If you sustained an injury in an accident because a truck driver didn’t merge properly, you may be entitled to pursue compensation. The Evansville improper merging truck accident attorneys from Chapman Injury Lawyers can assist you in your case and help you get the money owed to you for your losses.
Merging is a complicated maneuver for drivers to make behind the wheel. There are multiple factors to consider and precautions to take before entering a highway, changing lanes, or driving on a road that turns from two lanes to one. If you’re in a large truck, it’s even harder.
Commercial vehicles, such as big rigs and 18-wheelers, require an experienced driver who knows how to maneuver along roads and around other vehicles. If they remain vigilant, they can easily find their way to their destination without encountering danger. However, if they speed, get behind the wheel fatigued, or don’t check their blind spots before merging, they can cause an accident and be on the hook for the injured party’s expenses.
The Evansville attorneys at Chapman Injury Lawyers have decades of combined experience handling truck accident cases – we know what needs to be done to secure maximum compensation. We’ll leverage our skills and all the resources at our disposal to hold the trucking companies accountable. Call us at (812) 461-6598 to schedule your free consultation and learn about your legal options.
Imagine trying to navigate curvy roads and heavy traffic while you’re driving a vehicle that’s 80,000 pounds and 70 feet long. Now imagine attempting to merge onto a highway while other vehicles are whizzing by and not letting you in. That’s what a truck driver has to deal with whenever they work their shift.
It’s difficult for anyone to move their vehicle from one place to another. It requires a series of simultaneous actions to ensure a crash doesn’t occur, and no one gets hurt. A truck driver has larger blind spots than that of someone in a small car. It’s also harder to speed up, slow down, and turn in a commercial vehicle.
Improper merging occurs when a driver:
Any of these actions can lead to a collision between a commercial truck and one or more smaller vehicles. When a trucker merges incorrectly, it can be challenging trying to correct the mistake to prevent an accident. Usually, in this type of situation, the truck driver ends up sideswiping a car, rear-ending someone, or running another vehicle off the road.
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Indiana follows an at-fault system regarding motor vehicle crashes. That means if you get into an accident with someone who caused it, you can pursue compensation from their liability auto insurance policy.
Every truck driver must carry liability insurance with the minimum limits set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Any commercial vehicle over 10,000 pounds must hold at least $750,000 in liability coverage.
If you believe the truck driver’s actions led to your injuries, you’ll have to prove it to collect any compensation from their insurance company. If you don’t have sufficient evidence to submit to the adjuster handling your insurance claim, you’ll likely receive a denial or low settlement offer.
For severe injuries requiring expensive medical bills and possible future treatment, the $750,000 minimum limit might not be enough to cover your damages. If that happens, you can file a claim with your UM insurance for costs that exceed the liability insurance coverage.
UM insurance is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Similar to liability coverage, UM insurance is a legal requirement under Indiana law. The minimum limit for anyone operating a passenger vehicle is $25,000.
Besides filing an insurance claim, you could sue the truck driver or their employer for negligence. If you file a lawsuit, you would be seeking a monetary award directly from the at-fault party as opposed to payment from the insurance carrier.
Every state issues a statute of limitations for any civil action injured people wish to bring against another person or entity. Under Indiana law, there’s a two-year statute of limitations for truck accidents. The clock starts ticking on the date of the crash, and you lose your right to file a lawsuit once two years pass.
Trucking companies have a legal duty to follow federal and state regulations. When they fail to follow those regulations, and an accident occurs, their negligence can result in compensating a victim’s damages. Even if the truck driver’s improper merging caused the accident, the trucking company could be at fault for hiring an inexperienced driver or failing to offer adequate training.
To prove negligence, you have to show these circumstances existed at the time of the crash:
Some of the errors trucking companies make that can result in improper merging collisions include:
Due to demand, some companies will cut corners and lower their standards when hiring employees. If they can’t find qualified drivers with a commercial license and clean driving record, they’ll look for someone with little to no experience who is willing to work for less money than someone with experience.
When that happens, people end up sharing the roadways with drivers who are inexperienced, reckless, under the influence of alcohol, fatigued, and unable to handle difficult scenarios behind the wheel. This negligence on the part of the trucking company ends up putting everyone at risk of physical harm or death.
The Evansville improper merging truck accident attorneys from Chapman Injury Lawyers understand what to look for when we’re performing our investigation into a crash:
Your attorney from Chapman Injury Lawyers and the insurance adjuster will take various factors into account when determining the compensation you deserve.
The damages you incur is also an important factor in any truck accident case. Damages are losses suffered from an injury and come in two different categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are losses with a monetary value, such as:
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:
Don’t be fooled into thinking the insurance company is on your side and will keep your best interests in mind. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and saving money. They don’t want to pay you for your damages. They want to offer the lowest possible settlement and intimidate you into accepting it so they can close out your file.
Chapman Injury Lawyers knows the tricks and tactics insurance companies will take to get truck accident victims to sign away their rights. If they send you any forms to complete or authorizations to sign, send them to us first. We’ll review them and let you know if they’re a necessary part of the process or a tool they use to justify denying your claim.
You can depend on us to use our knowledge of the trucking industry and state laws to ensure you receive the maximum settlement available. You deserve to seek justice for the careless actions of another person, and we will help you accomplish that.
The Evansville improper merging truck accident attorneys from Chapman Injury Lawyers are ready to take your call and discuss your case with a free consultation. We understand the financial burden you’re facing. You might not be able to work, and medical bills can get expensive. We want to provide prospective clients with a no-risk initial meeting to receive legal advice.
We care about our clients and will make sure you can reach us when you need us. You’ll receive your attorney’s cell phone number so you can text us for an update to your case or get answers to your questions.