Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyers

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In a recent year, there were 5,788 fatalities involving large truck accidents in the U.S., a 17% increase from the previous year. Indiana saw 1,392 vehicles involved in fatal truck accidents that same year.

With a population of over 70,000, Lafayette is a city that is no stranger to truck accidents. Located just 125 miles southeast of Chicago, Lafayette is a major hub for truck drivers taking I-65.

Although many truck drivers are able to efficiently deliver our goods, some do not maintain the standard that is expected of them. In failing to operate their vehicles with the utmost care, the safety of other drivers is threatened.

If you have been in an accident with a truck driver, the attorneys at Blackburn Romey can seek the compensation you deserve. We offer a free consultation to help injury victims just like you.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Near You

Can I Sue for a Semi-Truck Accident?

Many injured truck accident victims obtain compensation from the insurer of the at-fault party. However, an insurer may only offer a settlement that fails to cover your losses. Your truck accident attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit if you can’t reach an agreement regarding a fair settlement with the insurance company. Filing a lawsuit allows you to demonstrate to a judge or jury evidence of the accident and why you deserve more compensation.

If the insurer has denied your claim outright, filing a lawsuit is an opportunity to prove the negligent act conducted by the other party. A judge may order the negligent party to cover your injury-related losses.

You might consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party if you’ve sustained a severe injury. However, you cannot file a lawsuit if you’ve already accepted a settlement from the liable party or insurance provider, or once the statute of limitations has passed.

You should, therefore, seek legal advice from a truck accident attorney as soon as possible following a crash.

Damages You Can Claim Following A Truck Accident

You deserve compensation if you’ve sustained an injury in a truck accident caused by someone else’s fault. You can obtain economic or non-economic damages depending on the facts and circumstances of your injury.

Sometimes, a judge or jury can award you punitive damages if it is established that you acted in a particularly harmful way.

Here’s a simple brief of economic and non-economic damages:

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate for the financial losses injured victims sustain in truck accidents. Monetary damages have a direct dollar value, and a reasonably straightforward process is used to calculate their estimated value.

Examples of economic damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
  • Lost income
  • Long-term and future medical care

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate injured victims for the intangible losses they sustain from the accident. You can obtain different non-economic damages depending on the nature of your truck accident.

Here are a few examples of non-economic damages you can obtain:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent impairment

Why You Should Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer

If you’ve sustained an injury in a truck accident, hiring a truck accident right away is essential. One of the fundamental reasons to hire a truck accident attorney is to obtain and preserve crucial evidence.

Most trucking companies have investigators, lawyers, and insurance adjusters who work to protect their interests immediately after the accident. You should contact a lawyer immediately to protect your interests during investigations.

Although personal injury law protects your right to compensation, you must overcome the tactics of an insurance company. For instance, an insurance adjuster may pressure you into accepting a low-ball settlement offer that barely covers your damages.

An adjuster may also seek to record your side of the story before obtaining legal representation, which can hurt your claim. Since truck accidents require hefty settlement amounts, insurance companies fight hard to pay as little as possible.

Having a truck accident attorney on your side levels the playing field. An experienced truck accident attorney will handle negotiations with the insurance company, ensuring you receive a deserved compensation.

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Truck Accidents

Under Indiana law, you have a two-year window to file a personal injury lawsuit related to a truck accident. The two-year period begins from the date of the car accident. If the two years lapse, your case risks dismissal.

There are some exceptions to the two years, including:

  • Minors
  • Injuries that are discovered later
  • A stubborn defendant who move to a different state
  • Claims against city or county authorities

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident?

Although it is difficult to estimate the time it takes to settle a semi-truck accident, these claims take longer than usual. Usually, semi-truck accidents cause substantial loss, necessitating a lengthy process leading to the settlement.

The settlement timeline usually begins after you complete your treatment plan or reach maximum medical improvement if you have a lasting injury. If you sustain a severe and life-changing injury, your case may take longer before reaching a settlement agreement.

An insurance company may sometimes make a settlement offer shortly after a truck accident. However, your case might deserve much more than the initial offer. It might be worth waiting for a full investigation and medical exam before negotiating a settlement offer.

What To Do After a Lafayette Truck Wreck

Your steps after a truck accident can enhance your safety and protect your right to compensation.

Here are a few steps to take after a truck accident:

  • Move yourself and the vehicle to the side of the road if conditions allow
  • Contact 911 or an ambulance if someone is injured
  • Contact a law enforcement officer to notify them about the accident
  • Gather information
  • Seek medical attention
  • Notify your insurer about the accident
  • Get in touch with an experienced truck accident attorney

Who Is at Fault in a Semi-Truck Accident?

The at-fault party in a semi-truck accident depends on the facts and circumstances of the crash. A single driver or multiple parties may be liable for a truck accident.

There are a variety of potentially liable parties in a truck accident, including:

  • The trucking company
  • The driver of the semi-truck
  • The truck manufacturer
  • The service provider that maintains vehicles
  • The driver of another vehicle

Can I Still Receive Compensation if the Truck Accident in Lafayette Was Partially My Fault?

Indiana follows the modified comparative fault system, where victims become ineligible to collect compensation once their fault reaches a certain level.

The modified comparative fault system in Indiana allows injured victims to recover compensation if they are not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. However, an insurer or a judge can reduce your settlement by your percentage of fault.

Why Choose Us

We know you have many options when selecting a personal injury attorney, but many people rely on our firm to represent their rights.

Experience

Our team has combined decades of experience handling all types of injury cases, both with insurance companies and in civil court. We bring all that we know about injury law to the table in each and every case.

Results

We have many satisfied clients who were able to move forward with their lives in a better financial position following a serious accident and injuries. We can discuss our past results with you during your free consultation.

Service

We are dedicated to our clients and communities in Indiana. Our goal is to provide comprehensive and compassionate legal services to injured and grieving individuals. We work hard to obtain the money you need so you can focus on recovery instead of worrying about medical bills, insurance claims, or lawsuits.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Several factors may contribute to a single-truck accident. While negligence is the source of most truck accidents, causes may vary.

Distracted or Inattentive Driving

Distracted driving took the lives of 3,522 people in one year. Distracted driving is any act that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road.

Distracted driving puts motorists’ lives in peril. Truck drivers who are inattentive behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to cause an accident than a passenger vehicle driver.

There are three forms of distracted driving:

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving

Common acts of distracted driving are:

  • Texting
  • Eating or drinking
  • Changing the radio station
  • Entering directions into a GPS
  • Talking on your cell phone
  • Daydreaming

Anytime a driver’s eyes, hands, or mind are not fully devoted to the road ahead, the driver is endangering the lives of other road users.

According to Indiana Code 9-21-8-59, drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Drivers are not allowed to hold a mobile device while operating a vehicle except to call 911 in an emergency. Governor Eric J. Holcomb passed this legislation into law on March 18, 2020.

All drivers, however, are permitted to use a mobile device in conjunction with hands-free technology. This will keep truck drivers’ hands on the wheel and in full control of their vehicles.

Speeding

All motorists seem to be in a rush to get somewhere, and long-haul drivers are no exception. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) restricts truckers on the number of hours they can drive. These restrictions are known as the hours of service (HOS) regulations.

Truck drivers carrying cargo (“property-carrying drivers”) are allowed to drive 11 hours after being off-duty for 10 consecutive hours. Passenger-carrying drivers are allowed to drive 10 hours after being off-duty for 8 consecutive hours. Truck drivers are permitted to drive an additional 2 hours in the event of inclement weather.

Even with these precautions in effect, truck drivers are usually on tight schedules, which results in many drivers speeding to reach their destinations on time. Take into account bad weather and road construction, and you have the makings of a truck accident.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is a safety concern for road users, actions that create hazardous road conditions and increase the rate of accidents.

Truck drivers and other vehicles are often guilty of the following aggressive driving habits:

  • Tailgating
  • Weaving and out of traffic
  • Failure to use turn signals when changing lanes
  • Blocking vehicles attempting to pass or change lanes
  • Running red lights

Anyone, including innocent bystanders, can be a victim of aggressive driving involving truck drivers. Victims of aggressive driving by truck drivers sustain various injuries, including broken limbs, back injuries, brain injuries, and internal injuries.

Driver Fatigue

A truck driver may be required to work long hours on very little sleep. Studies have shown that driver fatigue is a contributing factor in 30 to 40 percent of all large truck accidents.

While exhaustion plays a large role in many truck accidents, driver intoxication is also an issue. While a regular motorist is permitted to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08%, commercial truck drivers cannot be above 0.04%.

A semi-truck transporting heavy cargo traveling at a normal highway speed can take up to 525 feet (the length of two football fields) to come to a complete stop. Abusing alcohol and/or drugs can slow a trucker’s reflexes, resulting in sluggish reaction times and fatalities.

Unsecured or Improperly Loaded Cargo

Cargo problems can pose a danger to other road users. Cargo that is not properly secured could spill out and likely cause a serious accident.

A truck that is carrying cargo that is improperly loaded may cause the vehicle to be off balance. A large truck that is off balance can more easily roll over or jackknife.

Cargo issues are rarely the fault of the driver. A dock worker or a shipper is most likely liable when improperly loaded cargo is the cause of an accident.

The trucking company could bear partial liability since they are responsible for inspecting cargo prior to departure.

Inexperienced Drivers

Trucking companies are responsible for hiring competent drivers to deliver goods. If an investigation uncovers that a truck driver is inexperienced or improperly trained, liability for the accident will be placed on the trucking company.

A trucking company has the duty of “vetting” its drivers. This consists of making sure that drivers have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are properly trained to operate a large truck.

A trucking company that fails to ensure that a truck driver is cut out for the job is behaving negligently. Even if the truck driver causes a crash, the trucking company is ultimately responsible.

Standing up for the rights of injury victims in Indiana for decades.

-Chad Romey

Consult Our Lafayette Truck Accident Attorneys

Residents of Lafayette, Indiana, require the services of various trucks, including box trucks, light trucks, dump trucks, and delivery trucks, to meet their economic and personal needs. However, they also face an increased risk of accidents involving these commercial trucks.

If you’re a victim of a truck accident, you may sustain a severe injury with a long-term impact on your life. You may be entitled to compensation if your crash was due to the negligence of a driver, truck company, or another party.

A trusted truck accident attorney in Lafayette, Indiana, is prepared to investigate what happened and pursue compensation for your injury-related losses. Never wait to consult our team at Blackburn Romey today. Contact us online or at (833) 264.0904 for a free, confidential consultation.

 

Other Locations our Truck Accidents Lawyers Serve in Indiana

South Bend Truck Accident Lawyer

Fort Wayne Truck Accident Lawyer

Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer

Merrillville Truck Accident Lawyer

Terre Haute Truck Accident Lawyer

Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyer

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Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.