Have you been hurt in a serious trucking accident or has a relative been injured in a crash with a semi-truck? If so, you have found a personal injury law firm well equipped to help and willing to fight for you. We understand that you have questions. We have the answers. For a deep dive into how our Merrillville truck accident lawyers from The Law Offices of David W. Holub help you after a crash, read on.

What makes truck crashes so different from other motor vehicle accidents?

Commercial Trucking Industry Rules and Regulations

Many of our client cases involve a collision involving a semi-truck or what some people call a tractor-trailer and still others describe as 18-wheelers. Car-truck collisions (and semi-truck to semi-truck collisions as well) often lead to permanent injury, catastrophic injury, or death. Large trucks frequently weigh 60,000 pounds or more and carry hazardous materials.

As noted above, the danger posed by trucks is a consequence of vehicle speed and vehicle weight. The Department of Transportation estimates that there are more than 500,000 trucking accidents every year in the United States. The majority of truck accidents are due to driver fatigue, as well as driver inattention and error, and failure to properly maintain equipment, especially failure to maintain brakes. We have even pursued trucking companies for punitive damages for failing to screen drivers as required by Federal Motor Carrier Regulations.

The federal government strictly regulates the industry, ensuring compliance with traffic and safety laws. There is a wide range of regulations, from vehicle maintenance and alcohol and drug testing to hours of duty and more. The public can access the full list of statutes, available for review at 49 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 300-399. Instances of truck drivers, their employers, and third-party entities handling maintenance or the loading of cargo must adhere to the following regulations:

  • Trucking companies must ensure employees comply with the laws and sentencing requirements for violations
  • The federal government prohibits anyone from enforcing or encouraging another to adhere to the statutes
  • Commercial truck drivers must request of a copy of their driving record annually for review
  • Trucking agencies must keep up-to-date records of each trucker working for them
  • Businesses must carry out regular maintenance and keep records on file in case state or federal agencies request them for review
  • Truckers must do pre-trip and post-trip inspections daily, including testing the breaks to ensure the vehicle is always in safe working order
  • A commercial truck with defects or mechanical issues cannot operate until the vehicle receives service and repair
  • While it is the operator’s responsibility to comply with safety regulations, such as completing inspections, it is their employer’s responsibility to ensure their employee understands and follow it
  • Transportation companies must never let new hires operate vehicles without confirming the operator knows the location and usage of the mechanics and safety equipment

A semi-truck crash lawyer in Merrillville knows these regulations and how to determine if the accident happened because of non-compliance.

Establishing Liability for Truck Accidents

As with all personal injury lawsuits, the claimant must establish the defendant’s liability to win a settlement. However, there is a significant difference between commercial truck suits and other cases.

The case could list multiple parties as defendants, requiring extensive research and investigation. Some potential parties who may be defendants in the lawsuit include the trucker, trucking company, maintenance company, vehicle manufacturer, and other third-party agencies.

Potential Recoverable Damages

The civil court judge and jury awards damages based on proof of out-of-pocket monetary losses, such as by reviewing receipts and medical records. They also consider the defendant’s negligent actions and how the plaintiff will continue to suffer from their injuries throughout life. These damages often include:

  • Medical care for treatment of injuries related to the crash
  • Salary or wages the plaintiff loses while seeking medical care or recovering at home
  • Earning potential and loss of benefits, such as health insurance
  • Home renovations and transportation costs for healthcare, if necessary
  • Mental anguish, including psychological and emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Permanent disfigurement and disabilities
  • Pain and suffering

A Merrillville truck collision attorney from The Law Offices of David W. Holub could use our years of experience to advocate for a just damages award for the plaintiff.

Investigation and Preparation

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident while driving a semi, or from colliding with a semi, tractor trailer, or 18-wheel truck, it is essential to consult legal counsel experienced in dealing with the myriad of issues and complexities posed by collisions involving trucks.

These type cases almost always require an attorney who has a team with experience in accident reconstruction, analysis of driver logs and DOT qualification files, and obtaining data from the on-board event record (black box) available on most modern tractors. We have such a team and stand ready to serve when you need our assistance.

Call a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney in Merrillville Today

Injured parties must hold them accountable when truckers or other parties connected to the industry are negligent and cause harm to others. The gigantic size and weight of the vehicles make crashes particularly severe for everyone involved.

Unfortunately, even though there is a much lower percentage of truck crashes than regular passenger car crashes, a substantial number of truck crashes are fatal. The most effective way to collect the compensation is by seeking guidance from an experienced Merrillville truck accident lawyer. Call us today and schedule a time to review your case.

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