily tasks and participate in hobbies, your relationships with other people in your life, and your enjoyment of life. Your age (younger victims often qualify for more compensation because they must live with any permanent injuries for longer) and other members of your household (such as a dependent parent or child) may also factor in.
- How much evidence do you have? Pictures of the crash scene, police reports, medical records, and other documents related to the accident can help you establish your case. If you have substantial evidence, you have a better chance of winning maximum compensation.
- Are you partially at fault? Indiana is an at-fault state, meaning you can hold responsible parties liable for the accident. However, Indiana also uses modified comparative negligence doctrine, which means you can be held partially liable for the accident even as a victim. Your percentage of fault may reduce your settlement, and if you are more than 50% responsible, you can’t earn compensation.
What Are Common Damages Covered in a Truck Accident Claim?
If you win compensation, it will likely cover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are losses that have monetary value, such as your medical bills, auto repair or replacement costs, or wages you lost while unable to work. Non-economic damages refer to elements like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Compensation can also include punitive damages that punish willfully or intentionally negligent behavior. For example, if the court found that the trucker’s employer was encouraging their drivers to speed, they may order the company to pay you punitive damages to deter the company from doing this again.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Indiana?
You or your lawyer may argue for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. However, since pain and suffering are subjective, your lawyer may calculate non-economic damages by multiplying your economic damages by a factor between 1.5 and 5. Your attorney will base the multiplier on factors like the following:
- The driver, truck company, or other party’s explicit fault in the accident
- Evident severity of your injuries: for instance, those that are medically confirmed and need intensive treatment like surgery
- Extensive time needed to recover, resulting in lost wages or permanent inability to work
- Permanent, medically verified disability or chronic pain
Who Pays for Damages in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The negligent party’s insurance company pays for your damages in an accident settlement. In a truck collision, the insurer may represent the trucking company that employed the driver. You may even need to hold a parts manufacturer or negligent mechanic responsible for your injuries if the truck crash was due to a preventable mechanical failure, in which case their insurance would pay the damages. If the truck driver is an independent contractor, you will file a claim against their personal auto insurance company.
Work with a skilled truck accident attorney to understand who to file your claim with to receive compensation. Truck accidents often involve multiple parties. Your lawyer can help determine liability and file with the appropriate parties for a settlement.
Consult Wagner Reese Today
At Wagner Reese, we’re familiar with the complicated landscape of trucking accidents. We can give you an estimate of a potential settlement payout and help you construct a robust case to maximize your compensation.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation and to learn what your case may be worth.