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Jonathan Rosenfeld

December 20, 2023

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Indiana ranks as the ninth most dangerous state for truck drivers, with nearly 12% of accidents resulting in serious injuries involving large trucks. [1]

Trucking accident cases are complex in nature, often involving multiple parties and requiring extensive investigations. Complicated trucking industry regulations, extensive damages, cross-state drivers, jurisdictional issues, and multiple insurance companies may also be involved, increasing their complexity even further. 

Car accident attorneys may not be equipped to provide legal representation in these types of cases. If you or a loved one was injured in an incident involving commercial vehicles, our Indiana truck accident lawyers can help you seek the justice you deserve. 

Contact us for a free case review and read on for all the ways our law firm can help you get the justice you deserve.

You Have Limited Time to File a Truck Accident Claim

By Indiana law, the state’s statute of limitations gives personal injury victims two years to file a lawsuit, which also applies to most trucking accident cases. This time limit usually begins on the day of the accident, so most victims have two years from the incident to file a lawsuit. 

However, there are some occasions when the cause of the accident is unknown, such as when a defective product has caused it, based upon a theory of negligence or strict liability. 

In these cases, the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim discovers or reasonably should have discovered the accident was due to a defective product. Even then, there is a maximum amount of time that a victim has to file a claim—known as the statute of repose—which is ten years from the accident date.

If your claim is against a government, such as a commercial vehicle accident involving a city trash collector or other types of tractor-trailers serving the local government, Indiana law gives you just six months to file a tort claim against the government. 

If the deadline passes and you do not file a claim, you can lose your opportunity to seek compensation for the damages you suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. 

You can speak to our Indiana truck accident attorneys and learn more about the deadline that applies to your case by calling us for a free case evaluation.  

Types of Cases That Our Indiana Trucking Accident Attorneys Handle

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers handles many different types of cases involving large trucks, based on different factors.

Our legal team handles cases involving various types of trucks, including:

  • Semi-trucks
  • Cargo trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Delivery trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Oil tankers 
  • Dump trucks
  • Other commercial vehicles

Our Indiana truck accident lawyers also handle cases involving different defendants, including:

  • Trucking company drivers
  • Drivers of passenger vehicles
  • Truck companies
  • Truck owners 
  • Leasing companies
  • Mechanics maintenance companies
  • Cargo loading companies
  • Product manufacturers 

Our truck accident lawyers handle cases involving all Indiana interstates, including:

  • I-64
  • I-65
  • I-69
  • I-70
  • I-74
  • I-80
  • I-90
  • I-94

The Most Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents can occur for many different reasons, which is why a thorough investigation by an experienced truck accident attorney is necessary. Most truck accidents occur due to the following:

  • Speeding – Drivers must meet tight delivery deadlines and are paid by the load, so they are often incentivized to speed to get to their destinations faster. It’s estimated that large trucks are responsible for 5.4% of all speeding-related accidents. 
  • Truck driver fatigue – While there are hours of service rules intended to prevent this, unfortunately, a trucking company and its drivers often violate them in the interest of making deliveries faster. 
  • Distracted driving – Drivers of commercial vehicles may get bored with the monotony of their jobs and text or talk on the phone, interact with infotainment systems, eat, drink, smoke, or engage in distracting activities otherwise. 
  • Breaking traffic laws – Drivers of large trucks may break various traffic laws that can increase the likelihood of truck wrecks, including running red lights or stop signs, failing to yield, and driving in areas where such vehicles are prohibited. 
  • Impaired driving – Alcohol can seriously impair a person’s ability to drive safely. It slows reaction time, reduces brain function, impairs thinking, negatively affects reasoning, and decreases muscle coordination. All of these effects can increase the likelihood of accidents. 
  • Failing to monitor blind spots – Trucks have large blind spots around them because of their size and hauling a trailer behind them. While drivers often cannot see other vehicles in these blind spots, they still have a duty not to collide with other vehicles and must carefully monitor these spots and signal before switching lanes or turning. 
  • Aggressive driving – This can include speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic, failing to signal, and other dangerous driving actions that can endanger the lives and safety of others. 
  • Inexperienced drivers – There is currently an estimated truck driver shortage of 80,000 employees [2], which means that many trucking companies choose to hire inexperienced drivers who do not know how to properly operate a truck. 
  • Unsecured cargo – Truck accidents can also occur when cargo is not properly secured, allowing it to shift during transit, causing the truck to jackknife and the trailer to slide into other lanes of traffic. Cargo could also fall off the truck, posing a hazard to nearby motorists. 
  • Poorly maintained equipment – A trucking company is required to conduct pre-trip inspections and keep their fleet of trucks in a safe operating condition. However, that is not always the case, leading to accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries.
  • Faulty parts – Some mechanical parts do not work correctly because they are defective. A part that does not work as expected can fail and cause a crash. For instance, up to 30% of truck accidents involve brake problems.
Indiana trucking accident causes

What Is the Basis of Truck Accident Claims in Indiana?

Trucking accident claims are almost always based on the legal principle of negligence. This means that the defendant acted in a careless manner that resulted in the injury of another.

There are four legal elements to establishing a claim for negligence:

  • Duty – The defendant had a duty to act in a safe manner to prevent injuring others.
  • Breach of duty – The defendant violated that duty by doing something or failing to do something required of the duty. 
  • Causation – The breach of duty was the immediate cause of the accident, which would not have occurred otherwise. 
  • Damages – You suffered damages for which the court can compensate you, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Another legal theory that may apply to truck accident cases involving defective products is strict liability. Product manufacturers have a duty to make products that are safe to use as intended. If you can prove the part was defective and caused the accident, you will not be required to show the manufacturer was negligent.

Who Is Held Liable in Indiana Truck Accident Cases?

One of the complications of truck accident lawsuits is determining who is responsible for the crash. Multiple parties may be responsible, such as the ones listed below.

Truck drivers can be held responsible for their own negligent actions. While truck driver negligence is often the first that comes to mind when it comes to such incidents, many drivers lack the resources to pay for the full extent of damages they cause. 

Trucking companies can be held responsible for the negligent actions of drivers they hire. They can also be held responsible for their own acts of negligence, such as:

  • Failing to properly maintain their fleet of commercial vehicles
  • Requiring drivers to violate trucking regulations, such as the hours of service rules
  • Hiring inexperienced drivers 
  • Keeping unsafe drivers on the road, such as those with known drug or alcohol problems
  • Not maintaining proper documentation that could alert them to problems

Manufacturers of defective vehicles could potentially be held responsible for accidents caused by the defect. The same applies to manufacturers of defective parts.

Mechanics that fail to repair or maintain a vehicle properly. Many trucking companies outsource mechanical work to a third-party company. If that company’s mechanics do not complete appropriate repairs and mechanical failure contributes to the accident, it could be held responsible for the resulting injuries. 

Government agencies sometimes use trucks that are involved in truck accidents, such as dump trucks, snow plows, school buses, or trucks operated by city employees. The governmental agency can be held responsible for the negligence of its employees. 

Proving Fault in a Truck Accident Case

Indiana is an at-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. This means that the party found at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the damages they caused. 

The state also uses a modified comparative fault system that applies if you contributed to the accident. Under this law, you can still recover compensation for an accident if you were partially at fault for it, as long as your portion of responsibility doesn’t exceed that of other defendants. However, your compensation will be reduced by your degree of fault. 

For example, if you are found 10% at fault and suffer $100,000 in damages, your settlement will be reduced by $10,000. 

Some of the evidence required to establish your claim that our Indiana truck accident lawyers can help you collect include:

  • The police report following the semi-truck crash
  • Witness statements
  • Event data recorder information 
  • Photos or videos of the accident scene
  • Damaged property and auto parts
  • Physical evidence such as skid marks and tire treads
  • Reports from accident reconstruction experts 

Trucking Company Regulations

Truck drivers in Indiana must comply with various regulations, including:

  • Drivers must maintain a commercial driver’s license. They must notify their employer of certain convictions and their previous employment history. They are subject to testing procedures and periods of disqualification for certain matters.
  • For-hire carriers with a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more that transport non-hazardous property are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 insurance. 
  • Maximum weights of 127,400 apply on Indiana roadways. Overweight permit rules apply. 
  • Primary components such as brakes, tires, lights, and emergency equipment must be inspected before each trip. 
  • Truck drivers are limited to driving 11 hours in a row after 10 hours off duty. They must also take a break after 8 straight hours of driving. 
  • Truck drivers must regularly inspect their loads, including before the trip and after driving for 150 miles, three hours, or in a change of status, whichever occurs sooner.

There are many other state and federal regulations that a trucking company and its drivers must follow that our Indiana trucking accident attorneys can use to further solidify your claim.

How Much Can Be Recovered in a Truck Accident Case?

There is no average settlement amount for personal injury cases involving commercial vehicles. The value depends on a variety of factors. An experienced lawyer can review your case and estimate its potential value based on its particular circumstance.

Here are some example settlements that our Indiana trucking accident attorneys have recovered on behalf of victims and their families:

  • $18.5 million for a head-on semi-truck accident that resulted in permanent injuries for our client
  • $14.1 million for the family of a slain motorcyclist after a truck driver turned into his path
  • $575 million for a man who suffered pelvis and leg injuries in a cargo unloading accident

Factors Affecting Truck Accident Settlement Amounts

The potential value of your claim will depend on the specific factors involved in your claim, including:

  • The type and severity of your injuries
  • Whether the injuries were permanent in nature
  • The costs and duration of your medical treatment
  • How much time you missed from work 
  • The extent of your pain and suffering
  • How the accident has affected your life
  • The available insurance coverage 
  • The strength of your evidence
  • Whether liability is contested

An experienced Indiana truck accident lawyer can evaluate your claim during a free case review. 

Commercial Truck Accident Victims and Injuries Suffered

Truck accidents tend to cause more severe injuries than those obtained car accidents primarily due to the weight and strength of the commercial vehicle. Injuries that a trucking accident victim might suffer might:

  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, such as quadriplegia or paraplegia
  • Amputations and loss of limbs
  • Complex fractures
  • Internal injuries, including damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, or spleen
  • Burn injuries
  • Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries

Our experienced Indiana truck accident lawyers can help you seek compensation for the damages you sustained. 

Indiana trucking accident injuries

What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Truck Accident Case?

Our Indiana truck accident lawyers can help you seek compensation for the full extent of damages you suffer in an accident. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to receive money for the following:

  • Past, current, and future medical bills
  • Loss of income, current or future
  • Costs to repair or replace your damaged vehicle 
  • Permanent disability, disfigurement, and scarring
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim

If an accident involving a commercial vehicle results in death, the victims’ families may be able to seek compensation and accountability through a wrongful death claim. This type of legal claim can help provide a sense of justice and financial security for a grieving family. 

Wrongful death damages that an Indiana personal injury lawyer can help you pursue include: 

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of society, consortium, and companionship 

How Long Does Settling a Truck Accident Case Take?

Trucking accident lawsuits are often complex, and you can count on your case taking over six months to settle. Various factors affect the timeline of your case, including:

  • The number of defendants
  • The identity of the defendants
  • The insurance companies involved
  • Whether you are represented by an experienced truck accident attorney
  • The nature and severity of your injuries
  • How long you take to recover from your injuries 
  • The strength of your evidence

Because evidence can quickly be lost, destroyed, or overwritten, it is vital that you contact an Indiana truck accident attorney immediately to preserve your rights.        

How Much Does Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers takes all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we only get paid if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. You don’t pay any money upfront, but we can get to work immediately on your claim. When we recover compensation, we receive a percentage of your award, as outlined in our agreement with you.

Filing a Truck Accident Claim With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

When you hire our Indiana truck accident lawyers, you can expect us to be with you during every step of the legal process, including:

  • Free consultation – Our law firm offers a free case review so that we can get to know you and explain your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation. 
  • Case investigation – We conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident to determine how it was caused and who is responsible for it. 
  • Evidence gathering – Our team will identify and preserve important evidence in your case, including the truck, vehicle parts, event data recorders, and witness testimony.  
  • Expert consultation – Because truck accidents can be complicated, it is often necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert to conduct experiments and prepare reports about how the accident likely occurred.
  • Insurance company negotiation – Insurance companies will try to protect their profits by denying or minimizing the value of claims, especially in cases that involve extensive damages. Our experienced truck accident attorneys will prepare a strong case for you and demand maximum compensation for your claim.
  • Preparation of a legal complaint – The litigation process officially begins with the filing and service of a legal complaint. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we can prepare your case for trial.
  • Trial – Even though, in most cases, our truck accident attorneys can resolve the matter before trial, our law firm is ready and able to take your lawsuit to court when necessary. 

Contact an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer Today!

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a commercial truck accident, reach out to Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for dedicated legal assistance. Our law firm has recovered over $450 million for our deserving clients. 

As your legal representation, we have the skill, knowledge, and experience to fight for the fair compensation you deserve. As we offer our services on a contingency fee basis, we can get started on your case with no risk to you. 

Call us toll-free at (888) 424-5757 or fill out our contact form to get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Resources: [1] WBIW, [2] AJOT

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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