Traffic accidents involving large trucks can have disastrous consequences. Any accident between a semi-truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious injuries or death.
Frequently, truck drivers don’t want to bear the responsibility for the collision and risk losing their jobs. If you or a loved one has been involved in a collision with a semi-truck, you are entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. As an experienced Indianapolis truck accident attorney, I can determine whether you have a claim.
Preserving evidence after an accident is crucial, especially after a semi-accident. Reconstructing the scene can be difficult and requires an experienced professional. Proper reconstruction can mean the difference between winning and losing a case. Don’t lose important evidence by waiting. After a collision, the trucking company and its insurance company will send adjusters and investigators immediately to collect evidence in their favor.
You will need an experienced Indianapolis semi truck accident attorney who will act in your best interest and protect your rights. Live near Indianapolis? Contact our Indiana truck accident attorney Merry Fountain at Fountain Law Firm prior to signing a statement that may assign fault to you.
The insurance adjuster may say he or she needs to take a taped statement before helping you. This is not true and could damage your case.
Your recovery in a personal injury action can include compensation for your medical expenses, hospital bills, lost income, pain and suffering, future medical or physical therapy expenses, and compensation for any lost wages resulting from the accident. You may be entitled to other compensation for special losses.
As an accident victim myself, I know what you’re going through and understand that you may feel lost and unsure of who to trust. I know it’s overwhelming — where do you even start? Before I was an accident attorney, I was injured in a collision with a commercial truck. My hand was broken, and I had facial scarring and neck pain from the accident. It seemed natural to work with the insurance company. I thought it would keep my best interest at heart and help me. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that was not the case, and I promptly hired a trucking accident attorney to protect me.
Since I became an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer, it has been my goal to help others through this difficult process. I have been honored to help hundreds of people just like you settle their personal injury cases. From personal experience, I know that you are already concerned about lost wages, medical bills, transportation, etc. It can be devastating, but you don’t have to go through it alone. I will personally help you through this, and I will NOT charge a fee until your case is settled.
One of the most important aspects of an Indiana truck accident case is determining which parties can be held responsible for your losses. This will vary from case to case based on the circumstances that led to your accident, and you must file an accident claim against the correct party or parties to be successful in your case. The following are some parties who may be responsible for your losses:
According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), error on the part of the truck driver is the most common cause of semi-truck crashes. Truck drivers can be negligent in many ways, including the following:
If a truck driver has engaged in any of the above or another type of negligent behavior that caused your crash, he or she should be held personally responsible for your injury-related losses, and you can file a claim through his or her insurance policy or in civil court. In cases of drunk or drugged driving, a criminal case is not enough for you to be fully compensated for all your losses, so you will likely need to seek a separate claim for financial recovery. Speak to our Indianapolis truck accident lawyer, Merry Fountain, and schedule a free consultation today.
In addition to drivers themselves, trucking companies that employ drivers can often be held liable for the negligence of their employees. This is based on complicated legal principles, and I can identify when both a driver and his or her employer can be liable to obtain maximum compensation for you. Furthermore, companies may also be negligent and may lead to your crash in different ways, including the following:
When a trucking company is involved, a claim can become significantly more complex. Multiple insurance companies may be involved as well as possibly a legal team – all trying to avoid liability. As an experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyer, I know how to take on Trucking insurance companies as well as individuals in these complicated cases.
Anyone who drives on the highway should recognize the risks of driving around large commercial trucks. There are many types of commercial vehicles, including box trucks, delivery trucks, buses, and more. While many of these vehicles have the potential to be involved in a serious crash, the most dangerous trucks on the roads are the large tractor-trailers.
Tractor-trailers can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded with cargo and can be about 30 times as large as passenger cars. These hulking vehicles are difficult to maneuver and require specialized training to be allowed to operate them. Furthermore, there are different types of tractor-trailers, and each comes with its own unique risks of accidents and injuries. The following are three examples of how different kinds of tractor-trailers can lead to crashes.
A standard semi-truck has a large cab (the tractor) with a large rectangular, enclosed trailer attached by a coupling device, which allows the truck to make turns. Because of the long, opaque trailers that carry cargo and the ground clearance of these trucks, the blind spots on semi-trucks are substantial. These blind spots are often referred to as “no-zones,” and they exist on both sides of the trailer, as well as behind the truck and directly in front of the truck. Many crashes occur because a driver does not recognize that a vehicle is in a blind spot.
A flatbed truck is similar to a semi, though the trailer is not enclosed. These flat trailers with no walls are intended to haul oversized or awkwardly-shaped cargo that would not fit in a traditional semi-trailer. Because of the open nature of flatbed trailers, however, there is a greater risk of cargo falling off the trailer in the event of a crash. When heavy or bulky items fall into the roadway, it can result in additional damage and injuries.
A tanker truck has a long and cylindrical trailer attached by a coupling that is meant to transport liquids and gases that are not transportable in a regular trailer. These trailers can easily be thrown off-balance and be involved in rollover accidents, which can cause widespread damage. Additionally, the cargo in tankers may be toxic (HAZMAT trucks) or flammable (gasoline), so a cargo spill can be particularly dangerous.
How Does Fatigued Driving Cause Truck Accidents?
Truck driver fatigue is either the primary cause or a contributing factor to 35-40% of all commercial truck accidents. Truck drivers are on the road for long hours, many days in a row, which can be exhausting. Additionally, they are usually alone in their cab, driving on highly monotonous highways and routes, which can make it even easier to lose focus. When a truck driver loses concentration or even dozes off behind the wheel, devastating accidents can occur and cause injury to other motorists.
To try to prevent fatigued driving truck accidents, the FMCSA has specific Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that dictate the hours a driver may work before resting. Some regulations require that a driver:
Unfortunately, many truck drivers violate these regulations in order to make more deliveries and earn more money. Additionally, sometimes trucking companies encourage or pressure drivers into driving longer shifts than allowed to make more money. When drivers are fatigued, they can lose control of their huge trucks and can cause accidents, injuries, and even death. Victims of these accidents can suffer extraordinary losses.
Commercial truck drivers have a duty to always be in compliance with trucking regulations set by the FMCSA. When they violate laws such as HOS regulations, they are negligently putting all other motorists around them at risk of harm. If a truck accident and injuries do occur as a result of their negligence, truck drivers should be held fully responsible for reimbursing victims for all of their losses.
According to the Indiana Department of Transportation,
Question: Can I Recover Compensation for My Commercial Truck Accident?
Answer: The first thing that many truck accident victims want to know is whether they have a case. After a truck accident, you’re likely facing enormous medical bills, an inability to work, and a totaled vehicle. In addition, you are almost certainly experiencing significant physical and emotional pain and suffering. These are all compensable losses, and it is only natural that you want to know whether you will be able to recover compensation.
Under Indiana law, if another person’s negligence caused your truck accident, you’ll probably be able to recover a settlement or award.
Questions: Who Is Liable? The Truck Driver or the Trucking Company?
Answer: This question depends on the specific facts of your case, but generally, trucking companies are liable for the negligent acts of their truck drivers under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. Because of federal regulations, this is true whether the truck driver is a true employee of the trucking company or an independent contractor “owner-operator.”
Question: How Much Is My Case Worth?
Answer: Every truck accident case is different. The amount of compensation you recover will depend on many factors, including the extent and severity of your injuries, your medical prognosis, your occupation, your age, and whether you were partially at fault for your accident.
Question: When Should I Retain an Attorney?
Answer: You should retain a lawyer as soon as you can after a commercial truck accident injured you. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that evidence that is important to your case is lost or destroyed. In addition, when an attorney is not representing you, there is a chance that you will say or do things that can hurt your chances of recovering the full value of your claim. Finally, waiting too long to file a claim can even result in a judge throwing your case out entirely.
Indianapolis commercial truck accident attorneys at Fountain Law Firm will carefully investigate what happened in your accident to make sure that every possible liable party is identified. I will also explore every possible avenue for you to obtain compensation from insurance claims to personal injury lawsuits in Indiana civil court and will handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Whether you have suffered relatively minor injuries or catastrophic, life-changing injuries, you deserve to receive full compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and more.
If you’re unsure about your case, a FREE consultation can provide you with peace of mind. Indianapolis fatal accident attorney, Merry Fountain will personally ensure you understand your rights, your options, and the legal consequences of your decisions before proceeding. As an experienced Indianapolis semi truck accidents lawyer, she is committed to obtaining the best possible settlement for you. Call our truck accident lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation.
“Merry is a very good attorney. She gets back with you right away when you call. I definitely feel you can count on Merry. This is the 2nd time I had called on her to represent me, and I have no complaints. If I ever need her services in the future, I am confident she will be there for me.” -Terri A.