What to Do After a Truck Accident
Accidents involving commercial trucks can be catastrophic and affect your life. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can sadly cause extensive damage, making this type of personal injury very serious and hard to recover from economic, physical, and emotional damages.
But if you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it’s crucial to seek medical and legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you can recover from it and claim the compensation you deserve.
However, knowing how to proceed after a truck accident and what steps to take can be overwhelming.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of what to do after a truck accident, when to hire a personal injury lawyer, and the types of damages you may claim.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is essential to take the right steps immediately after the collision to protect your rights and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Here’s what you should do after a truck accident:
1. Call for emergency services
The first step is to call 911 or emergency services to report the accident and request medical assistance for anyone who may be injured. The police will then create an official accident report, which can be useful in the legal process if you decide to file a claim or pursue legal action.
2. Gather information
If possible, try to gather as much information as you can about the accident, including the name and contact information of the truck driver, their employer, and any witnesses. Take photos of the scene, including the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you have sustained. This information will be crucial when filing a claim with your insurance company.
3. Seek medical attention
Even if you feel fine after the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is not only necessary to make sure you receive appropriate medical care, but also because Indiana law requires drivers involved in an accident to stop and provide reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured. Additionally, getting prompt medical attention can help identify any hidden injuries to prove negligence in court.
4. Report the accident
It’s important to report the accident to your insurance company and the authorities as soon as possible. Be sure to provide them with all the information you’ve gathered about the accident. It’s worth mentioning that according to Indiana Code § 9-26-1-1, all parties involved in a crash that results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 must report the accident to law enforcement as soon as possible.
Failure to report the accident can result in fines and penalties, but it’s also important to follow this procedure with the help of a personal injury attorney because insurance companies can use the information provided against your case.
5. Consult a personal injury lawyer
A personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck accidents can help you understand your legal rights, advise you on the best course of action, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Indiana law (Indiana Code § 34-51-2-7) allows you to recover damages for economic and non-economic losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. But this will depend on the evidence provided, your injuries, and the losses you suffered in the accident.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Truck Accident
After the accident, you must file a personal injury claim to demand what’s yours according to the responsibilities of each party. But this process can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially if you’re recovering from injuries or economic damages.
Therefore, contacting an attorney can help you successfully navigate the law and build a case that ensures the best outcome possible.
Here’s how the process of filing a personal injury claim usually works:
- Investigation: Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, including reviewing the police report, gathering evidence such as witness statements and photographs, and consulting with experts as needed.
- Building a case: Based on the information gathered during the investigation, your lawyer will build a case on your behalf. This may involve negotiating with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
- Settlement or trial: If a settlement can be reached with the insurance company, your lawyer will work to ensure that the settlement is fair and that you receive the compensation you deserve. If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will represent you in court and work to secure a favorable outcome for your case.
Types of Damages You May Claim After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, victims may suffer a wide range of injuries, some of which can be life-altering. Here are some common types of injuries that you may claim in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal injuries
- Burns and lacerations
- Emotional trauma and mental health conditions such as depression or PTSD
Understanding Indiana Statute of Limitations
According to the Indiana Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims it is two years from the date of the accident. This means that if you fail to file a lawsuit within two years of the truck accident, you may lose your right to recover damages for your injuries.
But the statute of limitations can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. For instance, if the truck accident resulted in a fatality, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim may be different.
It’s also important to keep in mind that while two years may seem like a long time, it’s essential to start the legal process as soon as possible. Building a strong case takes time, and waiting too long to consult a lawyer can hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Determining Who Is at Fault in a Truck Accident
Furthermore, Indiana follows the comparative fault rule, which means that if you are partially at fault for the accident, your damages award may be reduced. Indiana follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you may not be able to recover any damages at all.
Therefore, it’s crucial to contact Lee Christie, who is our experienced trucking attorney who can evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Don’t delay your personal injury claim – contact us today to request a free consultation with a personal injury law firm in Indiana.