Truck Accident Attorney Indianapolis
Indiana lawyer handling tractor-trailer accidents, commercial truck accidents in Indianapolis and throughout the Hoosier State
Truck accidents in Indiana often result in serious injuries or fatalities. You might pass by a big rig and not realize that the truck weighs 20 times more than your vehicle. Without question, the size of tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and many other types of trucks means accidents are generally severe. The massive forces involved in a crash often results in significant damage in accidents involving other vehicles on I-65, I-69 in Indianapolis or another road somewhere in Indiana.
If you've been injured in an accident caused by a truck, you and your family need to make sure your accident receives the attention it rightfully deserves. This includes the proper medical care and financial compensation for your losses.
Dealing with commercial truck accidents can be very complicated. Fortunately, you don't have to deal with your accident on your own. Indiana truck accident law firm Hocker & Associates, LLC can help you every step of the way. Our law firm employs many skilled Indiana truck accident lawyers, including Brett E. Osborne, who has more than 22 years of legal experience.
It's important to understand that trucking companies and their insurance carriers often send investigators to the scene of an accident within hours of the crash. Their goal is to scour the scene for evidence that can minimize the liability of the trucking company.
By contacting our law firm as soon as possible after the accident, you can have your own investigator working on your behalf. Our team can go to the scene and find evidence that will build a strong case and maximize your compensation.
What are common causes of truck accidents in Indiana?
Commercial truck accidents in Indiana happen for many different reasons. Some of the most common causes include:
- Distracted truck drivers - Texting while driving, looking for directions on a GPS and eating while driving are just some of the ways truck drivers fail to pay attention while driving in Indiana. Texting while driving is against the law nationwide for all commercial truck drivers. Unfortunately, some truck drivers ignore this law and cause serious texting while driving accidents.
- Impaired truck drivers - Whether it's drinking while driving or taking various drugs in an effort to stay awake, impaired truck drivers often cause serious accidents involving other vehicles.
- Overloaded trucks - A fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. But some trucking companies may exceed the allowable limits for semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. The problem with an overloaded truck? The big rig is more prone to experiencing any number of problems, including brake failure and the inability to stop in time. The truck may rollover while the driver is negotiating a sharp turn or the truck may jackknife in an accident.
- Poor truck maintenance - Trucking companies need to properly maintain their fleet of trucks. When they fail to do so, accidents may occur for any number of reasons: brake failure, tire blowouts and other often preventable problems.
- Speeding truck drivers - Speed limits exist to keep roads and highways safe. When truck drivers exceed the speed limit, they increase their chance of causing an accident. These negligent drivers may not have time to stop if there is a sudden traffic slowdown. Speeding is a top factor of accidents on I-70, I-74 and other major highways in Indiana.
- Truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel - Many commercial truck drivers drive much longer than they're legally allowed (strict federal laws exist governing how long truck drivers can drive) in an effort to make more money or make up lost time. The trucking companies may be aware that a driver has broken the rules, but they may turn a blind eye because they want to generate more profits. Trucking companies may even order truck drivers to work longer hours. Whatever the reason, many truck drivers often fall asleep at the wheel, causing serious truck accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates the trucking industry, spells out how long drivers can stay behind the wheel. We are well-versed in these hours-of-service regulations (as well as other FMCSA rules) and will hold negligent truckers and trucking companies accountable.
What types of truck accidents can Hocker & Associates, LLC handle?
No two truck accidents are ever exactly the same. But many truck accidents have many factors in common. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
- Head-on truck accidents - Distracted truck drivers and drivers asleep at the wheel may cause head-on truck accidents.
- Jackknife truck accidents - Term used to describe truck accidents involving a tractor-trailer's cab and trailing folding in on each other.
- Rear-end truck accidents - Contributing factors can include texting while driving, speeding and reckless driving.
- Rollover accidents - Speeding, overloaded trucks and reckless driving often play a role in rollover truck accidents.
- Under ride truck accidents - Phrase used for cars that travel under a tractor-trailer.
How are truck accidents different from car accidents?
Unlike some car accidents, you're not simply dealing with another driver and that driver's insurance company. In most cases, you also will need to deal with the trucking company that employs the driver and possibly other companies as well. These entities can include a separate company that loaded the truck or the company that manufactured the truck.
In each case, each company will likely have at least one attorney working for them. Dealing with all these companies and all these lawyers can be overwhelming and intimidating. That's why it's critical that you have an experienced Indiana truck accident attorney working for you, looking out for your best interests.
Another difference between car accidents and truck accidents involves the rules and regulations governing commercial truck drivers and trucking companies. Many federal laws apply to semi trucks and 18-wheelers that don't apply to cars. These include required training for drivers, mandatory routine maintenance and maintaining official records verifying compliance with such regulations.
Furthermore, trucking companies act quickly after one of their drivers cause an accident. They typically send investigators to the scene. Their goal is to limit the role the driver (and trucking company) played in the accident.
Why do I need a truck accident attorney to handle my case?
By contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your accident, you can level the playing field. With Hocker & Associates on your side, we will demand access to trucking company records to verify whether they followed the rules and regulations. If the company's records don't seem to match up with the condition of the vehicle or the number of recorded miles, we can also challenge the accuracy of such records. We frequently consult with outside experts, such as accident reconstruction engineers, to prove our position.
Don't simply assume you will be fairly compensated by the trucking company or its insurance company just because a commercial truck driver clearly caused your accident. Large corporations often do everything within their power to protect their profits.
You have rights. We can fight for them. Contact our Indianapolis truck accident law firm and schedule a free consultation. Call (317) 578-1630. We can meet with you in our one of our three offices in Indiana, your home, your hospital room or wherever's convenient for you. You decide.