The effects of a truck accident can be devastating for all parties involved in the collision. Usually, the size and weight of these vehicles make them the most dangerous vehicles on the road.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that as many as eight fatal truck accidents happen daily on U.S. highways.
The chances of victims suffering fatal injuries are high when such vehicles are involved. This, along with the massive property damage that is often caused, is one of the reasons why truck accidents are taken so seriously by Indiana courts.
In the aftermath of a truck accident, victims are often left to slowly pick up the pieces of their lives after suffering severe injuries or losing their loved ones. However, Indiana law entitles them to receive fair compensation for the damages they have suffered.
Due to the severity of such crashes, the average truck accident settlement in Indiana can be quite high. If they have the right personal injury lawyer by their side, victims can file a truck accident claim and sue the at-fault party for damages.
With many years of experience fighting for the rights of truck accident victims in Indianapolis, Indiana, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is ready to go to war for fair settlement and can answer questions like What can you do to avoid Truck Driver DUI Accidents in Indiana?
Victims can schedule a free consultation at our law firm by calling +1 463-203-1198 right now.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
When preparing for a truck accident case, a good personal injury lawyer knows that one of the most important factors when determining fault and fighting for fair compensation is the cause of the accident. They can also advise on questions like when do semi trucks have to report an accident?
The settlement amount is often determined after a lot of negotiating between the parties involved. As such, being able to prove that the other party caused the accident is very important.
Common causes of truck accidents in Indiana include:
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Speeding and reckless driving
Inclement weather conditions
Poor road maintenance
Improper cargo loading
Poor truck and equipment maintenance
Possible Damages After a Truck Accident
To sue the at-fault party in a truck accident claim, victims have to demonstrate that they have suffered damages due to someone else's negligence.
In Indiana, the following are some of the common damages that a victim can be awarded in a truck accident case:
Economic damages are the quantifiable damages that the victim has suffered as a direct result of the truck accident. Settlements are often negotiated to cover the following losses that have monetary value:
Cost of physical and emotional therapy
Funeral and burial expenses
Lifetime disability costs
The average settlement amount for non-economic damages is a bit more difficult to agree on because it is not usually based on losses of a quantifiable monetary value.
In most cases, the final settlement will be determined by the judge or jury based on a variety of factors, including the abilities of the semi truck accident attorney in Indianapolis.
Non-economic damages in an Indiana truck accident settlement are usually awarded to cover the following losses:
Pain and suffering
Loss of consortium
Diminished quality of life
Wrongful death lawsuit
In rare cases, the average truck accident settlement amounts can be increased by the addition of punitive damages imposed on the at-fault party. This usually happens when the court deems the actions of the truck driver, trucking company, or insurers involved in the truck accident case to warrant further punishment.
Punitive damages are often handed to discourage future defendants in similar cases from repeating the same offenses, such as fraud, malicious intent, or other harmful behavior.
However, there are limits to the punitive damages that can be handed down to the defendant. In Indiana, state laws limit punitive damages to three times the amount of compensation the victim received, or $50,000, whichever is greater.
Average Semi-truck Accident Settlement in Indiana
While a semi-truck accident case often results in a much higher settlement amount than ordinary car crash settlements, it is difficult to say what the average truck accident compensation amounts are in Indiana.
This is because every truck accident case is different. Depending on a wide range of factors, victims can be awarded huge settlement amounts or walk away with very little.
A victim can collide with a semi-truck and walk away with minor injuries that result in very few medical expenses. On the other hand, a truck accident may seem minor but then result in a victim losing their life.
As such, semi-truck accident settlements must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The important thing for victims to know is that semi-truck accidents are taken very seriously in Indiana, so as long as they have the evidence and experienced attorneys on their side, they have a good chance of walking away with fair compensation.
What Factors Determine Truck Accident Settlements?
The average settlement amount awarded to victims who win truck accident cases often falls somewhere between what the insurance company and the personal injury lawyer think is fair settlement for the damages suffered.
As such, a wide range of factors come into play when determining the value of a truck accident settlement, such as:
Going to Trial Vs. Settling
A good truck accident lawyer knows that the majority of personal injury claims in Indiana are settled out of court without being brought before a judge or jury. As long as both parties involved in the truck accident lawsuit can reach an agreement on the settlement amount, they can wrap things up quickly.
An out-of-court settlement often results in a lower compensation for the victim, but it will be completed much quicker in a less stressful way for both parties. If the case goes to trial, there will be a chance of walking away with a much higher settlement amount or nothing at all.
Severity of the Injuries and Damages Claimed
The biggest chunk of the settlement amount awarded to truck accident victims is usually meant to cover medical bills directly caused by the collision. As such, the more severe the injuries the victim sustains, the higher the amounts they will be awarded.
In semi-truck accidents that result in permanent disabilities or traumatic brain injury, it is common for victims to be awarded huge settlement offers, which can be worth millions of dollars.
Liable Parties Involved
Regarding a semi-truck accident case, it is not just the truck driver who is liable all the time. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the truck accident attorneys can prove that another party is responsible for the accident and resulting damages.
As such, the trucking company, insurers, other drivers, or the manufacturer of the truck and its components may be found liable for the accident. This will have a huge bearing on the settlement offer that the victim will receive.
Insurance Policies and Assets
If the at-fault truck driver is covered by Indiana’s required minimum liability coverage, victims can expect to receive around $25,000 in compensation. In cases where more than one party is liable for the accident, settlements may be much higher than this.
If a personal injury attorney is armed with overwhelming evidence of the negligence of the liable parties, they can negotiate a much higher settlement for their clients. Usually, in such cases, the defense teams will be reluctant to go to trial, meaning they are likely to offer a lot more money to the victims.
The Truck Accident Attorney
Most truck accident cases are settled out of court. Here, the experience of the attorney can help victims win a much larger settlement. The same applies to trucking accident cases that are brought before a judge or jury. An attorney will need to use all their skills to prove the liability of trucking companies for the truck driver's negligence.
Proving Negligence in Truck Accident Cases
Proving negligence in auto accidents involving semi-trucks requires the attorneys to show four important elements of their claims, and these are:
The duty of care of the at-fault party to the victims
Breach of that duty of care
Causation that resulted in victims suffering injuries
Damages suffered by the victims of the trucking accident
What Can Victims Do After a Truck Collision
In any personal injury claim, the steps that the victim takes in the aftermath of the accident determine how much compensation they are likely to receive in a lawsuit. When it comes to truck accident lawsuits, victims who are hoping for at least the average settlement amount should take the following steps:
Seek medical attention
Request a doctor's report
Gather evidence, such as photos of video footage
Seek legal representation
Contact the insurance coverage provider
Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Assist
A truck accident lawsuit can be very complicated, especially if multiple parties are involved in the accident. However, the average settlement that victims can expect is usually higher than ordinary auto accident settlements.
Injured victims wondering what the average settlement for a truck accident in Indiana is should contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a free consultation. With the right personal injury attorney in their corner, they can walk away with millions of dollars in damages for their truck accident claim.