Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accident Cases in Indiana
Below are the answers to common initial questions many clients have when they first contact Keller and Keller about a potential truck accident case. We hope that the information below address many initial concerns you may have, but if you don't find the answers here, please contact us with questions specific to your case. The consultation is free and confidential.
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What is the danger associated with driving in a truck's "No-Zone" area?
You are probably well aware of the blind spots surrounding your sedan or minivan. You know that if you don’t turn around and look over your shoulder before changing lanes, you may hit a car that was cruising in your blind spot. Now imagine just how big the blind spots are surrounding a semi-truck. These areas are known as “No-Zones”.
Where Is a Semi-Truck’s No-Zone?
The "No-Zone" refers to the areas behind and beside a commercial truck, where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility:
- The left rear quarter
- The right rear quarter
- Directly behind the truck at a short distance.
When a driver is operating a vehicle in any of these areas, they are highly susceptible to an accident. Truckers can't see vehicles in the side no-zone and may cut them off when making a lane change. When you drive directly behind and too close to a semi-truck, you are not only hidden from the driver, but your ability to see the traffic in front of the truck is reduced or eliminated.
When you are driving near semi-trucks, always be aware of these no-zones. Remember, too, that if you can't see a trucker's mirrors, the trucker most likely can't see you!
Keller & Keller Is an Experienced Truck Accident Law Firm
At Keller & Keller, we have seen far too many tragic consequences of crashes with semi-trucks. We encourage you to drive safely around these big rigs and to contact us if you are the victim of truck driver negligence.
What should I look for when hiring an attorney in a trucking case?
Experience, knowledge, and understanding are important to every case. Since 1936, the law offices of Keller & Keller have successfully defended its clients and their claims. Because trucking accidents can present unique variables and instances of complicated liability, it is highly suggested that you seek legal counsel that will be able to properly guide you through the legal process.
Keller & Keller Has Truck Accident Experience
Our attorneys have experience handling semi-truck accident claims that will be critical to your case. This includes our knowledge of the special laws regulating semi-trucks and their drivers, as well as our ability to locate the potential of "multiple policies." We know Indiana and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration laws regarding commercial truck operation and we know how to obtain the necessary evidence to prove truck driver or trucking company negligence.
We Will Put Our Top-Rated Firm to Work for You
As an AV rated firm, Keller & Keller possesses the experience and skill to help determine the best strategy in pursuing your claim. If you were hurt in an accident involving a semi-truck, don’t hesitate to call.
How quickly should I contact an attorney after my semi-truck accident?
When you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, an experienced and knowledgeable attorney should be contacted as soon as possible. Victims who choose not to contact an attorney often find that evidence proving negligence is often lost or destroyed. The longer you wait to retain an attorney, the harder it is for an attorney and their investigators to piece together the facts. The law offices of Keller and Keller are available to you and your loved ones at any time for a free consultation and legal advice.
Are you still entitled to a settlement if the police report places you partially at fault?
First of all, remember that a police report is not always the final word. There are instances where officers make honest mistakes or new evidence and witnesses are located after the initial report is completed. Even if the police report places you entirely at fault, it is a good idea to contact an attorney to have them examine the facts and circumstances of your case.
If the report places you partially at fault, you may still be entitled to a settlement. Every state has different laws regarding theories of negligence. Indiana is a comparative negligence state, which means that you may have the right to a paid settlement in the event it’s proven that you are not more than 50% at fault for the accident. This said, the value of your claim is reduced by the degree at which you are found to be at fault.
Example: If you were involved in a car accident that resulted in serious injury and received a settlement in the amount of $50,000 but were 10% at fault, your compensation would decrease by $5,000, leaving you with a total settlement of $45,000.
Your Ability to Recover Compensation Will Depend on Specific State Laws
Every state has different laws. Some states, like Indiana, have adopted a comparative negligence approach. Other states use a contributory negligence approach, meaning that the plaintiff is barred from recovering if he or she acted negligently and contributed to the accident in any way. It is important to ask your lawyer what law applies in your state so that you know your rights.
Remember: The sooner an attorney can get involved, the more likely it is that they will be able to appropriately assess your liability, if any, in the accident. And the earlier you contact an attorney, the more quickly they can gather evidence before it is altered, destroyed, or misremembered. At Keller & Keller, our on staff investigator will immediately go to the scene to gather information, interview key witnesses, and will thoroughly examine the crash details.
Are semi accidents viewed differently than other auto accidents?
Absolutely. The biggest and most obvious difference between semi accidents and car accident is that the impact can be much more severe because of the size and weight of a semi-truck (3,700 pounds of car vs. 80,000+ pounds of truck). The weight of the truck means that it takes a semi-truck longer to stop. The length of stop time combined with the high speed of highway travel can lead to deadly disasters.
Another important difference is that semi-trucks are required to carry greater amounts of insurance coverage, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For that reason, semi-truck insurance companies will defend their claims aggressively to protect the large amount of money on the line.
Unique Regulations Governing Commercial Trucking Require Unique Legal Experience
Trucking companies also have to abide by safety standards and federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act requires driver background checks, periodic evaluation of existing employees, regulation of hours driven in a day, drug and alcohol testing, and other strict standards. Violations of these regulations can provide the basis for establishing liability on the part of the company and its driver.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be caused by driver negligence, truck malfunction, negligent maintenance of the truck, or a combination of these issues. Again, because of their sheer size, there are many different types of accidents that can result, including:
- Rear-end collisions
- T-Bone/side impact collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Rollover accidents
- No-Zone accidents
For more information about what to do after a truck accident, download our free book, Free Truck Accident Guide Book.
The Bottom Line: Truck Accidents Are Complex
The bottom line is that truck accidents are complicated and far more complex than other auto accidents. The likelihood of severe injury combined with large insurance policies and federal regulations often results in intense legal battles that require experienced attorneys. Keller & Keller is recognized as one of the state’s top rated personal injury firms and our attorneys have represented hundreds of semi-truck accident victims. Contact us today for a free analysis of your semi-truck accident claim.
Why is the insurance company for the semi driver so aggressive?
Trucking companies are required to carry greater amounts of insurance coverage, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. For that reason, trucking insurance companies will defend their claims aggressively to protect the large amount of money on the line. Because of the size of the trucking company and its financial resources, it is easy for the trucking company to quickly get the upper hand. These companies have access to an experienced team who is familiar with the rules and regulations governing truck drivers and it is their job to negotiate settlements every day. They have years of experience investigating trucking accidents and know how to compare the value of your case to actual jury verdicts and past settlements. This is why it is so important for you, the injured party, to have an experienced team of lawyers on your side.
Don’t Take Their First Offer
Don’t let the insurance company’s aggressive tactics force you to take the first offer. The insurance company will likely play nice at first and tell you that you don’t need an attorney. They will say that they will work with you to resolve your case fairly. The offer from the trucking company may sound appealing at first, but keep in mind, it is not the trucking company’s nor its insurance carrier’s job to pay you what your case is worth. It is their job to pay you the smallest amount possible.
It is always important to consider not only how you are feeling today, but how you will feel tomorrow, next week, next month, and maybe even for years to come. If you settle your case too early or sign anything from the trucking company, you may be signing away your right to full compensation. Don’t sign anything before consulting with an experienced semi-accident attorney.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Keller & Keller’s team of experienced truck accident attorneys isn’t afraid to stand up to the insurance companies. Don’t let an aggressive trucking company trample your legal rights, contact Keller & Keller today to request a free, no-obligation consultation. From our firm headquarters in Indianapolis, we’re proud to serve the entire state of Indiana and beyond.
How much does Keller & Keller charge their semi-accident clients?
Keller & Keller works on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will never ask anyone who was struck by a semi-truck to pay us up front costs or hourly rates while we work on your case.
This arrangement is especially advantageous for our clients who were injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor trailer. These cases often require outside expert analysis and special investigation, likely making it cost-prohibitive for a client to try and handle the claim on their own.
Truck Accidents Are Unique. You Need an Attorney With Experience Handling Truck Wreck Claims
Semi-truck accidents are different than most accidents. They take many months to settle and your lawyer will make a great investment with regard ot his or her time on your case. The fact that we offer our clients a contingency fee contract means that you won't be paying us large hourly rates. This is yet another attractive feature of our fee agreements.
Anyone Who Contacts Keller & Keller for Semi-Truck Accident Representation Will Be Able to Afford Our Legal Services
From our office in Albuquerque, we’re proud to serve the entire state of New Mexico. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you deserve the same tenacious legal representation the
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"At every juncture of the process... everyone involved, were more than thorough. I never had any questions. It was just matter of fact, straight to the point, and taken care of."by Jill S.