Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorneys

Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help

Traffic accidents involving commercial trucks, such as tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers, often result in catastrophic injuries and death. At Doehrman Buba, our nationally board certified civil trial lawyers represent people from across the nation who have been injured in truck accidents in Indiana, helping them obtain compensation for the financial burden caused by their injuries.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Drivers of smaller vehicles should be aware that trucks have certain speed, turning, visibility, and braking limitations. Many truck accidents occur because of these limitations. Other causes of trucking accidents include:

  • A truck driver's lack of training
  • Dangerous or reckless truck driving
  • Overloaded or oversized trucks
  • Poor driving conditions (fog, snow or rain)
  • Truck defects (defective tires, safety systems, lights, etc.)

Victims of trucking accidents often suffer severe injuries including spinal cord injury, loss of limbs, broken bones, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). These types of injuries come with hefty medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental and emotional anguish. These injuries can also result in a lifetime of disability and special needs for the injured person.

Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?

Truck on the road

To help ensure that our clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries, we will identify as many potential defendants as possible in a truck crash case. Possible parties who may be held liable for your injuries include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • Contractors
  • Employers
  • Insurance companies
  • Manufacturers of the truck and/or its component parts

If a truck driver is employed by a trucking or shipping company, that company may be held responsible for the driver's negligence. Establishing the liability of third parties can be difficult if, as is often the case, the driver is an independent contractor of a larger company. In that situation, it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side who understands the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and other laws that deal with truck driving and the trucking industry.

Truck Companies Are Required to Carry Liability Insurance

Commercial trucks are required to have at least $750,000 in liability insurance coverage. Many trucking companies have insurance policies that provide more than the minimum coverage requirements of $750,000. It is important to have an experienced attorney representing your interests if you have sustained substantial damages as the result of a truck crash caused by the truck driver and/or the company the driver was working for at the time of the crash.

In addition to finding all sources of liability insurance coverage available to compensate you for your damages, our truck accident lawyer also can help with liens that insurance companies often put on any claim that an injured person is making against a truck driver or trucking company. And, our attorneys will assist you in seeing that your medical bills are paid for so that you do not get sued by hospitals and medical groups who have not been paid for the treatment they have rendered to you or a loved one.

Trucking Companies' Obligation to Only Use Qualified and Competent Drivers

There are essential guidelines for trucking companies regarding qualifying drivers for over-the-road duty. To be qualified and competent, a driver must:

  • Be physically qualified to drive: This includes adequate vision and hearing as well as freedom from high blood pressure, epilepsy, insulin-dependent diabetes, and alcoholism.
  • Pass a driving test: This test is much more intensive than the test administered to non-professional drivers.
  • Pass an intensive application and background test process: A trucking company is required to obtain detailed information about a prospective driver's prior employers, addresses for the past 10 years, and driving record from every state in which the driver was licensed for the previous three years.

CSA 2010: Compliance ∙ Safety ∙ Accountability

These are just the precautions taken before the driver begins to work for the trucking company. Once the driver is on the road, the company is obligated to supervise and monitor that driver's performance and qualifications.

The body of regulations, called CSA, is an intensive program rolled out in December 2010 with the goal of measuring, evaluating, and intervening more effectively with trucking companies to ensure that safety measures—including the requirement to only use qualified and trained drivers—are followed to the letter. Motor carriers are required to make sure drivers are qualified on a daily basis. As soon as a driver has a violation or other cause to be considered an unfit driver, that driver should be taken off the road immediately.

Our law firm has handled many truck accidents. In almost every case, there is almost always a violation of some kind. Typically, the driver is not fully competent or qualified, or there is some physical problem with the vehicle itself like a broken headlight, inadequate brakes, or an improperly prepared logbook. There is almost always a federal violation, and we can find it.

Truck Accidents Litigation

Commercial motor vehicle civil litigation is a unique and specialized area of personal injury law. Too frequently, lawyers consider a crash involving a commercial motor vehicle as any other car crash. There are certainly similarities, in that you need to obtain witness statements, photos, and videotape; conduct inspections of the vehicles and site; and preserve evidence—but at that point, similarities end.

There is black box data, satellite communication, electronic receipts, and driver records, all of which must be obtained as soon as possible, or may be lost or legally destroyed. All of the information may be physical evidence as critical as a fetal monitoring strip for a claim of anoxic brain injury in childbirth.

A driver of a commercial motor vehicle, has been trained, tested, and received a commercial driver's license, empowering the driver to operate a vehicle approaching 80,000 pounds at highway speed, under the direction of an entity that must qualify and supervise the driver at all times. The driver and his trucking company are considered professionals in the operation and transport of cargo and people in intrastate and interstate commerce.

Drivers and carriers are held to a higher standard of care, and they should be. These are the folks that are licensed to transport people, hazardous cargo, operate in adverse weather conditions, all with pressures of on time delivery, high diesel prices, foreign competition, and the like.

The rules of the road are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), promulgated by the federal government in the Code of Federal Regulations, and adopted by each state.

Serious Personal Injuries

In the vast majority of cases, the size and speed of the trucks cause severe and catastrophic injuries that can include:

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. We have been corporate sponsors of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana for more than 30 years. Our AV-rated* attorneys are qualified and experienced with handling brain injury litigation, and we have written many legal articles on this complicated area of law.

Contact Our Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers Today

Our law firm has obtained substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Our lawyers work closely with truck accident investigators and other experts to help ensure that truck accident victims obtain justice and compensation for their injuries. We have the experience and resources to hold negligent, reckless, or careless truck drivers, trucking companies, and truck manufacturers liable for your injuries.

If you or someone close to you has suffered a serious injury in truck crash, we are here to help. Contact our attorneys today online or by telephone at (800) 269-3443 for a free consultation.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

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