Truck Accident FAQ
Our lawyers can answer your questions, help with your claim
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bad truck accident in Indiana, you probably have a lot of questions about your accident. Knowing where to find accurate information can often be a challenge. That’s why our law firm created this page devoted to some of the most frequently asked questions about trucks accidents.
Our team of trial lawyers at Glaser & Ebbs has an in-depth understanding of the laws and legal system governing commercial truck accidents in Indiana. That’s because we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience representing injury victims in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and throughout Indiana. If you have a question, we can answer it.
What is your truck accident question?
Below, you can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about truck accidents. If you don’t see your specific question below, simply contact us to talk to a lawyer at our law firm. We encourage you to do the same even if you do see your specific question listed below. That’s because every truck accident often has its own unique challenges.
Don’t underestimate the complexity of your legal case. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney at our firm after your truck accident. We can meet with you in our Fort Wayne or Indianapolis office or one of our other office locations conveniently located throughout Indiana.
- Who investigates truck accidents?
- Who determines who’s at fault?
- Do different laws apply to truck accidents?
- How much is my accident worth?
- What can I be compensated for?
- Should I accept a settlement offer?
- Can I ask for more money?
- Should I file a lawsuit?
- Who can I sue after my accident?
- Is there a deadline for taking legal action?
- Should I hire a lawyer?
Who investigates truck accidents?
Accidents caused by commercial truck drivers are often investigated by one or more local, state and federal agencies in Indiana. Sometimes, it’s the local police department and/or the Indiana State Police that investigate the crash, especially if the accident took place on a highway or state road in Indiana. Other times, especially in cases involving fatal truck accidents or other serious collisions, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates such crashes.
In addition to them, insurance companies and their attorneys also often conduct their own independent investigations. That’s why it’s critical that you have a lawyer investigating your accident on your behalf. Otherwise, your best interests might not get the attention you rightfully deserve.
Who determines who’s at fault?
While police and other, law enforcement officials regularly investigate accidents, it’s the insurance companies that often have the most to say when it comes to determining who’s at fault. That’s because Indiana has a fault-based insurance system. Under this system, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is often responsible for compensating all injury victims. That’s why insurance companies often take such an active interest in determining who caused the accident.
Your lawyer can be part of these conversations. When you have an experienced attorney investigating your accident, they can present evidence in support of your claim and which proves you were not responsible for causing the collision.
Do different laws apply to truck accidents?
Yes. In addition to local and state traffic laws in Indiana, many federal laws also often apply to accidents involving commercial truck drivers and large commercial trucks. One of the most common federal laws that applies to truck accidents includes Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, a collection of federal regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Make sure the attorney you hire to handle your legal case fully understands all the rules and regulations that apply to these types of accidents.
How much is my accident worth?
As with other motor vehicle accidents, there’s no set dollar amount when it comes to how much your truck accident claim is worth. The bottom line is you should be paid for all past, current and future expenses related to your accident. As a result, your claim could be worth a few thousand dollars or significantly more depending on many different factors, including the severity of your injuries and the length of your recovery.
What can I be compensated for?
If a commercial truck driver caused your accident, you should be financially compensated for all your accident-related expenses, now and in the future. Such expenses can cover a wide range, including:
- Emergency medical care immediately after your truck accident
- Diagnostic medical tests to determine exactly what’s wrong, including X-rays, MRIs and CT-Scans
- Surgical procedures for injuries sustained in your accident
- Hospital fees for any overnight hospital stay while recovering from crash
- Prescription medications for infections, chronic pain and other medical conditions
- Follow-up surgery for long-term medical problems caused by your accident
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Replacement income if you cannot work during your recovery
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work due to a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering in certain circumstances
Should I accept a settlement offer?
It’s important to carefully consider whether to accept a settlement offer for your accident-related expenses. That’s because once you agree to accept an offer, you often cannot go back in the future and ask for additional money, even if your accident-related expenses increase dramatically in the future. Insurance companies know this. That’s why they often make a low settlement offer soon after a truck accident. They’re hoping you’ll simply accept their initial offer. That way, they won’t have to pay for future unanticipated expenses related to your accident. That’s why it’s important to have an attorney carefully review any settlement offer you receive. Your lawyer can advise you on whether they believe an offer is reasonable or unfair.
Yes. You can ask for additional money for your injury claim, especially if the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company makes a lowball settlement offer. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to hire an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can often negotiate a better settlement offer on your behalf that covers all your accident-related expenses.
Sometimes, the best way to get the money you rightfully deserve for your truck accident claim is to file a lawsuit or take other legal action. This is especially true if the at-fault party’s insurance companies or their attorneys refuse to negotiate in good faith or deny your injury claim altogether. Your lawyer can handle your lawsuit and take legal action on your behalf.
Who can I sue after my accident?
In general, you can take legal action against anyone who’s responsible for causing your collision. This is especially true in Indiana, which has a fault-based insurance system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. That means the at-fault party is responsible for paying for all expenses for anyone injured in the accident. In the case of a crash caused by a commercial truck driver, that could include filing a lawsuit or taking legal action against:
- The at-fault truck driver
- The trucking company the truck driver works for
- The company that manufactured the truck, particularly if a mechanical defect contributed to the cause of your crash
- Any at-fault party’s insurance company
Is there a deadline for taking legal action?
Yes. In Indiana, you only have two years from the date of your truck accident to file a lawsuit or take other legal action against the at-fault party. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Still, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to take legal action in most cases. That’s because the evidence you need to support your claim might no longer exist if you wait nearly two years to file a lawsuit.
This is especially true in cases involving trucking companies and truck drivers, who only have to keep certain information for a few months, after which they can legally destroy data. This includes Hours of Service (HOS) logs, in which the driver records how many hours they work each day and when they take mandatory breaks. Federal law only requires drivers and trucking companies to keep HOS logs for 6 months.
Having an experienced attorney on your side can often make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. Truck drivers, trucking companies and their insurance providers often have several lawyers working for them. Often, their goal is to pay injury victims like you as little as possible or nothing at all. Your lawyer can help level playing field. From thoroughly investigating your accident to negotiating a fair settlement offer on your behalf, your attorney can fight for your best interests every step of the way.