Truck Accident Attorneys in Indianapolis
Helping Injured Victims & Their Families for Over 20 Years
At Wagner Reese, we have been fighting for the rights of injured individuals and their families throughout the state of Indiana for more than two decades. Our Indianapolis truck accident attorneys have more than 150+ years of combined legal experience and are prepared to fight for the justice and recovery you and your family deserve.
To learn more about how we can help with your big rig or semi-truck accident claim, call our office at (888) 204-8440 for a FREE case evaluation.
Why Our Truck Accident Lawyers Are Different
Crashes involving large trucks are different than those involving two passenger vehicles. These crashes often cause far more serious injuries. They also involve complex federal and state laws. Trucking companies are also well prepared to deal with claims against their trucks and drivers.
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At Wagner Reese, we know that these cases aren’t just “big” car crash cases. They require a deep understanding of trucking laws and a unique approach to building a claim. Our team has years of experience getting big results for our clients.
Founding partner Stephen Wagner has been selected as one of the Top 10 Trucking Trial Lawyers in Indiana by the Trucking Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA). Our team has won several multi-million-dollar cases for our clients.
Here are just a few of the results we’ve achieved:
- $6.5 million from a fatal accident involving a semi-truck crash.
- $4.57 million in an underinsured motorist claim against a truck driver’s employer
- $1.95 million for a motorist hit head-on at an intersection by a delivery truck driver.
- $1.75 million for a traumatic brain injury suffered in a head-on collision.
- $1.5 million for a pregnant mother injured by an impaired truck driver.
If you’d like to speak to our experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at no cost, contact us today for a free consultation.
Who Is Liable for a Trucking Accident?
In Indiana, trucking accidents often occur as a result of negligence. However, even if a big rig driver acts negligently, he or she may not be the only one liable for the accident. This is because truck drivers operate these vehicles while in the employment of truck companies. In many cases, these companies are liable for the actions of their employees.
For example, if a truck driver is pressured to meet an unrealistic quota, he may violate hours-of-service laws or even take stimulants in order to continue driving and make his schedule. If the company that employs the truck driver turns a blind eye to these actions, or even encourages such behavior, it may be liable for any accident the driver causes.
Depending on the unique circumstances involved in your case, any of the following parties (or a combination thereof) may be liable for your truck accident:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company that owns or leases the truck
- The person or company responsible for conducting truck maintenance
- The truck manufacturer or the manufacturer of a certain truck part
Because of the potential for multiple liable parties, truck accident claims are often complex. It is important that you discuss your rights with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Indiana?
The time limits for taking legal action will vary by state, and may also be affected by the language in your own insurance policy if you need to bring a UM or UIM claim. The nature of your injuries may even change the amount of time you have to bring a claim.
Typically, truck accident victims will have two years to file a lawsuit in Indiana.
Wagner Reese can help you take swift legal action by conducting a prompt investigation. We can research the safety record of the truck company and driver, review the driver’s logbook, interview witnesses, and hire an accident reconstruction expert if needed.
Determining the Value of Your Truck Accident Claim
A large number of semi-trucks in Indiana and many other states carry $1 million or more in insurance coverage on their rigs (note: under federal law, semi-trucks and other types of commercial vehicles are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage).
Sounds like a lot, right? Certainly enough to cover the injuries you sustained, any lost wages, as well as your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
The value of a semi-truck accident claim generally involves four factors:
- Liability for the accident
- Injuries and medical treatment
- Whether or not a death occurred
- The amount of available insurance money
It is critical to understand that the only true way to determine what your semi-truck accident case is worth is to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis who has handled and tried cases of this nature throughout the state of Indiana.
Liability: Was the Semi-Truck Driver at Least 50% at Fault?
Every state has different laws with regard to contributory negligence. This simply means that, depending on how much fault is assigned to you, there is a possibility that your overall compensation will be reduced or your entire claim will be denied.
Under Indiana’s comparative fault law, you must be able to prove the truck driver was at least 50% at fault, or you risk being denied a single dollar for your case.
One of our goals for these claims is to assign 100% fault on the truck driver. That said, it will be a fight, as insurance companies are extremely aggressive with accidents involving semi-trucks. Why? Because of the large amount of money and exposure involved.
In an attempt to lessen the amount of money they owe a victim, insurance companies may resort to questionable tactics and interpretations of state and federal laws. If they are about to pin fault on you, you stand to lose a large percentage or all of your claim.
You should never accept the insurance company’s interpretation of how you were partially or fully to blame for the accident. Instead, you should talk to an attorney that understands semi-truck liability. Our legal team can evaluate your accident report and perform an independent investigation that may help you escape any fault, increasing the value of your semi-truck accident claim.
Frequently Asked Questions About Crashes Involving Trucks
What’s the difference between truck accident cases and car accident cases?
When injuries are involved, both truck and car accident cases fall into the personal injury category. The reason you see advertisements dedicated specifically to truck accidents is because the details of handling truck accident cases are much different than other types of vehicle accident cases.
Damages and injuries tend to be much more severe in crashes involving large commercial vehicles. There are also many more state and federal laws governing heavy trucks than there are for passenger vehicles.
Though these differences largely fall on attorneys to understand, it’s important for you to remember that you need a lawyer who has experience in these specific types of cases. That’s because they’re often complex, and a proven track record is a strong signal that your attorney will understand what’s needed for a successful truck accident claim.
What should I do if contacted by a trucking company’s insurance representative?
Tell them to talk to your lawyer. You are NOT required to speak to the representative of someone else’s insurance company and doing so can hurt your chances of getting maximum compensation.
Insurance representatives will try to get you on record making a statement that helps their case, which will typically negatively affect your case. The only thing you need to say to an insurance company’s representative is, “Talk to my lawyer.”
What are the benefits of hiring a truck accident attorney?
You’re far more likely to win the compensation you’re entitled to when you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer. Attorneys understand the legal system, the claims process, and the complex set of laws governing commercial vehicles.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash, you’re also likely dealing with many challenges stemming from that accident. You might suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, and face all sorts of struggles in your daily life. Handling a truck accident claim is hard enough for a non-attorney, even without all those obstacles you’re managing.
When you hire a commercial vehicle accident lawyer, you’ll be freeing up your time and energy to focus on your recovery.
Lastly, trucking companies and their insurers are well-funded, which means they have the money to pay you for all your economic and non-economic damages. Unfortunately, it also means they have enough money to hire a legal team to combat your claim. When you have truck accident attorneys like the ones at Wagner Reese on your side, you’ll also have a legal team fighting to win you maximum compensation for your injuries.
What are some of the most common injuries in truck accidents?
Because trucks are so much bigger and heavier than other vehicles, collisions are far more likely to result in what attorneys call catastrophic injuries. “Catastrophic injuries” is a term used to describe injuries that are debilitating and often long-lasting or even permanent.
Examples of injuries suffered in truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Complex fractures, especially in hips, knees, ankles, and other joint
- Internal organ damage
In truck accidents, victims often suffer many injuries at once. That means you might have also suffered torn ligaments, extensive soft tissue damage, neck injuries, or any other injuries common in wrecks.
It’s important to seek medical treatment, keep track of your expenses, and follow your doctor’s orders closely. This will help both your own recovery and your chances of getting maximum compensation.
Important Truck Accident Statistics
If you’ve been involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler or any other commercial vehicle, you should know that you’re not alone. These crashes happen every day.
Here are some statistics about truck accidents in the U.S.:
- More than 3,000 people die each year in crashes involving large trucks.
- More than two-thirds of those deaths are occupants of smaller vehicles that collide with trucks.
- Approximately three-fourths of those deaths involve tractor-trailer trucks, which are trucks that haul trailers, also known as semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, instead of single-unit trucks, like box trucks or delivery trucks.
Call Our Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers for Your Free Consultation
If you have suffered a severe injury, or your family member was killed in a semi-truck collision, contact Wagner Reese as soon as possible. Our truck accident lawyers in Indianapolis can help you fight for the maximum compensation you are owed.
While financial recovery cannot undo the suffering you have experienced, it can help with the cost of medical bills, lost income or wages, and pain and suffering. A personal injury or wrongful death claim can also be used to hold the negligent party accountable.
Call us today at (888) 204-8440 to speak with our Indianapolis truck accident attorneys. Wagner Reese offers a FREE consultation to get you started.