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Truck Accident FAQ

Helping the injured recover financial compensation in Indiana

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be very confusing and frustrating. You know you have injuries and rising medical bills. But you may not know how the process of recovering compensation works.

The experienced Indiana truck accident attorneys at Vaughan & Vaughan can answer all your questions. Our firm has a long history of helping the injured. Since our founding in 1913, we've helped countless people recover the financial compensation they need and deserve to rebuild their lives. We are focused on holding negligent parties accountable and helping victims get justice.

Insurance companies are supposed to help people after a crash. But they are often only concerned with their own bottom line. Our attorneys are familiar with the tactics they use to avoid their responsibility. That's why we focus on building strong cases that insurance companies can't simply ignore.

Helpful advice from attorneys you can trust

Our firm investigates your crash to learn the facts for ourselves. We take quick action to preserve evidence in the possession of the trucking company, such as hours of service (HOS) logs, "black box" data and maintenance and hiring records. We interview witnesses and consult with experts as needed.

Insurance companies know we are serious about getting the best possible outcome for our clients. That's why they usually agree to settlement negotiations. But we are not interested in helping them save money. We are only interested in a resolution of your case that meets your needs and gets you the compensation you deserve. If they won’t negotiate, we can help you file a truck accident lawsuit.

If you've been hurt in a collision, call Indiana's original truck accident law firm. You can talk to one of our attorneys during a free consultation by calling 765-742-0056. We'll go over the details of what happened and explain your options. And we will answer all your legal questions.

What is your question?

Here are some questions people have asked us after being injured:

Do I need an attorney after a truck accident?

There is no law or requirement that says you need to have an attorney if you are seeking financial compensation after being hurt. But it is often in your own best interest to have an experienced attorney working on your case.

Truck accidents can be very complicated. One reason is that there can be multiple parties involved. There's the driver. There's the trucking company, which may be located in another state. They may be represented by different insurance companies. And there may be different insurance companies for the trailer of the semi-truck, as well as the cargo in the trailer and even the company that loaded the trailer.

Determining liability can also be difficult. An experienced attorney has the resources to investigate to find out what really happened. The driver may have been negligent, but in some cases the trucking company may also share the blame. Another party that improperly loaded the cargo can be found responsible.

We can review your case and go over your options during your free consultation.

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What should I do if the trucking company or their insurance company contacts me?

The short answer is to talk to a truck accident attorney who represents you first. You may be contacted by the trucking company or its insurance company and asked some questions about what happened. On the surface, it may sound perfectly reasonable.

But what's really happening is the trucking company and insurance company are trying to protect their assets. There's a lot of money at stake in truck accidents, and their goal is to pay you as little possible. They may ask questions in a way that's designed to trip you up and get you to say something they can use against you.

If you are contacted by the trucking company or insurance company, politely decline to speak with them and refer them to your attorney. You should also decline to give a recorded statement. Instead, we can help you draft a written statement that accurately represents your account of what happened and protects your rights.

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Should I accept a settlement offer after an accident?

Not without speaking to an attorney first. Soon after the crash, the insurance company may make you a settlement offer. They may tell you this is the best they can possibly do. It can be very tempting to accept their offer. Your medical bills can go up fast, you may not be back at work yet, and getting some money right away can seem like a relief.

The problem is such a lowball settlement offer probably doesn't even come close to covering the damages you suffered. And because there can be multiple insurance companies involved, accepting one offer may affect the amount of compensation you can receive from another.

That's why it's important to consult an experienced truck accident attorney before accepting an offer from any insurance company involved in your case. We can determine the true amount of damages you suffered and assess their offer. We can also help you aggressively pursue a claim for the amount of compensation you deserve to receive.

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Could the trucking company be responsible for causing my accident?

It's very possible. Trucking companies have certain responsibilities when they send their trucks out on the road. One responsibility is to make sure the truck is safe and has been properly maintained and serviced. Any needed repairs must be made promptly and correctly. Trucks must pass inspection and adhere to all safety regulations.

Another responsibility concerns the drivers they hire. For example, companies must ensure that drivers have been properly trained and are qualified to drive semi-trucks. They are responsible for conducting background checks to look for any evidence of traffic violations. And they are responsible for giving drivers realistic delivery schedules.

Our firm knows how to investigate trucking companies after an accident to determine if there was any negligence. We seek access to safety and personnel records that can tell us if they have met their responsibilities. If we find evidence that they have not, we can build a strong case to hold them accountable and help you recover financial compensation.

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How long do I have to file a claim?

The statute of limitations in Indiana for taking legal action is two years from the date of the accident. This sounds like a long time. But the longer you wait to file a claim, the more difficult it can be to recover financial compensation. We recommend talking to an attorney as soon as possible.

One reason it's important to act fast is that an attorney needs to be able to build a strong case that establishes negligence. Accident scenes are cleaned up quickly. Evidence needs to be gathered and preserved before it is lost or destroyed. It's also important to interview witnesses before their memories fade.

It also takes time to build a strong case for financial compensation. Settlement negotiations also often take a long time. And if your case goes to court, it could take months for your case to be resolved. If you've been hurt in a truck accident, talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We offer a free consultation and can go over all your options.

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What kind of evidence can help in my case?

Soon after the collision, often within 24 hours, trucking companies will send investigators to the scene to look for evidence. But they aren't looking for this evidence so they can share it with you. They are protecting themselves. They know if we have that evidence, it can help us establish negligence.

All drivers are legally required to keep hours of service (HOS) logs which keep track of how much times they have spent on the road. Federal regulations strictly limit the amount of time drivers can spend behind the wheel, to limit the risk of fatigued driving. Mandatory breaks are also required. These logs - which may be in paper form or electronic - can tell us if regulations are being followed.

Trucks are also equipped with electronic control modules that have event data recorders. This is more commonly known as the truck's "black box." This device contains information such as the truck's speed and braking patterns shortly before the crash occurred.

We take quick action to preserve this evidence before it can be lost or destroyed. We can also seek access to safety, maintenance and personnel records that may give us additional information that could be helpful to your case.

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