Archive for the ‘ Auto Accident ’ Category

19
Dec

How is Fault Determined If There Are Multiple Vehicles Involved in an Accident?

December 19, 2019

In a vehicle accident that involves only one or two vehicles, it is pretty simple to determine who was at fault. However, in a multi-car pileup, it is not always clear who was ultimately or partially responsible. 

Determining At-Fault Driver or Drivers

Every motorist in Indiana is expected to exercise a reasonable “duty of care” with regard to traffic laws and defensive driving.  

In some cases, expectations of driver responsibility can be higher. For example, drivers with limitations that could impair driving are expected to compensate for those limitations or not drive at all. Similarly, car drivers are expected to be extremely vigilant when looking out for pedestrians and motorcyclists, due to the fact that that pedestrians or motorcyclists may be harder to see and are less protected when involved in a car accident. Lastly, commercial truck drivers are expected to exercise even greater care since their larger vehicles pose a greater risk of injury in the event of an accident. 

After a multi-car accident, any driver(s) discovered to have been negligent may be faulted for the accident. Police officers that respond to the scene typically examine damage to vehicles and the area where the accident occurred. They will also take statements from anyone involved or who witnessed the accident.

In the state of Indiana, more than one driver can be faulted for the accident. Particularly in a multi-car pileup, there are sometimes a few drivers who were not exercising an appropriate level of care to prevent the accident.

Indiana Is a Comparative Negligence State

What is Comparative Negligence?

In the event that more than one driver is faulted for the accident, Indiana applies fault on a sliding scale, meaning that they assign each at fault driver a percentage of negligence. For example, Driver A was deemed 50% at fault, while Drivers B and C are deemed 20% and 30% at fault respectively. 

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident that involved multiple vehicles and found at fault for less than 50%, you should consider filing a personal injury claim against the other drivers.

Insurance Liability vs. Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In most situations, an Indiana police report names the at fault driver (or drivers), files a report, and each at fault party’s insurance assumes their percentage of liability. When a driver’s insurance company accepts liability for the accident, then they agree to pay for damages according to the driver’s policy stipulations.

If you or someone you know was injured in an accident, and the other driver’s insurance has claimed liability, insurance claim limits may keep you from receiving full compensation for your medical bills. Additionally, if there were lost wages and other damages, the at-fault driver’s insurance may not be set up to pay those bills either.

In that case, you may be eligible to seek compensation for those bills and damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, once the at fault party (or parties) have been named, the same fault is applied in the courtroom. This is provided, of course, that you and your attorney are able to demonstrate that your injuries and damages are directly linked to the accident.

However, there are cases where a police report faults one driver, and the insurance adjusters attempt to fault another driver instead. Insurance companies will conduct their own investigation and may discover things that they believe the police missed. It is important that you follow-up with the police report that was filed after your accident, and that you provide as much evidence as possible to your own insurance company to prove that the other driver was at fault.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motor vehicle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

13
Dec

3 Things to Know When Filing a Claim After an Auto Accident

December 13, 2019

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, here are three things you should know before filing a claim.

There is a Difference Between an Insurance Claim and a Personal Injury Claim

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims, the terminology surrounding the word “claim” can be confusing. After an accident, it is important that you get your insurance company involved as soon as possible. It is their job to help you seek compensation for damage to your vehicle and any medical bills.

 However, if your injuries (and the injuries of your passengers) exceed claims limits, you may be liable for those costs. Depending upon the severity of damage and injuries, these costs could end up being tens of thousands of dollars beyond claim limits.

Insurance Claims Limits

In Indiana, insurance liability minimums are on the low side at $25,000 per person (up to $50,000 total). If your injuries end up costing you $60,000, then, after insurance pays for $25,000 of your medical bills, you will still be left with another $35,000 to pay on your own. 

Indiana requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured (UI/UDI) coverage to deal with situations where the other driver doesn’t have insurance. However, there are also claims limits for UI/UDI coverage as well.

 That’s why it may be in your best interest to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. If the other driver is at fault for the accident (and hence, your injuries), then you will be able to seek compensation for damages. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Personal Injury Claim Process

Many people injured in an auto accident reach their insurance claims limits and seek additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Much of the evidence you will need has already been supplied to your insurance company. Additionally, the responding police officer will have drafted an accident report naming the other driver as the at-fault party.

You will need to demonstrate the costs of your injuries, which would include medical bills, transportation costs, lost wages from missing work, and even emotional trauma you suffered as a result of the accident. If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, it is important that you seek assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney to help you file your claim.

A filed claim signals your intent to sue the at-fault party. The other person has an opportunity to respond before the discovery process takes place. If the at-fault party belongs to a commercial truck company, the employing company usually offers you a settlement to prevent the claim from going to trial. Your personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not it is in your best interest to accept a settlement.

There is an Indiana Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims After a Car Accident

As with any personal injury claim, you must file your claim within two years of the accident and subsequent injuries. While there are exceptions to this statute of limitations, they are rare and unlikely. It is vital that you seek medical attention immediately following an accident and leave yourself time to file a personal injury claim should it be necessary. 

Indiana is a Comparative Negligence State

Comparative negligence means that both (or all) parties were at fault for the accident. Driver 1 may have been going too fast while Driver 2 merged without signaling. In this kind of scenario, each driver will be faulted for a certain percentage of the accident. This approach of comparative negligence is usually considered in some insurance claims as well as in personal injury claims.

If you were assigned fault of 50% or more for the accident, then you are not eligible to receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If you were less than 50% at fault, but more than 0%, then whatever damages would have been awarded to you are simply decreased by the percentage for which you were at fault. For example, if you were at fault for 20% of the accident and total damages amounted to $50,000, then you would be awarded $50,000 minus 20%, which is $40,000.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

9
Dec

How Can I Get My Motor Vehicle Accident Report?

December 09, 2019

After a car crash, it is typical that all involved drivers want a copy of the accident report. Police officers on the scene take statements, declare who was at fault, and then file their report later on that day or within a week. 

That being said, the paperwork that Indiana police officers give to involved drivers on the scene is NOT the vehicle accident report. It does, however, contain each driver’s contact and insurance info, along with a report number. These details are crucial and should be passed on to your insurance company to file a claim. You can also use the report number to locate your vehicle accident report online.

When Motor Vehicle Accidents Must be Reported

It is highly recommended that you always contact the police after a vehicle accident. However, it is legal to not report the accident as long as there were no injuries and property damage amounted to less than $1,000.

Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to know the costs of damage to property in the wake of an accident, so it’s always important to report the accident to the authorities.

How Indiana Accident Reports Work

The state of Indiana partners with BuyCrash.com to help drivers access their vehicle accident reports. Indiana state drivers should first visit IN.gov (see here) and select the button “Request Your Vehicle Crash Report Online.”

Non-Indiana drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident while traveling through Indiana would essentially need to follow the same instructions demonstrated in this article. All Indiana police reports following an accident are uploaded the same way.

Guide to Using BuyCrash.com

After selecting the button “Request Your Vehicle Crash Report Online,” your browser will redirect you to BuyCrash.com. Since BuyCrash.com supports many state and municipality reports, you must first select Indiana from the “Start Search” dropdown menu.

Those looking for Indiana Vehicle Crash Reports are then redirected to the Indiana page on BuyCrash.com. You may choose to either enter the report number (which should be listed on the paperwork the police gave you on the scene) or search via your name, plus the date or police department that issued the report.

After entering the correct information, select your report from the results page and follow the instructions for delivery and checkout. The cost to retrieve your report can vary. 

If you wish to avoid the online fees altogether, you may try speaking directly with the police department that filed the report. However, it is not guaranteed that the reporting agency will agree to give you your report.

Indiana is an At-Fault State: What Does That Mean?

Indiana police officers who arrive on the scene must take statements from the drivers and declare a party at fault in the accident. If you were in an accident where the other driver was found at fault by the police, it is vital that you request a copy of the vehicle accident report and submit it to your insurance company. Though this does not necessarily guarantee that the other driver’s insurance company will accept liability, it does carry a lot of weight.

In some cases, Indiana may declare comparable at fault. That is, more than one driver is partially at fault for the accident. This would have an effect upon rulings in a personal injury lawsuit where one party seeks damages from the other party as a result of injuries and property loss after the accident.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

25
Nov

Do I Need Special Insurance If I Drive Both a Car and a Motorcycle?

November 25, 2019

In short, the answer is that you need to meet state minimum insurance requirements for both your car and your motorcycle. Both vehicles must also be registered with the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before you are permitted to drive them.

Vehicle Insurance

Before you can register your car or motorcycle, you must have the proper insurance for each vehicle. Every driver will need to bring proof of insurance to their local DMV. Here is a quick rundown of minimum insurance requirements. A licensed insurance agent can help with making sure a vehicle will have appropriate insurance.

For a car, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $25,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage (in case the other driver is uninsured or underinsured): $50,000

For a motorcycle, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $10,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage: $50,000

Drivers can often save money each month by bundling insurance plans for multiple vehicles with the same company. It is important to keep in mind that the cost of many accidents can exceed the above coverage limits. Additionally, should a vehicle become harmed or destroyed in an incident other than a traffic accident, drivers won’t likely be covered unless they have proper comprehensive coverage.

For those reasons (and more), many choose to carry insurance coverage for both their car and motorcycle that exceeds state minimum requirements.

Vehicle Registration

In Indiana, drivers must register cars and/or motorcycles within two months of purchase or moving from out of state. If purchasing either vehicle from a dealership, sellers may be able to handle vehicle registration directly with the DMV on their customers’ behalf. Buyers should confirm this before assuming vehicle registration has been completed.

In order to obtain car registration, vehicle owners must complete a VIN inspection, present a valid driver’s license, and be prepared to complete an emissions inspection within two years of registering (an emissions inspection will need to be completed every other year to retain your vehicle’s registration). Be sure to bring the car title (or if held by the auto lender, proof of ownership such as the lien agreement), proof of residency and proof of insurance.

For motorcycle registration, drivers must complete a VIN inspection, as well as have a valid motorcycle driver’s license. Additionally, proof of home address (residency), proof of social security number and proof of the state’s motorcycle insurance minimum liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage is required. Currently, the cost for registering a motorcycle in Indiana is less than $30 before taxes.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

 

5
Nov

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney

November 05, 2019

If you were injured in a car accident, you should start working with a personal injury attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills and more. Here are three tips to help you find the right attorney for your case.

Check Years of Experience

First, the attorney that you select to help you with your car accident case should have a thorough understanding of Indiana traffic laws. The top car accident attorneys know how unique each car accident can be. They will be able to spot and address each crucial nuance involved in your case.

Second, your attorney should have a good intuition when it comes to investigating. That is, knowing the right questions to ask, the right evidence to collect, and even the right attitude during the discovery phase of personal injury claims. Gathering evidence and testimonies can be tedious. Good attorneys know how to prioritize their investigation and get key evidence fast.

Third, a skilled car accident attorney will feel at ease in high-pressure situations, including depositions or jury trials. They are not easily discouraged or intimidated by changing circumstances or strong opposition.

Research Fee Structure

While the standard fee structure for personal injury is around 30% of awarded damages, some car accident attorneys may charge more. An attorney that charges more may or may not be worth the extra cost. However, in many cases, attorneys with the highest amount of experience and success charge more because their clients tend to win more.

On the flip side, just because a car accident attorney charges less than someone else doesn’t mean the attorney lacks the experience or ability to get the job done. Either way, you should definitely examine the firm or attorney’s fee structure in addition to the track record to get a better idea of whether or not those fees are worth the investment.

Establish Trust

A qualified attorney will need to know all the details of your car accident case. As such, you need to feel that you can trust the attorney you choose. An attorney who makes you feel small and insignificant may not inspire the honesty and courage your personal injury claim will require of you.

Additionally, car accident lawsuits can be a long and arduous process. Those who remain patient are the ones who win their cases and receive compensation for damages. Furthermore, the best attorneys will help you manage your expectations for the long journey ahead so that you do not feel misinformed or alone.

Attorneys who build a strong relationship with their clients will remain in contact with them, providing regular updates and making sure that their clients’ questions and concerns are addressed at all times. You need to feel that your personal injury attorney is deeply invested in your case, even while they juggle other cases. The right attorney will make sure that you know you are a priority to them. 

For more information about how an Indiana car accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529, or visit our website.

 

25
Oct

Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?

October 25, 2019

In the state of Indiana, personal injury claims for motor vehicle accidents have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident. 

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

In personal injury law, a statute of limitations is the time limit in which the plaintiff (the individual suing for damages) may file a claim for a personal injury lawsuit. Individuals suing the responsible party for damages must do so within the statute of limitations, or else they risk losing an opportunity to seek compensation.

Those injured in a car accident must seek medical assistance as soon as possible to determine the extent of the injuries. Waiting too long could result in Indiana courts dismissing the claim since it is more likely that any injuries were caused by events after the car accident.

What Are Some Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There are some exceptions to the standard two-year statute of limitations. However, most exceptions actually shorten the time frame rather than extend it. Here are a few examples:

  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana government organization responsible for injuries and property damage are allowed a nine-month statute of limitations from the date of the car accident.
  • Individuals who seek to hold an Indiana city or county responsible for damages in a car accident case are allowed only a six-month statute of limitations.
  • Minors are not allowed to file a personal injury claim for themselves. Therefore, they are allowed a two-year statute of limitations from the date of their 18th birthday.

While there have been rare exceptions granted to plaintiffs seeking damages after the standard statute of limitations, most people who attempt to file a personal injury claim late often see their case dismissed by Indiana courts.

What Is Involved with Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

When filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, Indiana courts grant the defendant (the individual or organization you claim to be at fault for the accident) an opportunity to respond to the claim.

If the defendant does not admit guilt, then your attorney will begin building your case. Both sides proceed to gather evidence through the discovery phase before taking your personal injury case to court.

Most personal injury lawsuits take anywhere from six months to three years in the state of Indiana. Because of the length of time it may take to defend their case, as well as court costs, many defendants make a settlement offer to the plaintiff early on in the process. 

Is It a Good Idea to Accept a Settlement Offer?

Not all settlement offers are fair. That’s why you should allow a personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. They will be able to advise you whether it is in your best interest to take the settlement or to settle your case in the courtroom.

Your entire personal injury case doesn’t need to be resolved within the two-year statute of limitations. It is only required that you file your intent to sue (known as your complaint) within the statute of limitations.

For more information about how an Indiana car accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529, or visit our website.

 

24
Sep

What Happens If I Get into an Accident in a Rental Car?

September 24, 2019

Most of us know what to do when our vehicle is involved in a car accident. However, the steps to follow may not be quite so clear if we get into an accident driving a rental car.

For the most part, many of the same things apply in a rental car as they do for your personal vehicle. For example, you will want to make sure that anyone injured is being taken care of, or that an ambulance is on the way to assist.

You will also want to make sure to move your rental car out of the way of traffic, take pictures of the damage, exchange information with the other driver, call the police, request an accident report and, if feasible, take down names and contact information of any witnesses present.

The At-Fault Party

As with any car accident, the at-fault party will be held responsible. Therefore, the at-fault driver’s insurance is required to cover the cost of the rental car’s repairs. The same holds true for any injuries resulting from the car accident. Whether or not you feel injured at the time of the accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that a doctor can confirm that you are okay.

It’s important to note that frequently the costs associated with car accident injuries exceed auto insurance caps. If this is the case, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation for any medical bills, lost wages and damages incurred in an auto accident. Even if you were injured while driving a rental car, if the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries, it may be in your best interest to initiate a personal injury claim.

Sometimes, the at-fault party is uninsured. That’s why it is important for every driver to carry uninsured/underinsured insurance. While Indiana requires a minimum of $50,000 for uninsured/underinsured insurance, car accident injury costs can easily exceed that amount. Talk to your insurance provider to see if it is a good idea to add more coverage.

Substitute Vehicle Coverage

Before renting a vehicle, it is important to confirm with your regular car insurance provider that you have substitute vehicle coverage. This will ensure that any rental vehicle you book has the same coverage as your personal vehicle.

Using the Rental Company’s Insurance

Even if personal insurance offers substitute vehicle coverage, it may be worth considering adding the rental company’s insurance options. This could protect you from having to pay large deductibles to your own insurance company in the event of an accident. Additionally, rental car insurance can keep your regular insurance premiums from spiking as a result of an accident.

Adding a Collision Damage/Loss Waiver

Occasionally, rental car companies are not able to rent out vehicles involved in accidents because they have to be repaired. To cover these costs, rental car and insurance companies offer damage and loss waivers to drivers. Without the waiver, the rental car company may try to hold drivers responsible for loss of revenue while the car is being fixed (this is known as “loss of use”). This may include charging a daily fee for the vehicle while it remains under repair. Fees can be as high as the normal rental rate.

Many people who have substitute vehicle coverage with their own insurance providers opt to take the collision damage waiver (CDW) or collision loss waiver (CLW) for the reasons described above. However, many recommend that drivers avoid taking the additional coverage of CDW/CLW. It is best to consult with your own insurance company before accepting or declining CDW/CLW coverage.

For more information about how an Indiana car accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

17
Sep

Truck Accidents 101: Laws in Indiana

September 17, 2019

On average, 3,000 to 5,000 people die each year in vehicle accidents involving trucks. Over three-fourths of those injured in a truck accident are not truck drivers. In spite of stringent federal and Indiana state regulations, commercial vehicles remain the most deadly cause of fatal accidents in the country.

Indiana State Regulations

In the state of Indiana, the Motor Carrier Services Division (MCS) of the Department of Revenue (DOR) monitor and enforce commercial trucking laws and regulations.

The size and weight of the average truck pose a serious threat to the safety of non-commercial drivers. As such, all truck drivers must have an adequate amount of rest and steer clear of any substances that may impair their state of mind. These substances include alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs.

Additionally, those in charge of loading commercial trucks must adequately distribute the weight in a way that does not prohibit the driver from being able to maneuver the vehicle.

Lastly, not all roads allow commercial trucks. They must adhere to state traffic regulations, which restrict them to roads that give them adequate space.

Federal Regulations

Many federal regulations are similar to those in the state of Indiana. However, when injuries occur in a truck accident, the most strict laws will bear greater authority in a personal injury lawsuit.

Federal regulations address how often a truck driver must inspect all the equipment in their vehicle. Brakes, tires, hitches, and more must meet federal requirements. Those who manufacture the equipment parts must also maintain minimum quality standards to make sure they are not endangering the truck driver and other drivers on the road.

All federal regulations pertaining to commercial vehicles are moderated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) within the US Department of Transportation.

Liable Parties in Commercial Trucking

If you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, but liable parties may try to coerce you into accepting responsibility for the truck accident.

In a traditional vehicle accident, only the drivers involved are potentially liable for injuries and property damage. In a truck accident, however, several organizations and individuals may share the blame for injuries and property damage. The truck driver may be liable. Both state and federal regulations place a greater burden of care upon them, and they are required to take adequate breaks and maintain their vehicle equipment.

The company that hired the driver may also be liable. They are ultimately responsible for the negligence of their drivers. The loaders may also be liable. Whether it’s a loading company or a few individuals, they are expected to follow state and federal regulations when it comes to weight distribution. Lastly, the vehicle parts manufacturers may be liable for defective parts.

There could be as many as four different individuals or organizations that share liability for your injuries. Because each of these groups knows the gravity of the situation, companies will be eager to put the issue to rest before having to present their negligence to a courtroom.

Seeking Compensation After a Truck Accident

Speaking with an Indiana truck accident attorney will help you take on personnel representing the truck driver. Also, your attorney can help you seek compensation for hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

For more information about how an Indiana truck accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529, or visit our website.

22
Jun

What Are My Rights if I am in a Car Accident While Using a Ride Share?

June 22, 2019

Ride share apps like Uber and Lyft have made life easier for millions of Americans, who for a variety of reasons, choose or need to use a car service to get around.

Ride shares are convenient in areas where it’s not easy to get a taxi, cities without widespread public transportation and metro areas where the fare for an Uber or Lyft may be cheaper than a traditional cab.

However, the uncertainties of life apply to ride shares too – accidents happen. If you’re injured as a result of an Uber accident or a Lyft accident, Stewart & Stewart Attorneys is here to help.

Big Questions: Who’s Liable and Who Pays?

As with any driver working for a company, accidents involving Lyft or Uber drivers can be complex. If you do get into an accident while using one of these services, you should enlist the help of a qualified attorney to help with your claim. This is important whether you are a passenger that gets injured in an accident involving a ride share program or if your vehicle is in a collision with an Uber or Lyft driver.

For injury liability, the driver’s personal insurance will be the first place to go, but most personal insurance policies have provisions in them that exempt business use. Those companies won’t pay out for damages and injuries to passengers while the insured is on the clock even though the vehicle is not part of a fleet owned by Uber or Lyft.

The good news is that Lyft and Uber both carry third-party insurance that provides up to $1 million per accident for personal injuries and property damage. But this won’t kick in until all avenues regarding the driver’s personal auto insurance plan have been exhausted.

If another driver is at fault, there are two ways you can be protected.

First, as in any auto accident where the other party is at fault, you would seek damages from that person, either through his insurance carrier or a personal injury lawsuit.

If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t carry enough insurance to cover your injuries or is unknown (in a hit-and-run accident, for example), Uber and Lyft also carry uninsured/underinsured coverage. Similar to ride share companies’ third-party insurance, this policy also provides up to $1 million per accident.

In unique cases (such as when damages total more than $1 million), lawsuits against Lyft and Uber themselves can be filed, but this is a tricky avenue to pursue because ride share drivers are independent contractors; therefore, the legal responsibility of the company isn’t as cut-and-dry as it would be if drivers were employees with a commercial driver’s license.

If You’re a Driver: Document, Document, Document

It’s important to note that these $1 million policies are also in place to protect Lyft and Uber drivers and their property.

If you’re driving for a ride share and you’re involved in an accident, be sure to document everything so you’re protected as much as you possibly can be. Take photos of damage, get license plate and contact information of the other driver(s) and call your insurance. Lyft and Uber also have emergency hotlines that you can call in case of an accident.

Having the necessary documentation will get you back on the road faster, because Uber doesn’t allow drivers to pick up passengers while they investigate to determine fault in an accident. If your vehicle is damaged, you may not be able to work again until Uber inspects your vehicle and finds it satisfactory to pick up passengers again.

Uber and Lyft Accidents are Complex

If you have been injured or a loved one has died due to a crash involving a ride share driver, you deserve to be compensated. At Stewart & Stewart, we know what it takes to find the responsible parties and get our clients the money they deserve. We will work hard to get that for you. For more information, give your Indianapolis auto accident lawyer a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.

15
Jun

Five Things Semi Truck Drivers Want Regular Car Drivers to Know

June 15, 2019

People driving cars can get easily frustrated at semi-truck drivers. Traveling at a slower speed in a passing lane, making wide turns and taking time backing up are things that many of us have been inpatient with at one time or another when we’re in a hurry to get somewhere.

Conversely, the opposite is also true.

Semi-truck drivers have plenty of complaints about the car drivers they share the streets and highways with. To avoid added stress on the roads, keep in mind these facts about semi-trucks and their drivers.

Semi-trucks can only go so fast

Some trucks, especially the larger and heavier ones, can’t go as fast as most cars on the highway. Some max out at 65 miles per hour, which is slower than the 70-mile-per-hour, speed limit found on highways in Indiana. Be mindful that the truck may not be able to go faster than it is, especially if it is passing another vehicle and temporarily slowing down the left lane.

If you pass, do it quickly (and on the left)

Car drivers know all about the blind spot. It’s that space near the rear of your car where the mirror won’t show an oncoming vehicle, and you also can’t see it by looking directly to your left or right.

Due to the size of semi-trucks (plus the fact that there is no rear-view mirror), the blind spot is lengthened, so if you’re going to pass a truck, do it quickly. Do not ride alongside a semi-truck since there’s a good chance the driver won’t be able to see you.

Also, only pass trucks on the left. Drivers are more accustomed to watch for passing vehicles in the left-hand lane rather than the right.

You might see a placard on the back of a truck that reads, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” Heed that advice.

It takes longer for trucks to stop

Be careful not to cut off a semi-truck, especially if you’re approaching stopped traffic. Even an alert driver with a perfectly maintained truck requires more distance than your car to come to a stop. Also, consider the fact that many trucks on the road need service or, in some cases, may not be fit to be on the road. That could lead to worn breaks or total break failure. A driver may also be tired or looking at his GPS, which could slow his or her reaction time. The bottom line: give the truck enough space to come to a stop.

Don’t assume a truck will make a perfect turn

Even the most expert semi-truck driver is not in complete control of his trailer during a turn. This is called “off-tracking,” meaning the trailer will not follow the same path of the cab when it makes a turn. The back of a trailer can easily drift into a neighboring lane while the turn is taking place, so even if it requires you to stop for an extra moment, give a turning truck some extra space and time to complete the maneuver.

Truck drivers are people too

Regular car drivers should exhibit some patience when dealing with the shortcomings of these semi-trucks. Remember that some of the things a semi-truck can’t do isn’t the fault of the driver. Also, be mindful that the driver is likely on a tight deadline, puts in long hours and is away from his family for days at a time while he earns a living.

Given their size, truck accidents can be devastating, particularly for smaller cars that are involved. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident involving a semi-truck, call Stewart & Stewart. We know what it takes to find the responsible parties and get our clients the money they deserve. We will work hard to get that for you. For more information, give your Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.