Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer
The insurance company will do everything they can to deny or reduce your claim. However, involving truck accident lawyers with your truck accident case can maximize the amount of compensation you receive.
You need an experienced attorney who can handle these personal injury cases and get you the money you deserve. At the law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our legal team fights on behalf of injured parties to harm the negligent acts of others.
Contact a semi-truck accident attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,317 people died in big truck accidents in 2012.
That is the highest number of fatalities recorded in truck accident history, and it equates to one death every 53 minutes.
In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also reported that 431,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2012.
The following are some statistics that show how common severe injuries and deaths resulting from semi-truck accidents are:
- In 2012, there were 3,921 fatalities in crashes involving passenger vehicles and large trucks. It means that 93% of all fatalities in truck accidents that year were people in the other vehicle.
- Of the 4,317 people killed in truck accidents in 2012, 3,362 (78%) were occupants of another vehicle, 859 (20%) were occupants of the truck, and 97 (2%) were non-occupants.
According to data from the FMCSA, 25% of truck accidents in 2012 involved drivers who had prior convictions for violating safety regulations or other serious traffic violations.
Truck regulators report that, in 2012, large trucks were involved in 2% of all fatal accidents but accounted for 9% of all fatalities.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that most people killed in truck accidents are not drivers or passengers in the truck but rather drivers and passengers in other vehicles.
Considering this, all drivers need to be aware of the dangers posed by large trucks and take steps to avoid being involved in a commercial vehicle accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is essential to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
The attorneys at the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are experienced in representing victims of Indianapolis truck accidents and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Why Semi-trucks Are So Dangerous
Semi-trucks are dangerous because of their size and weight. They can easily cause serious accidents and even death when they collide with smaller vehicles.
In addition, their large blind spot makes it difficult for other drivers to see them coming, leading to accidents.
Due to their size and weight, semi-trucks can easily cause damage to other vehicles in a collision. A semi-truck can weigh up to 20 times more than a regular car.
When these trucks collide with smaller cars, the results can be catastrophic. The force of the impact can easily cause the smaller car to be crushed, and the passengers inside can suffer serious injuries or even death.
The large blind spot-on semi-trucks can also be dangerous. This area around the truck is difficult for other drivers to see, and it can easily cause accidents.
When a car attempts to merge into traffic and is in the blind spot of a semi-truck, the truck driver may not see them coming. As a result, it can lead to a collision, which can be very dangerous for the car.
In addition, the size of the truck can make it difficult for other drivers to see around it. As a result, it can also lead to accidents.
Truck Accident Causes
According to statistics, Indianapolis commercial vehicle accidents tend to occur for a variety of reasons:
Distracted driving is believed to factor in more than 5,000 crashes and nearly 400 fatalities each year.
Drivers who become distracted may wander into the adjacent lane or suddenly brake when they realize they are about to hit another vehicle.
In addition, studies conclude that drivers who talk on cell phones are at approximately the same risk of crashing as drunk drivers.
Drivers may also become distracted by billboards, passengers, cell phones, food, and engine noise. As a result, over 70% of truck accidents result from driver error.
Truck Size and Weight Limits
According to federal law, no more than ten vehicles are allowed on a "converter dolly" at one time. A converter dolly is a trailer used to transport multiple vehicles, and it can be up to 28 feet long.
In addition, federal law dictates the maximum weight for a truck and its cargo.
For example, a truck with a single axle cannot weigh more than 20,000 pounds, while a truck with a tandem axle cannot weigh more than 34,000 pounds.
The size of a truck is also limited. A truck cannot exceed a length of 60 feet, including the trailer. In addition, the width of a truck is limited to 8 1/2 feet.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
A cargo that is not properly secured can cause a truck to swerve or lose control, leading to an accident. In addition, an improperly loaded truck can cause the truck to become top-heavy and unstable, leading to an accident.
Driver fatigue is a common factor in truck accidents. Tired drivers may not react quickly enough to avoid a collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drivers who sleep for less than seven hours per day are twice as likely to be involved in a crash.
Truckers cannot drive more than 11 hours per day and must take a break for at least eight consecutive hours.
Driver error is the leading cause of truck accidents. Drivers may make a mistake while turning, changing lanes, or merging. They may also misjudge the distance or speed of oncoming traffic.
Inadequate Roadway Conditions
Poor roadway conditions can also lead to a truck accident. For example, roadways that are icy, wet, or covered in debris can cause a truck to lose control.
Adverse Weather Conditions
Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, can also lead to a truck accident. A fully loaded semi-tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds or more.
As a result, trucks can easily lose traction and skid when traveling on icy, slippery, or rainy surfaces.
Truck Accident Injuries
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were more than 4,000 fatal large truck-vehicle accidents and over 104,000 injuries resulting from large truck crashes in 2012.
Truck accidents can lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries, including:
- Scrapes and bruises
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Spinal cord injury
According to the CDC, more than 1.2 million people are injured in crashes involving large trucks each year. The injuries that are suffered in a truck accident can be catastrophic.
Semi-Truck Accident Evidence
Gather evidence that the truck accident scene often requires experienced investigators and crash reconstruction experts to recreate the accident.
In addition, trucking companies will often have their investigators on the scene looking to protect their interests.
It is essential to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.
Sometimes, the evidence a collect includes:
- Tire skid marks from the truck that caused the accident
- Truck's braking system
- Trailer damage and configuration
- Driving history of the truck driver(s) involved in the crash
- Photos of all vehicles involved in a crash, including passengers, occupants, or pedestrians injured in the truck accident
- Weather conditions at the time of the crash
- If a defective roadway or traffic control device was a factor in the accident, all maintenance records for that roadway or device
- The truck driver's logbooks, which document how many hours the driver has been on the road and when they last slept
- Video footage from nearby businesses or homes that may have captured the crash
A truck driver may be held liable for injuries caused by their negligence while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A semi-tractor-trailer is a large and dangerous vehicle, and when an impaired driver operates it, the results can be catastrophic.
Truck Accident Fatality
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of fatal accidents involving commercial trucks had risen significantly since 2009, when the regulations were relaxed.
Even though federal and Indiana laws help regulate the trucking industry, many trucking companies do not follow the rules. Victims of truck accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent disabilities or death.
About 6,000 motor vehicle drivers and passengers are killed in a commercial truck accident each year.
However, these semi-truck accidents account for 25% of the 34,000 annual fatalities across all modes of transportation.
Recent Catastrophic Indiana Trucking Accidents
The trucking industry has been especially horrific throughout Indiana in the last few years, with many innocent truck drivers, motorists, and passengers severely injured or killed on the interstate, freeways, roads, and city streets.
Unfortunately, many of these Indianapolis truck accidents could have been prevented had the driver followed traffic laws.
Some of the most recent catastrophic Indiana trucking accidents involve:
- In June 2020, an Indiana woman was killed in a horrific crash involving an 18-wheeler. The driver of the semi, who was hauling heavy equipment at the time, had previously been cited for moving violations by the police just days before the semi-truck accident.
- In 2017, another tractor-trailer accident in Indiana claimed a child's life and injured five people. The truck driver behind the wheel was charged with reckless homicide, causing serious injury when operating a passenger vehicle while intoxicated, and other charges.
- In April 2020, a family of four traveling through Indianapolis on interstate 70 were traveling from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. A truck driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed into the family's vehicle, killing them all.
The family's estate hired Indianapolis truck accident lawyers seeking financial compensation from the trucker, trucking company, and insurance companies associated with the commercial truck crash.
- In July 2020, a man was severely burned in an Indiana truck accident when his semi-trailer caught fire on I-465 northbound near Meridian Street. The 47-year-old victim suffered third-degree burns to over 75% of his body.
- In January 2020, a truck driver traveling on U.S. 31 in the evening slammed into the back of a motorcycle stopped at an intersection getting ready to turn onto hilly State Road 38 near Monrovia, Indiana. The man riding the bike died at the scene, and his fiancée was helicoptered to the hospital with serious injuries.
- In May 2021, a young man riding a motorcycle through Valparaiso, Indiana, was killed when a truck driver made an illegal U-turn in front of him. The man's family hired an experienced truck accident lawyerto file a wrongful death claim.
- In March 2020, a truck driver in Southern Indiana struck and killed a 52-year-old woman and her dog as they were out for a walk. The truck driverjumped the sidewalk in his 80,000 lbs. truck but did not brake. As a result, he was found guilty of reckless homicide, two counts of criminal recklessness, and other charges.
These are only a handful of the many catastrophic truck collisions that have taken place in 2019 and 2020.
Unfortunately, many of these crashes involving commercial vehicles were due to negligent truck drivers who failed to follow the law.
Truck Accidents: The Reality
As evidenced by the recent spate of truck accidents in Indiana, the reality is that semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and commercial trucks pose a significant risk to the general public.
While federal and state regulations exist to help truck drivers operate safely, many companies do not follow the rules.
It can have tragic consequences for innocent truck accident victims, including catastrophic injuries or death. In addition, victims are often entitled to pursue compensation for their pain and suffering.
Victims of commercial truck accidents can often not work due to their injuries. It can lead to the victim missing important financial milestones, including retirement and college funds for children.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim
Are you the victim of a truck accident claim, or did you lose a loved one through a trucker's negligence in a wrongful death accident? If so, filing a compensation claim can be complicated.
Under Indiana law, all victims or surviving family members must prove that the truck driver owed a duty to operate their vehicle safely, breached that duty, and caused the accident.
In addition, the victim must show that the incident caused them damages (injuries or property damage).
As it is difficult to determine who was negligent in an accident, it is often advised that victims speak to an attorney about their rights.
The attorneys at the Indianapolis law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are experienced in helping victims of truck accidents get the compensation they deserve.
Contact an Indianapolis truck accident attorney today for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Under Indiana law, surviving family members have the legal right to seek financial compensation for the preventable death of their loved one.
Typically, qualifying family members include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and siblings.
The legal remedy typically provides sufficient compensation to include:
- Medical bills and hospitalization costs
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Lost familial support
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before passing
- Pain, suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress of the family members who lost a loved one
Suppose the decedent failed to leave a will or designate the will's executor. In that case, the judge will likely appoint a personal representative to file the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family.
It is essential to understand that filing a wrongful death case can take time and is often a complex process. That's why it is necessary to have an experienced wrongful death attorney at your side.
The Indiana Statute of Limitations on Civil Compensation Cases
According to Indiana law, the injured party or surviving family members are restricted in the length of time they can file a compensation claim. The law allows the injured party to file a civil claim for compensation within two years of the incident.
If they fail to do so, the law allows the individual to file a claim within one year of an applicable statute of limitations expiring.
The Indiana Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Under Indiana law, the personal representative of a deceased victim has two years from the date of death to file a commercial truck accident lawsuit for the cause.
If they fail to do so, they may file a claim within two years from the date an applicable statute of limitations expires.
For example, if the deceased victim died on January 1, 2019, the personal representative would have until January 1, 2021, to file a lawsuit. However, if the personal representative fails to file a lawsuit by January 1, 2020, they may still file it until January 1, 2022.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations is paused by any legal action taken concerning the accident, such as filing a police report.
The Indiana truck accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
We have a team of experienced commercial truck accident attorneys who can help you file a claim for your injuries.
Call an Indianapolis truck accident attorney today at (888) 424-5757 to get started.
Hiring an Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer to Receive Compensation
Are you the truck accident victim with life-changing injuries, or did you lose a loved one in a catastrophic accident caused by another's negligence?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our truck accident lawyers are legal advocates for injured parties, working to ensure they receive maximum compensation for damages.
Call our legal team at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
We accept all truck accident cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.
This promise ensures you pay nothing until Indianapolis truck accident attorneys resolve your case through a jury trial or negotiate a fair settlement.