Collisions involving commercial trucks, 18-wheelers and semis destroy the lives of far too many families and individuals here in Indiana and across the nation. In the Hoosier State alone, over 150 people lost their lives in truck accidents in 2017. Thousands more were injured.
Even when not fatal, truck accidents can be devastating, often causing severe injuries and extensive property damage. The emotional and financial impacts can be just as damaging. This is especially true if victims are left with irreversible injuries that limit their mobility, prevent them from working and/or require long-term medical care.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are unsafe lane changes, improper passing and turning, following too closely, unsafe backing, failing to yield and speeding too fast for the weather conditions. The most deadly and dangerous roads for auto accidents in Indiana are the I-80/94/90 corridor, I-70, I-65, U.S. 20, U.S. 30, U.S. 41, Highway 60 and Indiana Highway 2.
At Finderson Law, our Fort Wayne personal injury lawyers understand the difficulties that truck crash survivors can face. We also know how to confront and overcome these challenges to help survivors with their financial recovery. Taking the initial step to contact us and learn more about your legal options can make a massive difference in the strength and outcome of your potential claim.
Do I Have a Truck Accident Claim?
Whether or not you are entitled to damages after a truck accident will largely depend on the causes of the crash and whether you are found to be fully or partially at fault. For truck accidents (and other types of auto accidents), Indiana follows a modified comparative fault (51 percent bar) rule. This means that you are only entitled to damages for a truck accident as long as your fault in the crash is 50 percent or less.
In other words:
The best way to find out if you have a valid Indiana truck accident claim is to contact Finderson Law.
How much time do I have to file a truck accident claim in Indiana?
In most personal injury cases (including truck injury lawsuits), you have 2 years from the date of an accident to file a claim against the negligent party. This deadline, known as the “statute of limitations,” is strictly enforced and there are few exceptions. The sooner you talk to one of our attorneys, the more time we have to determine if you have a claim and build a strong case.
Who’s Liable for a Truck Accident?
One of the factors that make truck crash injury lawsuits more complex than other types of cases is that multiple parties can be held liable for the truck accident, depending on the exact causes and circumstances of a given wreck. In general, these liable parties may include (but may not be exclusive to):
Truckers can be at fault when their impairment, distraction, fatigue, noncompliance with trucking regulations or other negligent actions contribute to crashes.
Other drivers on the road can cause truck accidents when, for instance, they fail to comply with traffic laws or they fail to properly respond to the changing driving environment.
Motor carriers can be liable for truck crashes when, for example, they hire unqualified drivers, they fail to maintain their trucks or they fail to abide by trucking regulations. Shippers or truck brokers may be liable if they hire unqualified truckers.
Manufacturers of faulty truck equipment can be liable for truck crashes when equipment malfunctions and causes wrecks.
Governments and Municipalities
Cities (or other government entities) can be liable when a failure to maintain safe roadways causes truck wrecks.
Other Third Parties
Other parties not listed above may also be liable, depending on the details of a crash.
In some cases, more than one of the above parties can be liable for a single truck accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help You with a Truck Accident Claim
After a truck wreck, our attorneys can help you in a number of ways. At Finderson Law, we will:
- Carefully investigate the facts of your accident
- Gather the necessary evidence to back up your claim
- Determine who’s liable for the wreck and if you are entitled to compensation for your crash-related injuries and losses
- Explain the law, your rights and the available legal remedies
- Prove how the other party is liable for the accident to judges and juries
- Protect your rights and fight to hold the negligent party (or parties) accountable
- Help you secure the maximum compensation possible for your damages
Type of Truck Accidents
Our Fort Wayne lawyers are experienced at representing clients in various types of truck accident claims, including (but not exclusive to) those involving:
- Jackknife truck wrecks
- Rollover truck accidents
- Runaway trailers
- Underride truck accidents
- Truck equipment failures
- Multiple vehicles
- Fatal crashes
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Statistics show that a majority of fatal and serious truck accidents happen on rural roads, highways and interstates, which means medical help may be miles away and take a long time to arrive at the accident scene. During this waiting period, a person’s injuries may worsen their long-term health outcome and even result in death.
Some of the most common types of truck accident injuries are:
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis)
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe burns
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts, bruises and lacerations
- Rib and torso injuries
- Wrongful death
Shocking Truck Accident Statistics
Here are some shocking and unfortunate statistics according to the latest data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- In 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9-percent increase from 2016.
- The number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 42 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009 (though, in context, the 2017 number is still 7 percent lower than the 21st-century peak of 5,231 in 2005).
- From 2009 to 2015, the number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 62 percent. From 2016 to 2017, large truck and bus injury crashes increased by 4 percent (from 112,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2017).
- Of the approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017, there were 4,237 (1 percent) fatal crashes and 344,000 (23 percent) injury crashes.
- Single-vehicle truck crashes (including crashes that involved a bicyclist, pedestrian, non-motorized vehicle, etc.) made up 20 percent of all fatal crashes, 15 percent of all injury crashes and 23 percent of all property damage only in 2017. The majority (63 percent) of fatal large truck crashes involved 2 vehicles.
- Singles (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 59 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2017.
- Approximately 57 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 27 percent occurred on Interstate highways and 13 percent fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.
- Thirty-five percent of all fatal truck crashes, 22 percent of all injury crashes and 20 percent of all property damage only truck crashes occurred at night (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.).
- The vast majority of fatal crashes (83 percent) and nonfatal crashes (88 percent) involving large trucks occurred on weekdays (Monday through Friday).
- The vast majority (82 percent) of fatalities in truck accidents were not occupants of the large truck.
Indiana Truck Accident Injury Guide
You probably have lots of questions and we have answers! Since every case is different, it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney near you for advice and guidance on your unique case. Here at Finderson Law, your first consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose and much to gain by contacting us.
In the meantime, we invite you to browse the articles and resources below for more answers, information and advice.
- What are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
- What are Common Truck Accident Injuries?
- Why are Truck Crashes More Complex than Car Accidents?
- What are Federal & State Trucking Laws?
Here’s a look at the major steps and generalizations on timing. As always, talk to your attorney for insights on your own case.
Contact a Fort Wayne Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck wreck, we invite you to meet with one of our Fort Wayne truck accident lawyers to get answers about your potential claim. With more than 25 years of experience helping clients resolve their important legal matters, our attorneys are skilled problem solvers who work tirelessly to help injured people build the strongest possible claim, navigate the recovery process with minimal stress and anxiety and secure the best possible outcomes and maximum available recoveries.
At Finderson Law, you can count on receiving the highest quality representation and personal legal service—regardless of the value of your claim. We don’t charge any fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. This means that you have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain by contacting us to find out more about your legal options.
We’ve helped and satisfied hundreds of clients. Our history of providing the highest quality legal services —and delivering exceptional results—has earned us 5-star ratings on Facebook and Google. From our office in Fort Wayne, we are proud to represent clients throughout Allen County and the state of Indiana.
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