Semi-trucks are an essential element of commerce in the U.S., but they are also often a safety concern on our roads. In 2018, the latest data available, there were almost 500,000 trucking accidents in the U.S. In terms of location, rural areas, like those surrounding Franklin, accounted for 57% of truck crashes. In Indiana, truck accidents accounted for 10% of all traffic fatalities.
Truck accidents are frightening and traumatic. Just given the sheer size of semi-trucks, significant injuries or even fatalities are often a result. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you are likely feeling overwhelmed while dealing with your recovery, a potential loss of work, and mounting medical bills.
If you are the victim of a semi-truck crash in or near Franklin, an experienced truck accident attorney at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help you get fair and full compensation to help you get your life back on track.
Franklin, Indiana has a population of more than 25,000 and is the county seat of Johnson County. Only twenty minutes south of Indianapolis, Franklin seamlessly blends history and tradition with innovation and more modern amenities. Franklin’s downtown boasts an array of shops, coffeehouses, and is also home to Franklin College. From beautiful historic homes to a trail system for all to enjoy, this Indiana town is a popular place for folks to call home.
The majority of semi-truck accidents are related to an action taken by the semi-driver.
Common causes of 18 wheeler accidents include:
Accidents are scary, and being involved in a semi-truck accident can be terrifying. Following an accident, if you’re able, do the following:
As mentioned above, it is vital to seek medical attention if you’ve been involved in a Franklin trucking accident. Given the potential severity of truck accident injuries, this may seem obvious. But even if you are fortunate enough to walk away from the crash and think you feel OK, it is strongly recommended that you get a medical evaluation. Often times following a stressful situation, your body may be flooded with adrenaline, which can work to mask pain. But in the following days or weeks, injuries may crop up or worsen. Getting a medical check-up after an accident will provide a baseline for any injuries and show if your condition has continued to worsen over time.
Driver error often plays a role in the cause of a crash, but there are other potential contributors. Perhaps a mechanic didn’t repair a component correctly or the trucking company didn’t provide adequate training or looked the other way when drivers hit their legal drive time limits. Since semi-truck cases are complex, there may be liable parties that you’ve never even heard of or who were not present at the scene. An experienced truck accident attorney will know to look at all aspects of the case.
At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, we have years of experience with truck accident claims in the Franklin, Indiana area. We work to get full and fair compensation for each of our clients as we negotiate with what is often a full team of attorneys on the other side pushing for a fast settlement. We’ll investigate to determine every potentially liable party involved in the crash and seek every appropriate avenue of compensation. After your case has been thoroughly investigated, our attorneys will then file an insurance claim.
Given the sheer size of an 18 wheeler, accidents involving these trucks tend to be quite serious. Injuries caused by semi-truck accidents may include:
Having an experienced lawyer on your team should be a priority. Following an accident, you’re likely overwhelmed just trying to heal and get your life back to normal. A lawyer with experience handling semi-truck accidents knows which steps to take when and how to handle insurance adjusters. They’ll have the knowledge to fight for the best settlement amount possible. Having an experienced Franklin truck accident lawyer from WKW will allow you to focus on your wellbeing or taking care of an injured loved one.
Wilson Kehoe Winingham is a law firm built on a foundation of “restoring lives.” We are serious about this mission and will invest the time it takes to help you recover after a life-altering event. Our lawyers have decades of experience and have helped countless victims in Franklin and across Indiana to get a full and fair settlement, allowing them to get their lives back on track. Partner with a law firm that has your best interests at heart.
Indiana Statute 34-11-2-4 allows for a two-year statute of limitations on truck accident cases, meaning you have two years to file a claim. This time period starts on the day of the accident. We recommend you begin work with a lawyer from WKW as soon as possible following the crash so you can focus on healing.
The trucking industry is regulated by federal and state laws to maintain safety both for the driver and others using the road. The federal agencies that regulate the trucking industry are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Each state also has its own DOT to regulate trucking as well.
Regulations that are enforced include commercial driver licenses, how many hours a driver can be on a shift and the number of shifts in a row, weight limits, and the transport of hazardous materials.
The main types of compensation granted following a truck accident are economic damages and non-economic damages. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded, but only in cases where an act of “gross negligence” can be proven.
Economic damages are quantifiable damages you have incurred or lost due to the accident. Examples include medical expenses, loss of wages and loss of earning capacity, or property damage.
Non-economic damages are injuries that impact your quality of life. These may include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or trauma.
Each accident—and the resulting damage—is unique, so there is no standard answer to this question. A lawyer will need to dig into the details to get a better idea of a potential settlement amount. Given the size and typical severity of damages and injuries from semi-truck accidents, settlements can be significant. And while most cases do end in a settlement, truck accidents are more likely than car accidents to end up going to trial. The truck accident lawyers at WKW have decades of litigation experience, which is essential if your case does head to trial.
At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, we’re here to help so you can focus on healing. After a semi-truck accident, the last thing you need is more on your plate. As medical bills pile up and anxiety builds about not being able to work, let us work with you step by step to gain the compensation you deserve. We will take the lead on negotiating with adjusters at the appropriate time on a schedule that’s most beneficial to you, not the trucking company attorneys who will want to wrap things up as soon as possible.
The Franklin, Indiana truck accident lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are here for you. While you focus on healing, we’ll have your interests at the forefront as we negotiate for the best settlement possible. Our free, no-obligation consultation provides an opportunity to see how we can help. Call our office today to learn more at (317) 689-0654.
From a legal standpoint, there is nothing in Indiana that requires you to hire an attorney to file a claim. However, if you choose to pursue a claim on your own after an accident with a semi truck, you are almost guaranteed to leave cash on the table. Why? Because trucking companies have teams of lawyers who toil away to prevent large payouts. Without knowing every type of claim you can make, which only comes from experience, you are almost certain to miss something that the experienced truck accident lawyers at WKW would catch.
Don’t let the fear of being able to afford a truck accident lawyer stop you from getting the help and guidance you need. Most truck accident and personal injury lawyers work on what’s known as a contingency basis. This means that there’s no up-front, out-of-pocket cost to you. Instead, when you are awarded your settlement, the lawyers receive a percentage of the money awarded. So not only does this alleviate the financial burden on the victim, but it also aligns the interests of both the client and lawyer to seek the maximum settlement.
It depends on the severity of the damage caused, which is often significant when a semi truck is involved. Even if your car seems OK, you should take it to a mechanic to be checked out in case there is “hidden” damage, such as a bent axle.
If there’s major damage, insurance companies must follow state guidelines when they determine whether your car can be repaired or if it’s totaled. Indiana uses the total loss formula and sets its threshold at 70%. So, for a car or truck to be considered a total loss, the cost of repairs would need to be 70% or more of the cash value of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
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