If you suffered injuries in a collision with an Evansville semi-truck or commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the damages you incurred.
Truck accident victims often suffer significant injuries due to the sheer size of commercial vehicles. Injuries sustained in truck accidents can leave you with hefty medical bills and may even prevent you from returning to work.
Unfortunately, Evansville truck accident claims can be difficult to document and prove.
Our experienced Evansville truck accident lawyers at Gerling Law understand the confusion and hardship you are facing.
Indiana Truck Accidents: An Overview
Indiana law defines commercial vehicles as one of the following:
- Large trucks;
- Combination vehicles;
- Pickup trucks over 10,000 pounds;
- Buses that can carry at least 15 passengers;
- School buses; or
- Any vehicle with a hazardous material placard.
While no one ever expects to get into a collision with massive, commercial vehicles, it’s important to remember you have options if an accident does come to fruition. Survivors of accidents with commercial vehicles often face a long recovery process requiring expensive medical attention and physical therapy. Speaking to a semi-truck accident lawyer in Evansville is crucial to obtaining the compensation you need to recover after such a traumatic experience.
Truck Accident Statistics
In 2020, 4,965 people were killed, and 146,940 were injured in crashes involving large trucks nationwide. In Indiana, of the 175,821 collisions reported, accidents involving commercial vehicles amounted to 8% or 14,221 accidents. Despite this low percentage, one should never underestimate the severity of these accidents. Collisions with commercial vehicles may have decreased since 2019, but these accidents continue to occur and cause devastation to the lives of those involved.
What Makes An 18-Wheeler Accident Worse Than A Car Crash?
Any large, commercial vehicle can be difficult to maneuver or stop in an emergency. The size and weight of commercial trucks, including semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers, often cause significant damage and injuries to drivers and passengers of personal vehicles.
In addition to the increased risk of injury and damage, trucking accidents can be more difficult to document for a legal claim. Getting an attorney on board as soon as possible can go a long way toward leveling the playing field for accident victims.
Trucking companies face significant penalties and legal liability in the case of an accident. Consequently, getting to the scene and gathering evidence should begin immediately to ensure the preservation of evidence.
In the case of a car crash, you typically only have to deal with another driver and their insurance company. In an 18-wheeler accident, you must deal with the driver, the trucking company, and possibly multiple other parties.
Any involved insurance companies will act quickly and aggressively to minimize both legal and financial liability. The insurance company may try to negotiate a small settlement with you immediately, hoping to keep your claim as small as possible. They may also look for any potential reason to deny your claim or minimize your damages.
Who Can Be At Fault?
Evansville truck accident lawyers get to work immediately on determining one of your case’s most essential elements—determining who was at fault. Generally, the driver that was negligent and caused the accident is at fault. Negligence is shown by proving that the driver was engaging in distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence, texting, or other unsafe behaviors. After a truck accident, your 18-wheeler accident lawyer establishes the required elements of negligence to prove the truck driver’s responsibility for your damages. The elements of negligence include the following:
- Duty – The truck driver owed you a duty of care to operate their vehicle responsibly to avoid harm to others.
- Breach – The truck driver breached this duty. A breach is proven by showing the truck driver was engaging in behavior like texting while driving, speeding at the time of the accident, or failing to stop or adhere to traffic signals.
- Causation – The truck driver’s breach caused your damages.
- Damages – You must have suffered harm due to the truck driver’s negligence. In other words, if you can’t show that the crash caused your injury, you probably don’t have a case. An attorney can help you make this connection.
While establishing these elements may initially appear straightforward, you must present strong evidence supporting your claim to ensure your case is successful. Don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve by failing to get a qualified semi-truck accident attorney in Evansville to represent you.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Evansville, Indiana
After a collision with a truck, you have to act quickly to make sure everyone is safe and to preserve evidence that will prove your case later. Follow these steps if you’ve been in a truck accident:
The very first thing you should do after a truck accident is call 911. Be sure to request assistance from police and medical aid.
Officers will quickly arrive at the scene of the accident. They will ask questions, survey the scene, and collect as many details as possible. The officers will then take that information and create a police report.
Police reports can play a significant role in your claim, as they answer many common questions and provide much-needed information. Your truck accident lawyer can use the accident report when building a strong case.
Seek Medical Attention
If injuries are severe, you will likely receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident. However, even if you do not get medical help immediately after the accident, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. There are a couple of reasons to always seek medical attention.
First, you may have serious injuries without knowing it, as some injuries are not obvious right away and may take some time to become evident. Visiting an emergency room or your primary care physician can shed some light on all of your injuries, and allow you to begin treatment right away.
Second, if you wait to see a doctor, the defendant or their insurance company can use that to claim that you were not injured in the accident, but some time afterward. The bottom line is that waiting to see a doctor can weaken your case.
It is also essential you follow every step and piece of advice your physician gives you. If you skip steps or refuse to follow treatment, the defendant can assert that you made your own injury worse by not following medical advice. This can also weaken your case. Everything is recorded in your medical records. If you follow your doctor’s orders, these records can help strengthen your case substantially.
If at all possible, begin collecting evidence as soon as possible. This can include:
- Driver information,
- Truck information,
- Photos and videos, and
- Witness information.
If your injuries cause you to miss work, be sure to document all of your lost wages. Once more documentation becomes available, including accident reports and medical records, your 18-wheeler accident attorney can request these items to use for your case.
Consult With An 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Evansville, IN
Your health and safety are first and foremost. Once you have sought treatment for your injuries and are ready to proceed, you should consult with a qualified Evansville truck accident lawyer. Your attorney will collect details of your accident, answer your questions, and explain how to best tackle your claim. It can be extremely challenging to handle your claim alone, so let a truck accident attorney help you.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A wide variety of circumstances cause vehicle collisions in the United States every day. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute compiled car accident statistics for 2017, including collisions involving commercial vehicles.
The most common factors in commercial vehicle accidents include:
- Unsafe lane movement,
- Following too closely,
- Speeding too fast for weather conditions,
- Improper passing,
- Distracted driving,
- Falling asleep at the wheel, and
- Animals on the roadway.
Truck accidents occur in a multitude of situations. Regardless of the cause of the accident, truck collisions result in devastating injuries and property damage. The Evansville truck accident lawyers at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys are committed to obtaining justice and fair compensation for our clients.
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Injuries Commonly Seen in Truck Accidents
Research indicates that in collisions between passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, the occupants of passenger vehicles are more likely to be injured or killed than occupants of commercial vehicles. The size of commercial vehicles presents especially dangerous circumstances in the event of a crash.
Common injuries sustained in truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Broken bones,
- Internal injuries,
- Paralysis, and
If you lost a loved one due to injuries sustained in a truck accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. You could potentially recover damages for the victim’s lost earning potential and funeral expenses, among other things. Contact Gerling Law today to speak to one of our committed and compassionate truck accident injury attorneys.
Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Indiana state permits victims injured in truck accidents to recover compensatory damages through economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent directly calculable losses resulting from the accident and include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings,
- Property damage.
Carefully preserving all documentation supporting these losses is vital to collecting the total value of your economic damages demand. Documentation includes invoices, bills, medical records, and pay stubs. Provide these to your semi-truck accident lawyer in Evansville, who can begin calculating these losses’ value.
Non-economic damages represent the intangible harm suffered due to your collision and include your harm’s psychological and emotional effects. These damages represent the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Loss of consortium,
- Permanent disability or disfigurement.
Due to their subjective nature, these losses are challenging to establish without the help of qualified Evansville truck accident attorneys. However, these losses tend to have a more significant impact on an injured victim’s life when compared to direct financial losses.
Contact an Evansville Truck Accident Lawyer
Gerling Law has over half a century of experience representing clients who suffered injuries in truck accidents. Thinking about your accident may be overwhelming and confusing. Our truck accident attorneys at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys want you to know that you are not alone. We have substantial experience navigating truck accident claims at every stage of the lawsuit.