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Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me

Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me

Fully-loaded large trucks weigh over 80,000 pounds. Furthermore, government bureaucrats routinely allow drivers to haul double trailers and wide loads even if they have no additional qualifications. Due to the ongoing truck driver shortage, many of these drivers barely qualify as professional drivers under Indiana law, and many have little or no practical experience behind the wheel. Complicating matters even further, many truck drivers are out-of-state residents who have nebulous relationships with the shipping company or another firm that employed them.

The dedicated attorneys at Holland & Holland fully understand all the intricacies involved in large truck crashes. Our professional team knows how to investigate complex facts, apply the right kinds of laws, and boil the matter down to something a jury can understand. This approach always results in maximum compensation for victims.

Establishing Liability in Indianapolis Truck Crash Claims

Until recently, unraveling the facts in a truck accident case was an incredibly time-consuming and uncertain process. Technology and additional government oversight have changed the face of these wrecks.

While the victim’s own testimony and supporting statements from eyewitnesses are important in these claims, they sometimes take a back seat to technological evidence. Jurors expect to see this type of information. Additionally, it is almost impossible for insurance company lawyers to successfully challenge device-related evidence, assuming the gadget was working properly.

So, it is more important than ever to use technology-based evidence whenever possible. Some common examples in truck wreck claims include:

  • Event Data Recorder: All commercial trucks have EDRs. Much like the black box flight recorders on commercial jets, EDR’s track and record numbers like vehicle speed, steering angle, and engine RPM. These things are often critical in vehicle collision cases.
  • Electronic Logging Device: Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem in Indiana. ELD’s are attached to the drivetrain, so these gadgets provide irrefutable evidence of truck driver rest periods and related items.
  • Dash Cam: Not all commercial trucks have dash-mounted video cameras, but a great many do have them. These cameras are useful in distracted driving cases.

In many cases, insurance companies “accidentally” destroy important physical evidence in a claim. So, Indianapolis personal injury lawyers promptly send spoliation letters. These letters create a legal duty to preserve physical evidence.

As mentioned, many commercial tortfeasors (negligent drivers) are from out of state. Obtaining foreign driving records is a cumbersome process. Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains a truck driver database. This database includes information about crash history, prior traffic tickets, substance abuse issues, and other vehicle collision-critical information.

Due to privacy laws, much of this information is sealed. Therefore, an Indianapolis personal injury attorney generally needs a court order to access it.

Who is Responsible for Damages in Indiana Truck Crash Cases?

Many times, truck crashes cause serious burns and other catastrophic injuries. Quite often, individual tortfeasors do not have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate victim/plaintiffs. So, third party liability rules such as respondeat superior often loom large in these claims. According to this legal doctrine, shipping companies and other employers are responsible for the negligent acts of their drivers and other workers if:

  • Employee: Independent contractors and owner-operators may not be employees for tax purposes, but they are employees for negligence purposes. The transportation company or other employer dictates things like hours worked, and that control is all that is necessary.
  • Scope of Employment: Even if the tortfeasor was driving an empty truck to the garage, that act is within the scope of employment. In that situation, the driver was performing a service which benefited the employer, and that is the only requirement.

Indiana is a modified joint and many liability state. So, if there are multiple responsible parties, the judge usually apportions damages among them based on their percentage of fault.

Reach Out to Dedicated Attorneys

Serious truck accidents often mean significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, contact Holland & Holland. We do not charge upfront legal fees in injury cases.

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