Frequently Asked Questions | Lafayette 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer

What is the difference between a commercial truck and an ordinary truck?

Commercial trucks are large, heavy vehicles used for interstate and intra-state commerce for the transport of commercial goods. A semi truck, big rig, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, tanker truck, or dump truck involved in an accident in Lafayette are examples of commercial trucks. These kinds of vehicles are governed by federal, state, and local regulations that do not apply to non-commercial vehicles like pickup trucks or SUVs.

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What is the difference between a Lafayette truck accident lawyer and a regular car accident lawyer?

A Lafayette truck accident lawyer who practices law in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, is qualified to handle truck accident law in Indiana and is familiar with the various rules and regulations that apply to commercial vehicles. If you become involved in an accident with a semi truck or other commercial vehicle and you suffer property damage or injury, you need to protect your rights. Because of the nature of truck accident law, it is imperative that you select a Lafayette truck accident attorney who is skilled in handling truck accident cases.

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When would I need a Lafayette truck accident lawyer and why is it so important?

There is a big difference between handling legal cases involving commercial vehicles and those involving non-commercial vehicles and passenger cars. A qualified Lafayette truck accident lawyer will be able to protect your rights and will know how to conduct a proper investigation. He or she will be able to check for compliance with the many regulations that apply to commercial vehicles. A good Lafayette truck accident attorney will also know how to select the proper venue, the party against whom the claim should be made, and whether multiple parties may be joined as defendants.

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What should I look for in a Lafayette truck accident attorney?

Select a lawyer who has a track record of being successful in obtaining compensation for clients in truck accident cases. Your attorney should also care about clients, display compassion for your situation, and listen to your concerns. Select a Lafayette truck accident lawyer who is trustworthy and has a good reputation in the community. Also, it is important to select a lawyer or law firm that has the resources to go the distance in a long and involved case.

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Do I have to come up with money to pay for an attorney in a truck accident case?

In most cases, you should be able to retain a truck accident attorney in Lafayette on a contingency basis without having to pay attorney fees out of pocket. Usually, any attorney fees will be paid out of the proceeds of a settlement or court case result. This means that you only pay your Lafayette truck accident lawyer if you win! To be certain, make sure to ask your attorney beforehand.

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Why is it so important to conduct an investigation after a Lafayette truck accident?

It is crucial to collect evidence and do a thorough and competent investigation after an accident with a semi truck or commercial truck. Trucks are bigger and heavier than passenger cars and require greater stopping distance. Commercial trucks are required to have proper maintenance, for example, adequate and fully functioning brakes. Additionally, truck drivers are only permitted to drive a certain number of hours per day and their hours must be properly logged and recorded. Only a complete and accurate investigation, including investigation of all logs and maintenance reports, will reveal the facts necessary to support your case.

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Who exactly would be sued if there is a lawsuit resulting from Lafayette truck accident?

It depends on the circumstances of the case. Sometimes a claim should be filed against the trucking company. In other cases, a claim may be filed against the truck driver. It is also possible that the loading facility where the contents of the trailer were secured could be a responsible party, or even the owner of the trailer's contents. Who should be sued can also depend on whether or not there was negligence involved on the part of the truck driver or the trucking company, or whether any traffic violation occurred and contributed to the accident. Some other factors that may be involved are responsibility for truck maintenance, brakes, driver fatigue, recklessness, improper loads, and drug and alcohol use.

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Where should the lawsuit be filed for a truck accident in Lafayette or Tippecanoe County?

When a truck accident occurs and a lawsuit is filed, the selection of where to file that lawsuit is referred to as “choice of venue.” Generally, venue is proper in the following locations:

  1. The county wherein the accident occurred;
  2. The county wherein the defendant company’s principal place of business is; or,
  3. The county wherein the defendant truck driver resides.

Even though the accident may have occurred in Lafayette, the truck company and the truck driver may be from another state. This is because trucking companies often operate in states other than where they are registered. The venue where an ensuing lawsuit could be filed may be the state where the truck accident occurred, the state where the trucking company is located, or even a state where the trucking company regularly does business, if different. For example, the accident may have occurred in Lafayette, Indiana, making venue proper in Tippecanoe County, but the claim may be filed against a trucking company from another state. A qualified Lafayette truck accident lawyer is necessary to decide what the best venue would be for your truck accident case.

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If the suit is filed in Lafayette or Tippecanoe County, in what court will the lawsuit be filed?

An experienced Lafayette truck accident attorney will determine what the best court is depending on the circumstances of your case. The lawyer will decide the venue and jurisdiction to use. Some Tippecanoe County Courts are:

Tippicanoe County Circuit Court
(765) 423-9343

Tippecanoe County Superior Court 1
(765) 423-9217

The Tippecanoe County Courthouse is located at:
Tippecanoe County Courthouse, Third Floor, 301 Main Street, Lafayette, IN 47901

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If I am hurt in a semi truck accident, what should I do?

If you sustain an injury in an accident, the most important thing to do is seek medical care for any pain or discomfort that you may experience. Delaying treatment can often make an injury worse. Many times it takes days for symptoms of soft tissue injuries to appear. Seeing a doctor immediately following the accident is necessary in order to receive a preliminary diagnosis. Extreme injuries such as burns, or neck and spinal cord injuries caused by a big rig truck accident often require immediate paramedic and trauma care unit assistance at the scene. In these cases, the victim must be taken to a hospital for treatment immediately.

Lafayette Hospitals include St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital, Lafayette, Sycamore Springs, St.Vincent Frankfort Hospital, St. Vincent Williamsport Hospital, Witham Memorial Hospital, Logansport State Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital & Health Center, INC., Howard Regional Specialty Care LLC, and Howard Regional Health System. These are some of the most common medical treatment centers where Lafayette truck and automobile accident victims receive emergency medical care after a serious truck accident.

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If I miss work as a result of a truck accident, will I recover any loss of wages?

Wages lost as a result of a truck accident can be recovered as compensation.

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If I am involved in a truck accident, what should I do or not do?

Try to get witnesses to support your case, if you can. If possible, take photographs of the scene of the accident. Do not sign anything or make any statement to the insurer of the other party, or do anything when you feel pressured without consulting a lawyer first. Above all, do not admit any degree of fault.

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Truck Accidents Occur in Lafayette and Surrounding Cities

Serving clients in Lafayette, IN and cities and towns of Eastwitch, Tecumseh, West Lafayette, Happy Hollow Heights, Elston, Altamont Switch, Norma Jean Addition, Summit, Wabash Shores, Ravinamy, Meadowbrook, Bar-Barry Heights, Indian Village, Crumb Corner, McQuinn Estates, Shadeland, Green Meadows, Klondike, Indiana as well as Tippecanoe County, Indiana and student attending Purdue University.

Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyers are here to answer your questions. Contact a Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyer today for help from an experienced legal professional.