When a semi-truck is involved in a collision, there is no such thing as a “small accident.” So, while some rear-end collisions are referred to as minor, being hit from behind by a semi-truck is anything but a simple fender bender.
The average weight of an unloaded semi-truck totals between 30,000 – 35,000 pounds. Given their mass and longer stopping distances, being rear-ended by a semi-truck leaves occupants of smaller vehicles subject to a wide range of severe and/or fatal injuries, even at low speeds.
As such, if you or a loved one were injured in a rear-end accident with a semi-truck, it’s likely you have questions about your next steps.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning, Indiana semi-truck attorney with over 25+ years of experience helping injured Hoosiers involved in trucking accidents. Having investigated and handled semi-truck accidents throughout our state, he understands the complexities of Indiana trucking accidents.
This blog provides an overview for Indiana residents who have been rear-ended by a semi-truck.
Semi-Truck Rear-End Accidents
The phrase “semi-truck rear-end accident” should not be confused for a car (or other vehicle) that has run into the back of a semi-truck.
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To be clear, attorney Boulton helps Hoosiers who have been hit from behind by a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle. Similarly, he also represents chain-reaction semi-truck accidents. These accidents occur when a semi-truck rear-ends a single vehicle that is then pushed into one or more vehicles ahead of it.
When a serious, rear-end truck accident occurs in Indiana, it’s often due to a sudden stop or slow-down in heavy traffic, such as experienced during rush-hour on one of our state’s many highways or interstates, including:
Many of attorney Boulton’s semi-truck accident investigations have concluded that the truck driver rear ended the vehicle in front of it due to one or more of the following:
- driver distraction
- speeding and/or traveling too fast for conditions
- following too closely
- under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- driver fatigue
There are a number of potential liability factors that can arise throughout the investigation of a semi-truck accident, however, more important for you, is understanding what to do immediately after you’ve been rear-ended by a semi-truck.
Next Steps for Victims of Rear-End Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-truck accidents are unlike ordinary traffic collisions, as they are governed by unique state trucking regulations. For this reason, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to help safeguard your legal rights to seek compensation under Indiana’s personal injury laws.
After being rear-ended by a semi-truck in Indiana, you should:
- If serious injuries are involved, contact 911 so that the closest and most appropriate law enforcement and rescue personnel are able to locate those involved in the collision.
- If it doesn’t present additional danger to you or others, exchange contact information with the semi-truck driver. (If police respond to the scene, this will often be conducted by an officer for purposes of filing an Indiana accident report.)
- If able, document any evidence that may prove beneficial to a potential claim, such as property damage and injuries.
- Traumatic injuries will require immediate transport by ambulance or air service to a local hospital. However, if your injuries are deemed minor on non-life threatening, you should still follow-up as soon as possible at an ER or with your local doctor.
- Be sure to keep all doctor’s appointments as well as complete any treatment plan or physical therapy that is provided to you.
- Politely refuse or reject any contact from an insurance company until you have consulted with an experienced Indiana semi-truck accident attorney.
While each semi-truck accident is unique, following the above advice may help to preserve a potential personal injury claim until an attorney is officially on the case.
Types of Compensation After Being Rear-Ended by a Semi-Truck
Once attorney Boulton has assessed your particular semi-truck case, he may attempt to recover a variety of compensation types from the liable insurance company, including:
- Compensation for any past, present, and future medical treatment related to the injuries you sustained as a result of being rear-ended by the semi.
- Recovering any lost wages or compensation due missed time at work. (It’s important to note, you will be compensated for time off work that is a result of a doctor’s orders or treatment, not time you personally choose to take off.)
- Compensation for the pain and suffering that resulted from the accident.
Additionally, if found liable for the accident, the trucking company’s insurance will also be required to compensate you for property damage that occurred as a result of the collision, i.e., vehicle repair/replacement.
Keep in mind, semi-truck rear-end accidents are unlike other personal injury claims, and insurance companies will attempt to pay accident victims less than the maximum value in an attempt to settle their case. An experienced Indiana semi-truck accident attorney can help you to determine what your case is really worth.
Can Indiana Semi-Truck Personal Injury Claims Expire?
The quick answer to this question is “yes.”
Each state in the country has a specific set of guidelines that governs the time limits of a personal injury claim. Specifically, it is known as the case’s statute of limitations.
Indiana law requires semi-truck accident victims to settle their claim, or file an official lawsuit, within two years of the collision date. If the case is not settled, or lawsuit not properly filed before this two-year period, you can be forever barred from recovering any compensation, even if you have no fault for the accident.
That said, Indiana’s statute of limitations laws also contain a number of exceptions that can affect the timeline and/or requirements expected of the injured person.
For example, those under the age of 18 who are injured in an Indiana semi-truck accident may have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to settle or file a lawsuit against the trucking company’s insurance.
Statute dates are non-negotiable and must be properly identified for each person according to their unique circumstances. To help ensure you know your true statute of limitations date, allow a qualified attorney to review your case.
Indiana Semi-Truck Rear-End Accident Attorney
Attorney Boulton provides a free legal consultation to anyone who has been rear-ended by a semi-truck in Indiana. This means you will never be charged for his thoughts on your case, and you owe Boulton Law Group absolutely nothing unless we are hired and a financial recovery is made on your behalf.
In addition to the firm’s Zero Fee Guarantee, attorney Boulton has also been recognized for his personal approach to client service. In fact, he founded the firm for Hoosiers who seek custom-tailored legal solutions that address their personal circumstances.
Being rear-ended by a semi-truck will produce unique effects in those involved. As such, your ultimate goal should be to focus on returning to the best health possible, not being distracted by insurance companies and paperwork.
To help relieve the stress you may be facing, simply send attorney Boulton the details of your story by using Boulton Law Goup’s confidential, free contact form. We look forward to seeing how we may be able to help you.