Terre Haute Truck Accident Attorney

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Every traffic accident is a dangerous accident, but when the other vehicle involved is an 18-wheeler, the danger escalates. A fully loaded semi can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, and the impact of a truck accident is immense. If you or someone you love has been injured by a truck driver’s negligence, it’s time to consult with an experienced Terre Haute truck accident attorney.

Our legal team at Blackburn Romey has extensive experience handling complex and technical truck accident claims, and we can seek full compensation for your serious injuries and losses. Reach out today to learn more.

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Possible Damages Recovered After a Semi-Truck Crash in Terre Haute

After a truck accident in Terre Haute, injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. The victim can receive compensatory damages by negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurer or filing a personal injury lawsuit.

An injured victim can often obtain three broad categories of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are measurable and quantifiable financial losses that an injured victim incurs due to the negligent party’s action.

Examples of economic damages include:

  • Lost income
  • Future medical expenses
  • Future earning potential
  • Ongoing nursing care
  • Physical therapy charges
  • Property damage

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages intend to compensate the injured victim for the intangible losses they experience due to the accident. Unlike economic damages with a direct dollar value, non-economic damages are more subjective and relate to the psychological and emotional impact of the injury.

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are awarded by the courts to punish the defendants who acted in a particularly harmful way. Courts award punitive damages to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct that formed the lawsuit’s basis.

Steps to Follow after a Truck Crash

Take the following steps to enhance your safety and preserve your right to compensation:

  • Move your vehicle to the side of the road if it is safe
  • Call 911 or a local ambulance service provider if someone is injured
  • Notify the local police department about the accident
  • Gather information related to the accident
  • Seek medical attention if injured
  • Notify your insurance provider about the truck crash
  • Speak to an experienced truck accident attorney about the crash

Laws That Truck Drivers Are Expected to Follow

The trucking industry is intensively regulated to protect the lives of pedestrians and other road users. As such, operators of large and semi-trucks must follow special precautions and rules to comply with federal and state law.

Here are some rules and regulations applicable to commercial trucks:

  • Truck drivers should operate only for a specific number of hours per day or week
  • Trucking companies should keep their fleet in good working condition through regular maintenance
  • A driver should properly secure cargo before departure
  • Drivers should exercise extreme caution or stop in inclement weather such as snow storms, rain storms, or heavy fog.
  • Drivers should park their trucks and trailers in safe designated areas.

What Negligence Means in a Truck Accident

Negligence is the failure to take appropriate care that a reasonable person would take under similar circumstances. Establishing negligence is a crucial component of seeking damages in a truck accident.

Every driver has a duty of care to other road users. Therefore, they must exercise ordinary diligence to prevent harm to passengers, drivers, and pedestrians. When someone is negligent in a truck accident, they become liable for the damages.

Here’s a list of parties who may be negligent and liable in a truck accident.

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Manufacturer of the truck
  • Government entity
  • The owner of a truck

Determining Fault in Your Terre Haute Truck Accident

For a truck accident victim to obtain compensation, the burden is to prove negligence in the accident. It is easier to gather the correct information and establish fault with the assistance of a professional.

You should, therefore, contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as you can after an accident.

An attorney will be in charge of performing the following actions:

  • Investigating the accident
  • Compiling evidence for your accident-related damages
  • Taking images at the scene of the accident
  • Recording eye witness statements from bystanders at the scene
  • Re-constructing the accident scene and establishing the liable party
  • Gathering and scrutinizing driver logs

Common Injuries Associated With Truck Accidents

A loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, with a typical unladen vehicle closer to 35,000 pounds. The substantial weight and size of large trucks often contribute to significant accidents with severe injuries and losses,

Here are the common injuries to expect in a truck accident:

Head Injuries

Occupants of passenger vehicles are likely to sustain head injuries when they collide head-on with trucks. You can sustain a closed or an open injury in a truck accident; an open injury is a type of injury that fractures the skull, penetrates, and enters the brain. A closed head injury doesn’t break the skull but often results in severe harm, similar to an open injury.

Here’s a list of common head injuries in a truck accident:

  • Concussion
  • Skull fracture
  • Hemorrhage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Hematoma

If you sustained a head injury in a truck accident, the value of your claim may be higher because of its long-term impact on your life.

Neck and Back Injuries

Victims of truck accidents are likely to sustain severe neck, back, and spine injuries. The neck and back regions are particularly susceptible. Although the neck region is flexible, allowing for a wide range of motion, it is less stable and, therefore, easier to injure.

Similarly, the human neck cannot absorb massive shock in truck accidents, which contributes to severe tissue, joint, and nerve damage.

Here are the typical back and neck injuries in truck accidents:

  • Spinal dislocations and fractures
  • Bulging and herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Whiplash and facet joint injuries
  • Spinal stenosis

Broken Bones

The substantial impact of a truck accident often results in broken ribs, arms, legs, and soft bone fractures. If a broken bone fractures the skin, it is called an open or compound fracture.

Common symptoms of broken bones include:

  • Intense pain
  • Swelling, bleeding or bruising
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Inability to move a limb
  • A noticeable out-of-place limb or joint

A bone fracture injury may require surgery and an intense treatment plan that may require weeks, months, or years of rehabilitation.

Burns

If a truck is involved in a catastrophic accident, its fuel tank may ignite, leading to a fire. The ignition of cargo and chemicals on semi-trucks is another source of fire.

Fire is likely to spread quickly and engulf numerous vehicles. The treatment of severe burns requires hospitalization in a specialized burn facility.

The treatment of severe burns involves continuous care for years and skin grafts.

Reasons to Hire a Terre Haute Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents are more than collisions; they often result in life-altering injuries. While most injured victims obtain compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer, the settlement value hardly covers injury-related losses.

Similarly, the physical and emotional trauma of a truck accident can leave you grappling with serious injuries, mounting bills, and an uncertain future. In these moments of vulnerability, you shouldn’t face the consequences of a truck accident alone.

An experienced truck accident attorney should, therefore, become your strongest advocate.

Hiring a Terre Haute truck accident attorney has the following benefits to your case:

  • Establishing the liable party
  • Negotiating with the insurer of the liable party
  • Compiling facts related to your case
  • Create a winning legal strategy
  • Ensure appropriate application of comparative fault laws
  • Maximize your settlement amount

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.

Truck Accidents: The Statistics

The National Safety Council (NSC) shares the following eye-opening statistics, which help demonstrate exactly how dangerous truck accidents are:

  • In one recent year alone, there were 5,700 fatal truck accidents, which is an 18 percent increase over the previous year and a 49 percent increase over the past decade.
  • The vast majority of those who lose their lives in truck accidents – 72 percent – are the occupants of the other vehicles involved and are not the truck drivers themselves.
  • The truck involvement rate per 100 million miles traveled is up 7 percent over past years and up 22 percent over the last decade.
  • Truck accidents account for 9 percent of all the fatal traffic accidents on our roads but represent only 5 percent of the registered vehicles.
  • Trucks put in 10 percent of the total miles traveled on roadways throughout the nation.
  • There were 117,300 injury-causing truck accidents last year, which is an increase of 12 percent.

In other words, the risk of being seriously injured – or worse – in a truck accident is all too real. Many people face a lifetime of injuries and costs from a crash that took a single second.

The important thing is that you learn about your legal rights and options following a truck crash by consulting with our legal team as soon as possible.

Safety Factors to Consider Regarding Trucks

There are a range of safety considerations that truck drivers need to pay careful attention to on every mile of every trip.

They Experience Serious Blind Spots

There are large stretches of their rigs – along all four sides – where truck drivers cannot see what is on the road next to them. When truck drivers fail to safely account for these immense blind spots, it can be incredibly dangerous for anyone traveling beside them on the road. Truckers are responsible for carefully checking their blind spots prior to leaving their lanes or taking exits.

They Require Much Longer Stopping Distances

Truckers have a lot of weight behind them, and when they need to slow their rigs or come to a complete stop, they need considerably more space than other drivers do. Truckers who fail to leave ample distance between their trucks and forward traffic increase the risk that dangerous rear-end accidents will happen.

They Are Far More Likely to Roll Over

The tractor-trailers that we share our roads with have relatively tall and thin profiles, which leave them more vulnerable to rolling over in all the following circumstances:

  • When taking sharp turns
  • When driving on roads made slippery by ice, rain, or wet debris
  • When taking exits too quickly
  • When driving recklessly, in general
  • In high winds

Factors such as cargo that is loaded improperly can increase the risk of a trucker rolling their rig considerably. When a truck rolls over, it can hit cars in adjacent lanes and cause chain-reaction pileups.

They Are Susceptible to Jackknifing

The cabs that truckers drive in are connected to their trailers by massive hitches that allow the two parts to move separately but in unison, which allows them to take turns more smoothly and maneuver the roads more safely. There are situations, however, when the cab and the trailer can fold in on one another – snapping shut much like a jackknife does, which is exactly as dangerous as it sounds. Jackknife accidents are most common when truckers take dangerous risks on the road, which is often accompanied by too much speed.

Truck Driver Negligence

Truck drivers make their living behind the wheels of their rigs, and they sometimes cut safety corners in order to increase their earnings. Truck accidents are often the result of truck driver negligence, which can take many different forms.

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers spend long, hard hours behind the wheel, and spending long hours watching the road go by can be exceptionally dull. Too many truckers allow themselves to become distracted by whatever catches their fancy, and an all-too-common distraction is texting. Texting involves the trucker’s thoughts, vision, and hands all at the same time, creating a distraction that outpaces most others in terms of risk.

When a trucker is traveling at highway speeds, they can cover the length of a football field in the five seconds it typically takes to read or write a text, and that is a lot of dangerous distraction.

Fatigued Driving

Trucking is an exhausting endeavor, and trucker fatigue is all too common. While the hours-of-service rules and regulations help, they are rendered useless by those truckers who choose to ignore them. Drowsy truck drivers experience many of the same kinds of impairment that drunk drivers do, which makes exhaustion a very serious form of truck driver negligence.

Excess Speed

The old adage that speed kills is supported by statistics. Consider the following numbers shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In a recent year, 12,330 people lost their lives to excess speed on our roadways.
  • For more than 20 years, excess speed has had a primary role in about a third of all fatal traffic crashes.

Speeding refers not only to exceeding the speed limit but also to driving too fast for road or weather conditions. Speeding comes with all the following negative consequences for truckers and other drivers alike:

  • Speed increases the risk that the trucker will lose control of their rig.
  • Speed increases the trucker’s stopping distance even more.
  • Speed decreases the effectiveness of the trucker’s occupant-protection systems.
  • Speed increases the severity of any resulting truck accidents.

Truckers who speed greatly increase the risk that dangerous truck accidents will happen. The resulting accident might also be more severe at higher speeds.

Impaired Driving

Impairment behind the wheel is always exceptionally dangerous, and when the impaired driver is a trucker, the risk increases dramatically. This is why the law has zero tolerance when it comes to impaired truckers, and the legal limit is reduced significantly from .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) to .04 percent for truck drivers. Alcohol leads to physical impairments that make handling a massive rig safely far more challenging, and impaired truckers are some of the most dangerous out there.

Your Truck Accident Losses

If a trucker’s negligence leaves you injured, your physical, financial, and emotional losses are likely to be considerable. You can seek compensation for your losses – or legal damages – in all the following categories:

  • Property damage to your vehicle
  • Your medical bills, including those that are ongoing
  • Your lost wages, including losses related to your earning potential
  • Your physical and emotional pain and suffering, which can seriously interfere with your ability to fully heal

It’s important to have a complete assessment of the damages you have suffered prior to accepting a settlement from the insurance company, and this is a task that your dedicated truck accident attorney will ably handle.

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

-Chad Romey

Understanding the Insurance Company

The insurance company that handles your claim is focused on maximizing its own profits, which involves minimizing your settlement. Toward this end, it may engage in a variety of tactics, such as making an early settlement offer – as noted above. Other techniques include:

  • Denying your claim early on in an attempt to scare you off
  • Denying their policyholder’s fault in the matter
  • Attempting to discredit your claimed losses
  • Artificially prolonging the claims process, complicating the claims process, or both
  • Refusing to cooperate in a fair negotiation process

Each of these will be resolved as a matter of fact that is based on evidence, and if the insurance company refuses to engage in fair negotiations, you can take the matter up with the court. In other words, you can move beyond the insurance company’s antics and allow the matter to be resolved in accordance with the law, and a practiced truck accident attorney can help you with that.

Turn to an Experienced Terre Haute Truck Accident Attorney for the Help You’re Looking For

Truck accidents are serious and terrifying accidents that cause immense loss. If a trucker’s negligence leaves you injured, your recovery will hinge on your ability to obtain fair compensation, which makes having professional legal guidance in your corner paramount. The formidable Terre Haute truck accident attorneys at Blackburn Romey are committed to fiercely advocating for the compensation to which you are entitled and are well-positioned to help.

Blackburn Romey is a trusted injury law firm with a proven track record representing injured victims. 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

Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyer

Merrillville Truck Accident Lawyer

Terre Haute 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.