Terre Haute Truck Accident Lawyer

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Hire a Truck Accident Attorney in Terre Haute, Indiana

Semi-trucks are an essential element of commerce in the U.S., but they are also often a safety concern on our roads. Given Terre Haute’s location within the state of Indiana, the city is no stranger to accidents involving 18 wheelers. Located near the state’s western border with Illinois, the city is home to both Indiana State University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Nearly 60,000 residents call Terre Haute home and enjoy the many amenities the city offers.

Terre Haute has worked hard to revitalize the businesses and culture in its downtown district. The city boasts many festivals, museums, restaurants, shops, and the addition of multiple hotels as part of its revitalization. These efforts were recognized in 2010 when the Indiana Chamber of Commerce named Terre Haute Indiana’s Community of the Year.

Terre Haute Truck Accident Statistics

In 2018, the latest data available, there were almost 500,000 trucking accidents in the U.S. Rural areas, like those surrounding Terre Haute, accounted for 57% of truck crashes in terms of location. In Indiana, truck accidents accounted for 10% of all traffic fatalities.

Truck accidents are usually frightening and traumatic. Just given the sheer size and weight 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 as you deal with recovery, loss of work, and mounting medical bills.

If you’re the victim of a semi-truck crash in or near Terre Haute, an experienced truck accident attorney at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help you get full and fair compensation to help you get your life back on track.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Terre Haute, IN

Just like with car accidents, many factors can play a role in a truck accident, but the actions of the truck driver often have an impact. Common causes of truck accidents may include:

  • Distracted driving, such as cell phone use
  • Driving while drinking or on drugs
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Failure to yield
  • Poor driving while in reverse gear
  • Not leaving enough distance between vehicles
  • Faulty vehicle parts

Laws That Truck Drivers Are Expected to Follow

Trucking regulations are monitored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at the national level as well as by each state’s Department of Transportation.

The list of regulations is extensive, but some of the primary rules include:

  • Hours of service dictate how many hours can be driven in a single stretch and the required number of hours off between shifts.
  • Drivers are required to submit to drug and alcohol testing as mandated by the FMCSA.
  • Vehicles must be kept in safe, operating order through inspection, repair, and maintenance.
  • Big rig trucks have federal minimums for the insurance they carry.
  • The FMCSA forbids the handheld use of all mobile phones while operating a commercial vehicle.

What Negligence Means in a Truck Accident

To name a party as negligent in your Terre Haute truck accident, it means that they showed an absence of prudent care that another responsible party would have shown under the same circumstances.

Determining Fault in Your Terre Haute Truck Accident

Though some clearly are, not all truck accidents are caused by driver error. In fact, a liable party may not be anyone you’ve ever met or a company you’ve ever heard of. Perhaps the truck was loaded improperly or was over the recommended weight. What if a part failed in the braking system? These sorts of examples are exactly why you want an experienced truck accident attorney on your side who can explore all potential parties at fault.

Filing a Truck Accident Claim

Attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have years of experience with truck accident claims in the Terre Haute 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.

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Truck Accidents

Indiana Statute 34-11-2-4 states 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.

Common Injuries Associated With Truck Accidents

Not surprisingly, injuries from a truck accident can be severe, even deadly. Injuries often sustained in a truck accident include:

  • Loss of limb or amputation
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury or paralysis
  • Neck and shoulder injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burns, cuts, and bruises
  • Disfiguration
  • Fatalities

Reasons to Hire a Terre Haute Truck Accident Lawyer

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 go it alone—but why would you?—on pursuing a claim 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.

Also, hiring a truck accident lawyer relieves you of the burden of having to learn the law and process of what happens after a crash. Let us handle that so you can focus on your recovery.

Possible Damages Recovered After a Semi-Truck Crash in Terre Haute

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.

What Steps Should Be Taken Directly After a Big Rig Accident?

Accidents are scary, and being involved in a semi-truck accident can be terrifying. Following an accident, if you’re able, do the following:

  1. Safety first. Get yourself and any others out of traffic and harm’s way. The only exception to this is if someone is so seriously injured that moving them could worsen their condition.
  2. Call the authorities. If there are serious injuries, dial 911 for an ambulance.
  3. Exchange information with the other driver(s). Be sure to get the truck driver’s personal information but also the trucking company’s name and insurance information.
  4. Document the scene. Take photos (and consider also taking videos) of not just the collision itself but also the road, road conditions, and the surrounding area.
  5. Get checked out medically. Even if you feel ok, it’s important to have an assessment on file in case health issues crop up later.
  6. Seek legal guidance. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney at Wilson Kehoe Winingham to help you through the upcoming legal process.

Types of Truck Accident Cases Cases We Cover

The volume of semi-trucks passing through the heartland of Indiana is significant, which means that, unfortunately, the state is home to semi-truck accidents. Common accidents involving 18 wheelers include the following:

  • Head-on and rear-end collisions: Head-on accidents occur when large trucks collide with other vehicles head-on, and rear-end collisions describe crashes when large trucks drive over the back of another vehicle. Both types of collisions are incredibly dangerous, especially to those in smaller vehicles.
  • Jackknife accidents: These accidents happen when trucks brake suddenly and their trailers swing out to a 90-degree angle. A jackknifing truck can easily overturn or roll over, causing a huge roadway danger.
  • Blindspot accidents: Semi-trucks have sizable blind spots where the driver loses sight of other vehicles, and these blind spots are much more significant in size than with smaller vehicles.
  • Roll-over accidents: If a truck driver loses control, the tractor-trailer can roll over, making both the truck and any cargo that escapes a hazard for other motorists on the road.
  • Underride accidents: These are one of the deadliest types of truck accidents. They happen when trucks stop quickly and approaching vehicles get stuck under the tractor-trailer. The top of the smaller vehicle is often ripped off.
  • Tire blowouts: It is common to see the remains of tire blowouts on major roadways in Indiana—shreds of back rubber on the shoulder or in the middle of a lane. The tires of any vehicle can blowout, but large commercial trucks are especially vulnerable to tire failure. This can hinder the driver’s ability to maintain control of the vehicle and also present a road hazard to other drivers.

Work With a Terre Haute, IN Law Firm You Can Trust

Your main priority when selecting a lawyer to work with you should be to find someone with relevant experience to your particular case. If you’ve been in a crash with an 18 wheeler, you want to work with a lawyer who is not new to this type of law. You need to have faith that your attorney will pursue the maximum settlement possible. You also want to find someone with whom you have a good rapport, as the case may take a while to complete. Lastly, be wary of any attorney who asks for money up front. Most truck accident lawyers will only accept a portion of the settlement amount as payment.

What to Expect Working With Wilson Kehoe Winingham

Wilson Kehoe Winingham offers a team of experienced truck accident lawyers who will give your case the attention it needs. Every accident is different, so we limit the number of clients we accept to ensure the resources are available to get you the best possible outcome. We use the latest technology to support your case, including computer animation, medical imaging, and accident reconstruction, and we partner with top experts and industry professionals to reinforce your case. And while most accident cases end with a settlement, trucking accidents are by nature more complex, and we have the litigation experience to take your case to trial if needed.

Terre Haute Truck Accident Lawyers With a Proven Track Record

The Terre Haute truck accident lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are here for you, as we’ve been for countless victims across the state for decades. 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.

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