Why Are Truck-Accidents So Dangerous?
It is not unusual for crashes involving commercial trucks, often referred to as semi-tractor/trailers or 18-wheelers, to result in catastrophic injuries and death. This is because a fully-loaded semi can weight up to 80,000, making it much more difficult to maneuver or stop. As a result, any collision with a passenger vehicle or motorcycle—vehicles that are a fraction of the weight and size of a commercial motor vehicle—can cause extensive property damage and serious injury. Highway safety proponents often say that when a semi-truck crashes with a passenger car, the car always loses.
Why Truck Crash Cases Are Different Than Car Accident Cases
Unlike a car accident case, accidents involving commercial motor vehicles are complex. Multiple parties are typically involved in the transportation process that put the semi-truck and the load on the road. The parties involved include the truck driver and the trucking company, but may also include a shipper, broker, loader, maintenance provider, or manufacturer.
Many truck accidents occur because of the following reasons:
- A truck driver’s lack of training
- Speeding, aggressive or reckless driving
- Overloaded or oversized trucks
- Driving during fog, rain or other poor driving conditions
- Defective tires, safety systems or other truck components
- Driver fatigue
- Inadequate lighting
- Failure to install underride protection
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
The Importance Of Hiring An Attorney With Knowledge Handling These Cases
Establishing the fault the trucker, truck company, or other parties involved in the trucking transportation process can be difficult. As such, it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorneys on your side who understand the critical differences and nuances of truck crash cases. Your attorney should have extensive experience and familiarity with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), the rules and publications promulgates by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and other laws and industry standards that apply to truckers, truck companies, and other parties in the trucking industry. In short, you want to hire an attorney with extensive knowledge and experience—someone who knows the proverbial tricks of the trade and, among other things, is familiar with the different rules, standards, evidence, parties, and witnesses involved in truck crash litigation.
Our Skilled, Experienced Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers
At Doehrman Buba Ring, in Indianapolis, Indiana, our national board-certified civil trial lawyers represent people throughout Indiana who have been injured in complex personal injuries, including semi-truck accidents.
Our lawyers have several decades combined experience litigating, settling, and trying countless truck crash cases. All the attorneys are active in multiple national trucking litigation groups, and partner Dan Buba regularly lectures at local and national legal seminars, teaching other lawyers how to handle truck crash cases, including how to avoid the common mistakes non-trucking lawyers make in a semi-truck accident case.
We do our best to leave no stone unturned, using our skill and experience to investigate and determine the exact reason for the truck accident and which parties may be at-fault. Was the accident caused by the truck’s lack of service maintenance? Was the truck driver distracted on their phone? Was the truck driver excessively speeding? Were they fatigued? Was the truck company pushing the drivers beyond their maximum drive time allowed under law?
These are the questions we examine to get to the bottom of what happened.
We routinely use eye-witness testimony, weigh station records, police reports, CMV logbooks, surveillance and dashcam footage to help prove our cases. Our goal is to recover maximum compensation for your injuries including lost wages, medical expenses, property damage to your car, and more.
Helping Those With Serious Injuries
Victims of trucking accidents often suffer severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and catastrophic orthopedic injuries involving loss of limbs, broken bones and vertebrae, and other neck and back injuries.
These types of injuries come with hefty medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental and emotional anguish. Victims of truck accidents who have suffered any of these injuries often experience lingering effects and medical needs for many years after the accident, sometimes even for life.
We work hard to make sure our clients get compensation for the immediate medical expenses and damages, as well as compensation for the long-term injuries that they suffer. Let us help you recover the compensation you need today and in the years to come.
Get Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Semi-Truck Collisions In Indiana
Countless questions arise from truck-accident collisions. Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions our partners often get asked from clients.
Why Are Injuries Likely To Be More Severe In A Truck Accident?
The average passenger vehicle weighs about 3000 to 5000 pounds. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds or even more. When two vehicles collide and one weighs more than ten times the other, simple physics will tell us that the smaller vehicle will get the worst of it.
What Are Common Factors That Cause Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are most commonly caused both by the natural characteristics of such large and heavy vehicles, and the ignorance of drivers around them in regular passenger vehicles. Because of their size and weight, large trucks need more space to accelerate, stop or slow down and turn. The size and weight of large semi-trucks makes requires properly trained and diligent drivers who take their jobs as professional truck drivers seriously. Most truck companies will have training manuals and statements on their websites professing that safety is their first priority, but too often it turns out these commercial motor carriers “talk the talk,” but don’t “walk the walk.” The execution and oversight of truck safety measures often falls through the proverbial cracks, and the members of motoring public these truck are supposed to share the road with—families, parents, children, grandparents—are unnecessarily injured, sometime catastrophically, due to safety deficiencies.
What Is Classified As A Commercial Truck?
A commercial truck is first, and most obviously, a truck that is used for commercial purposes. It can vary in size from what are called “box trucks” up to full 18-wheel (or more) tractor-trailers.
Box trucks are bigger than a van but smaller than a tractor-trailer. The back of the truck resembles a large box, giving it its name. You often see them used by residential delivery services.
Tractor-trailers are made up of two parts, the actual truck, known as the tractor and a large trailer that might be used to haul freight, livestock, liquids, chemicals and many other things. They often weigh several tens of thousands of pounds when loaded. FMCSA publications provide pictorial images of common commercial motor vehicles:
Who Can I Sue For My Truck-Accident Injuries?
In most cases, your personal injury claim will be filed against the truck driver and truck company, but there are other factors that come into play that may allow you to file claims against others. In some cases, there may be claims against the shipper, broker, loader, maintenance company, or other individuals or entities involved in the transportation of the load.
What Damages Can I Recover For My Truck-Accident Injuries?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the injuries you’ve suffered, you may be able to file a claim for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care
- Physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Property Damage
Contact Our Lawyers Today To Learn More. Free Consultations.
Our firm has obtained substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. If you or someone close to you has suffered a serious injury in a truck crash, find out what we can do for you.