Truck accidents are very common. In fact, 12.5% of all reported fatal automotive accidents involve trucks including big rigs and tractor trailers. In addition to this, 4% of all injuries sustained in automobile accidents are caused by trucks. It’s also not surprising that 86% of the time, the major injury is suffered by the victim (passengers and drivers) driving the smaller vehicle.
Accidents are sadly on a constant rise, increasing at a rate of 10 percent. According to reports, a collision or crash occurs every 16 minutes, resulting in heavy losses including the loss of lives.
If you or anyone close to you was involved in a truck accident, you will need the help of an attorney to claim compensation and file a suit. The process of filing a suit and recovering your expenses can be complicated and you will need the help of a professional to be able to get your rightful compensation.
In most cases, the lawsuit is filed against the company that owns the trucks, and not the person behind the wheel (driver). You need an experienced attorney to handle your case as such cases can be very complicated. At Traffic 911, we have a skilled team of attorneys with experience in handling all sort of personal injury claims including claims against insurance carriers and trucking companies. Our attorneys are also well aware of Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations that play a very significant role in such cases.
Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you or your loved ones have been a part of a truck accident and sustained injuries or loss of lives, you may have a legal recourse. In such an unfortunate event, a number of parties, including the employer and the truck driver, may be liable. However, in most cases these parties will not accept the responsibility, resulting in a lawsuit.
You will need the help of a seasoned truck accident lawyer to establish the liability and strengthen your case by collecting evidence to ensure you get your rightful compensation from liable parties.
Generally, the trucking company and their insurance provider will investigate the scene right after an incident is reported. These companies are known for using procedures that limit the recovery and may even try to make the accident look like the other party’s fault. The procedures they use include collecting evidence in the form of photos and speaking to witnesses and taking their claims. They also examine the automobiles involved in the crash to determine the extent of the damages.
Several other parties also get involved in such a case, including state authorities who have their own procedures to investigate the scene. The state authorities can provide you with a lot of helpful information on your case. Our attorneys work with these agencies by assisting them in the investigation to make your case appear solid increasing your chances of getting your compensation.
Some of the services provided by our truck accident lawyers include:
- Speaking to medical staff
- Checking available camera footage
- Speaking to witnesses
- Reviewing all reports (police and medical etc.)
- Recreating the scenario with the help of other team members
Most victims do not know the compensation they can claim. Our attorneys will sit down with you, listen to your case and provide you with the best legal options you have. This way you will get the maximum benefits possible.
As mentioned earlier, you will be fighting against a lot of parties. You will need an experienced lawyer to present your case in the court of law. Without a seasoned truck accidents attorney, you will not be able to move ahead with your case.
Some of the parties included in the investigation include:
- The driver
- The truck employer
- The manufacturer of the truck or its components
- The company leasing the vehicle
- The truck owner
- The leasing company owner
- The trailer owner
It must be mentioned that not all parties may be involved in your case. It is important that you get in touch with us and let us look into your case. We can be reached at 219.769.7900.
Our attorneys run a detailed investigation to find the liable party and prepare a solid case against them. The process includes:
- Finding out the party that had control of the vehicle when the accident occurred
- Investigating driving records and logs
- Finding out the work process at the driving company and the kind of control the driving company had over its drivers
- Checking the vehicle and trailer’s driving history
- Going through the vehicle’s maintenance records
- Checking the driver’s history and finding if there are past convictions or other such records
- Finding if there are potential violations of driving laws and regulations (state and federal)
- Investigating manufacturing defects in the vehicle, trailer or components
Your medical insurance may cover some of your losses, however in most cases, medical expenses end up being more than what your insurance would cover. In addition to this, there are other damages as well that you can claim from the liable party. You will need a lawyer to handle the negotiations at this stage.
Our experienced team of lawyers will not only negotiate with the insurance provider but also file a lawsuit to cover all kind of damages. In case needed, our lawyers may also discuss the case with the other party and reach a settlement, if you agree. Our aim is to make you feel safe, and secure.
In addition to this, if you lost a loved one as a result of a truck incident, you may file a wrongful death suit. It can be a complex case, and we understand the emotional trauma you must be going through as a result of losing someone close to you. Our track accident lawyers are well versed in representing you in such cases as well, and can get you the compensation you are entitled to. This may not help you overcome the emotional troubles, but will help you get out of financial mess.
Pick your phone and dial 219.769.7900 to get in touch with the team at Traffic 911.
What Kind of Truck Accident Lawsuits Are There?
Truck accidents can result in severe injuries including broken bones, muscle injuries, spinal injuries, disfigurements, head trauma and even death. To get compensation for any expense arising out of such injuries, the victim has a right to file a lawsuit.
Follow are the several types of lawsuits to choose from:
These lawsuits are based on the negligence of the driver. These are usually filed to get compensated for injuries resulting out of the accident. Some signs of negligence include:
- An inexperienced driver
- Failure to follow traffic regulations
- Failure to stop at weigh stations
- Failure to take a break after long hours of driving
- Failure to pay attention to other vehicles on the road due to the vehicle’s physical appearance (missing mirrors etc.)
- Driving on narrow roads (oversized vehicles)
Negligence lawsuits are depending on the fact that it was the driver’s duty to care for other vehicles on the road. However, in some cases, the employer or other parties may also be held liable for negligence. For example, it is the trucking company’s duty to hire an experienced driver and provide with a vehicle that is perfect for the road.
In such lawsuits, your lawyer would prove that the drive breached his duty to care for other vehicles resulting in the accident and injuries.
Such claims are filed against the manufacturer of the truck. If the accident occurred due to a fault in the vehicle or any of its components, the aggrieved party can claim damages. For this, your lawyer will have to prove that:
- The fault caused the accident, and the defect was ‘unreasonably dangerous’
- The lawyer also has to prove that the vehicle was used under the manufacturer’s provided guidelines
- The truck performed exactly how it did at the time of purchase
Such cases can be very complex to fight as they include heavy investigation, however our team of truck accident attorneys are experienced in handling such cases and can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
As stated earlier, a large number of track accidents result in casualties. A truck is a big machine and the injuries sustained in a collision can be hazardous. If anyone close to you lose his or her life in a truck accident, you may have a right to file a wrongful death suit.
You can claim compensation by fighting on the behalf of the deceased. You can claim economic, noneconomic and also punitive damages in such cases.
What Kind of Compensations are Available in Such Cases?
In most such cases you may get economic and noneconomic compensations. However, in certain situations you may even file for punitive damages.
Economic compensation offers monetary benefits to pay for medical bills etc. Here are the main types of expenses covered under economic compensations:
- Present Medical Expenses: This includes almost all kind of medical expenses including surgery, visits to the emergency room, hospital care, and assistive devices. The compensation also includes appointments but only with approved professionals.
- Future Medical Expenses: If you suffered an injury that would require future medical expenses, you may file a claim for those expenses as well including surgery and appointments etc.
- Lost Wages: If your injury prevents you from reporting to work, you have a right to file a lawsuit for lost wages.
- Loss of Capacity: If your injuries are so severe that they’ve permanently affected your ability to work, you have a right to apply for compensation. In such cases, you are awarded based on your future earning potential and also your current earning capacity.
Such major accidents can leave the victim and his or her family traumatized. The law understands this and hence offers noneconomic damages. It may be hard to calculate the monetary value of such anguish, but your lawyer along with other professionals can present your case in a manner to get you your lawful right.
These include compensation for:
- Anguish: These claims compensate victims for the mental pain suffered due to the accident. This involves worry, nervousness, grief, and fright resulting out of the incident.
- Pain: This includes compensating you for the pain you suffered due to the incident. The nature of the injuries suffered and the time taken to heal are a few factors considered to calculate damages.
- Loss of Consortium: The injured spouse may apply for compensation in case of a successful lawsuit. This would include compensation for the loss of sexual relationship, comfort, affection and companionship.
Lastly, you have a right to file for punitive damages. These damages can be claimed only if the accident included malicious intentions. These damages are aimed at punishing the offender for a ‘crime’ and to prevent such actions in the future.
If you or anyone close to you has been a victim, move quick and get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer. You must file a claim within a specific period of time, so make sure to make a move as soon as possible.
Our attorneys are ready and willing to talk to you about your situation. Give us a call at 219.769.7900 and speak to one of our representatives. We have a history of handling such cases in a professional manner. You may also head to our Contact Us page if you have any question regarding truck accident cases.
SUSPENSION, REINSTATEMENT AND INSURANCE FORMS
Source Document (LINK)
Under Indiana law, courts can order the BMV to suspend an individual’s driving privileges. State law also requires the BMV to suspend a person's driving privileges for certain violations - including failure to provide proof of financial responsibility (insurance). To reinstate a person's driving privileges, a driver may be required to submit one or more of the following forms.
Certificate of Compliance (COC)
This form is used to verify financial responsibility for a specific incident dated in the past and for a specific vehicle (year and make). This form can be used to show proof of financial responsibility for accidents or citations. The form must be electronically submitted to the BMV by the driver’s or vehicle owner’s insurance provider.
Affidavit – Proof of Financial Responsibility for Employer or Rental Vehicle
State Form 55434 is used to relieve drivers of company-owned or rental vehicles from the BMV’s requirement for proof of financial responsibility when they were operating a company-owned or rental vehicle during the course of their employment or rental term. This form is to be completed by an administrator of the employer or rental company that manages the company’s automotive insurance policies. Use of this form by drivers not operating a rental or company vehicle is considered fraudulent and may result in suspension of driving privileges.
SR-22 Proof of Future Financial Responsibility
The SR22 form confirms future financial responsibility for a driver whose driving privileges have been suspended due to failing to provide proof of financial responsibility to the BMV, operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility, or for probationary, conditional, or specialized driving privileges, or for certain convictions which require the driver to maintain proof of future financial responsibility with the BMV for a three (3) or five (5) year period. A valid SR22 form must remain on file with the BMV for the duration of the required period. The SR22 will also be accepted as current proof of financial responsibility when an SR50 is needed for the reinstatement of driving privileges. The form must be electronically submitted to the BMV by the driver’s insurance provider.
SR-26 Cancellation of Proof of Future Financial Responsibility
The SR26 form is used by insurance providers to notify the BMV that a policy reported on an SR22 form has been canceled. This document must be electronically submitted by the insurance provider to the BMV.
SR-50 Affidavit of Current Insurance
The Affidavit of Current Insurance (SR50) provides proof of current insurance to the BMV. The form indicates the beginning and ending dates of the current policy. An SR22 will also suffice for proof of current insurance. This document must be electronically submitted by an insurance provider to the BMV.
Reinstatement Fee Submission Form
When a driver is eligible for reinstatement of driving privileges, the BMV will send the driver a Reinstatement Requirements Notice to notify the driver of the necessary requirements the customer must satisfy before driving privileges can be reinstated, including outlining how to pay reinstatement fees online, by phone, or mail using the form that is attached to the notice. If you did not receive your notice in the mail or you lost the Reinstatement Requirements Notice, you may choose to submit the Reinstatement Fee Submission form to pay your reinstatement fee by mail if you are unable to locate the notice(s) sent from the BMV.
Official Court Actions
The following forms are used by the courts to communicate official actions of the court.
SR-16 Certification of Indiana Abstract of Court Record
This form is used by courts to notify the BMV that a driver has been convicted of a citation, failed to appear for a citation, or failed to pay a citation for violating a motor vehicle law. This form also notifies the BMV when matters have been dismissed or orders have been vacated. Drivers may not submit SR-16 forms at license branches. SR16 forms may only be submitted by a court directly to the BMV.
SR-33 Court Report of Judgment
The SR33 is a form used to notify the BMV of a judgment against the owner or operator of a motor vehicle who has failed to pay for damages arising from an accident. The form reports the amount of the judgment as well as the date the judgment was rendered.
Still have questions? Contact Traffic911
PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Source Document (LINK)
All motorists that operate a motor vehicle on Indiana roadways are required to maintain the state’s minimum amount of liability insurance coverage for the vehicle they operate. The state of Indiana has a 25/50/25 minimum liability insurance requirement. This required minimum coverage includes $25,000 for bodily injury to or the death of one (1) individual, $50,000 for bodily injury to or the death of two (2) or more individuals in any one (1) accident, and $25,000 for damage to or the destruction of property in one (1) accident.
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is required to verify that all motorists have the minimum liability insurance coverage in effect whenever a vehicle operator is involved in:
- An auto accident for which the BMV receives an accident report.
- A pointable moving violation within one (1) year of receiving two (2) other pointable moving violations.
- A serious traffic violation, such as a misdemeanor or felony.
- Any pointable violation by a driver who was previously suspended for failing to provide proof of financial responsibility.
Drivers are not relieved of the requirement to provide proof of financial responsibility following a conviction, even if the conviction is ordered expunged, vacated, or otherwise removed, from the record. In addition to the scenarios outlined above, the BMV may request proof of financial responsibility at any time.
If any of the preceding situations occur, a request for financial responsibility verification will be sent to your mailing address on file with the Indiana BMV.
You must then arrange for your insurance provider to file a Certificate of Compliance (COC) electronically with the Indiana BMV. The COC will demonstrate that the vehicle you were operating at the time of the incident or accident was insured to the state’s minimum motor vehicle liability protection. The COC must be received and processed by the BMV within forty (40) days of the BMV’s mailing of a request for financial responsibility verification or your driving privileges will be suspended. Once your driving privileges are suspended, you may have the suspension removed from your driver record by having your insurance provider electronically provide the COC covering the date of the incident or accident and the vehicle involved.
If your driving privileges are suspended upon conviction of certain court-related offenses, or for insurance violations, Indiana law may require you to hold SR22 insurance. Your insurance provider must electronically file proof of future financial responsibility with a SR22 form for you to be reinstated. The SR22 requirement, along with any reinstatement fees, must be satisfied before your driving privileges will be reinstated.
The SR22 form demonstrates that you have a motor vehicle insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum standards, and it cannot be cancelled without prior notice given to the Indiana BMV. When you have a SR22 requirement, you must maintain an effective SR22 policy on file with the Indiana BMV for three (3) years as a result of your first and/or second no-insurance suspension; or five (5) years as a result of your third and subsequent no-insurance suspensions. If the Indiana BMV receives an SR26 (cancellation of SR22 insurance) notice from your insurance provider, or the BMV does not have an effective SR22 on file at any time during the three (3) or five (5) year period, your driving privileges will be suspended until the Indiana BMV receives an effective SR22 policy that shows coverage is in effect, or the SR22 requirement period expires.
The self-insurance administrator at companies/organizations, with a current BMV-issued Certificate of Self-Insurance, must utilize the EIFS program to submit appropriate proof of financial responsibility.
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COMMON POINT VAUES
Source Document (LINK)
|Common Point Values|
|1 – 15 mph over the speed limit||2 pnts|
|16 – 25 mph over the speed limit||4 pnts|
|26+ mph over the speed limit||6 pnts|
|Failure to use headlights||2 pnts|
|No brake or signal lights||2 pnts|
|Disregard stop/yield sign||6 pnts|
|Fail to yield to emergency vehicle||8 pnts|
|Improper U-turn||4 pnts|
|Following too closely||6 pnts|
|Unsafe lane movement||4 pnts|
|Failure to yield||6 pnts|
|Speed contest on road||8 pnts|
|Improper motorcycle headgear||4 pnts|
|Improper motorcycle passenger||4 pnts|
|Driving while suspended||8 pnts|
Still have questions? Contact Traffic911
Source Document: Indiana (LINK)
Operating A Vehicle While Intoxicated
Operating a vehicle while intoxicated or with a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit is a criminal offense and has an immediate and significant effect on your privilege to operate a vehicle. If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a motorist committed an offense under IC 9-30-5, IC 9-30-6, IC 9-30-9, or IC 9-30-15, the officer may ask the motorist to submit to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in the person’s system. A motorist for whom a judge has found probable cause to exist while he or she was operating a vehicle and while intoxicated may face a suspension of driving privileges.
- A motorist who fails a chemical test may have his or her driving privileges suspended for up to 180 days
- A motorist who refuses to submit to a chemical test will face a suspension of driving privileges for up to two years
In addition to a probable cause suspension, a court may suspend a person’s driving privileges following a conviction for operating while intoxicated. The suspension periods may be longer for repeat offenders. Penalties for this offense may include conditions placed on your driving privileges.
If the motorist is eligible, the court may issue an order for specialized driving privileges. The court may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device, which mechanically tests the driver’s blood alcohol level before his or her car can be started.
A person who has been granted specialized driving privileges by a court shall:
- Maintain an effective SR22 on file with the BMV for the duration of specialized driving privileges;
- Carry a copy of the court order granting specialized driving privileges or have the order in the vehicle being operated by the person;
- Produce the copy of the order granting specialized driving privileges upon the request of law enforcement
- Carry a validly issued credential with them during the operation of any motor vehicle
What are the penalties for a OWI/DUI in Indiana?
|Jail||60 days to 1 year||5 days up to 3
|10 days up to 3 years|
|Fines and Penalties||$500 to $5,000||$10,000||Up to $10,000|
|License Suspension||Up to 2 years||Min. 180 days up
to 2 years
|Min. 1 year up to 10 years|
When a driver who is younger than 18 years of age is cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the Juvenile Court may recommend a suspension of his or her driving privileges.