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Truck Accidents

Determining Indiana Semi-Truck Accident Settlement Values

Posted Feb 28, 2023 by Matt Boulton

Attorney Matt Boulton recently spoke with an Indiana family on behalf of their loved one who was seriously injured in a semi-truck accident.

Unsure of their rights, the family (legal representatives) wanted to know if “settling the semi-truck case” would allow them to cover all of their loved one’s medical bills as well as any additional anticipatory needs.

In other words, the family needed to know if Matt could help them determine how much compensation their loved one should expect from an Indiana semi-truck accident settlement.

Considering the various expenses many semi-truck accident victims incur, and the often-complex insurance policy coverages for trucking companies, it was an excellent question.

Before Settling Your Semi-Truck Accident Case, Know the Law(s)

Given the number and size of semi-trucks on our roadways, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict mandates with regard to semi-truck liability insurance coverages.

For instance, federal law requires all semi-trucks carrying non-hazardous materials, and weighing in excess of 10,001 pounds, to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage. However, the coverages involved in these cases can vary greatly.

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Not only has Matt investigated a number of Indiana semi-truck accident cases with coverages in excess of the aforementioned minimum, but he has also settled trucking cases that involved multiple policies, e.g., the semi-truck’s rig and trailer had unique, individual policies.

As such, Boulton Law Group never recommends settling a semi-truck accident case before having an experienced, Indiana personal injury attorney review your claim. (Specifically, an attorney that has a vast amount of experience with trucking cases.)

What’s a Semi-Truck Accident Settlement?

First, it’s important to distinguish the difference between a “semi-truck settlement” and a “semi-truck verdict.”

A semi-truck accident settlement occurs when the plaintiff (accident victim) agrees to accept an amount of compensation from the defendant’s insurance company without the need for a trial. In other words, they elect to settle the case minus an Indiana judge and jury.

If the accident victim feels the offer insurance company’s compensation offer is not sufficient, they may wish to ask an attorney to present their case to an Indiana judge and jury. Any compensation awarded on behalf of the plaintiff at the end of a trial would be considered part of a semi-truck accident verdict.

What Factors Affect the Value of a Semi-Truck Accident Settlement?

Given the serious nature of these claims, and potential for significant compensation, Matt has put together a list of common factors that can affect and determine the value of an Indiana semi-truck accident settlement:

Documented Injuries

A majority of Matt’s clients sustained a various number of serious injuries as a result of a collision with a semi-truck. For this reason, emergency medical care and follow-up care with specialists is often required.

In general, those with traumatic or life-altering injuries may receive higher settlement compensation. Some examples include:

Semi-truck accident cases involving wrongful death can present additional, unique factors that Matt will examine and investigate on a case-by-case basis.

Medical Bill Totals & Ongoing Treatment/Care

Given the types of injuries that can result from a semi-truck accident, a person’s bills can become complex, involving many types of providers.

When attempting to settle a semi-truck claim, it’s important to have a complete understanding of the bill totals and whether or not ongoing treatments and therapy may be needed to help ensure maximum recovery is reached.

Typically, Matt will wait until his clients are released from care, or doctors have provided a specific outline of future, long-term rehabilitation plans before estimating the value of any semi-truck accident settlement.

Lost Wages

If a semi-truck accident victim was employed at the time of the collision, it’s highly likely that they will miss time off work immediately following the incident as well as time for future appointments and medical care.

Indiana law allows accident victims to recover lost wages that are a direct result of care and or time off per doctors’ orders.

However, keep in mind, if an accident victim chooses to take time off work that is not approved by a doctor, these wages may not be covered in a settlement.

Pain & Suffering

Unlike medical bills and lost wages, pain and suffering are a subjective, non-economic component of a semi-truck accident settlement. As such, it can be more difficult to evaluate or receive maximum compensation for this portion of the settlement without an attorney.

Understanding what insurance companies may or may not consider under the category of pain and suffering, Matt develops a customized strategy that is tailor-fit to each of his client’s individual circumstances.

Percentages of Fault

Trucking insurance companies will use all available evidence and means to assign some or all of the liability on the passenger vehicle to help reduce their amount of exposure.

This is especially important to understand given the fact that Indiana employs comparative negligence in matters of automobile accidents, including those involving semi-trucks.

If it is determined that you are partially at fault, your settlement will be reduced by the specific percentage of fault. And if it is determined that you are more than 50% at fault, Indiana law prohibits you from seeking compensation.

In the vast majority of cases he investigates and accepts, Matt’s clients are found to have zero liability for the accident, thus helping to ensure maximum compensation for their semi-truck settlement.

About Boulton Law Group

Attorney Matt Boulton has spent 25+ years investigating semi-truck accidents throughout the state of Indiana. His experience with these cases helps injured Hoosiers navigate Indiana and federal laws designed to protect victims’ rights.

If you or a loved one are unsure about the value of your semi-truck settlement, Matt can help to provide you a potential estimate and case strategy based on the details of the case.

Boulton Law Group offers every Indiana semi-truck accident victim and their family with a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means you will never pay for a case review, and you owe the firm absolutely nothing unless we are hired and compensation is secured on your behalf.

Contact Matt using our confidential, free contact form to learn what your semi-truck settlement may be worth.

Matt Boulton

Author Matt Boulton

Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana. He designed his firm for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.

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