Trucks are a big part of what makes Greenwood work. So many of the supplies that locals rely on each day arrive on trucks. Trucking is essential to the operations of major Greenwood employers like Amazon, Milwaukee Electric Tool, and Nachi America. But while trucks can enrich our lives, they can also put them at risk when a serious accident occurs.
At three tons, the average pickup is at least twice the weight of standard cars, while large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers on Indiana roads can legally weigh as much as 127,400 pounds, making the impact of even a low-speed collision potentially catastrophic.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one out of every nine deadly traffic accidents involves a large truck. Another study ranked Indiana as the ninth most dangerous state for truckers, with trucks accounting for 11.8 percent of vehicles associated with life-threatening Indiana crashes in 2020. Even non-fatal truck accidents can inflict devastating injuries that may stretch a family’s resources to the breaking point.
To protect your loved ones in the wake of a truck accident in Central Indiana, turn to the Greenwood truck accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, where we have been standing up for the rights of the average Hoosier for more than 25 years.
For a free case review with a knowledgeable Greenwood truck accident lawyer, please call us at (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete our contact form.
Common Causes of Indiana Truck Accidents
Despite their larger dimensions and specialized features, trucks and semi-trailers are still driven by people, who are prone to make mistakes just like the drivers of any other kind of vehicle. The Indiana University Public Policy Institute found that 65 percent of all auto accidents in the state are the result of unsafe driver actions, which may include:
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely (“tailgating”)
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper passing or overtaking
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
These are some of the leading causes of traffic accidents involving all types of vehicles, not just trucks. However, the demands of the trucking industry can make its drivers more likely to engage in certain hazardous behaviors, particularly when it comes to fatigued driving.
Most American motorists spend less than 51 minutes on the road each day, but truckers are behind the wheel the majority of their working lives. The United States Department of Transportation only permits truck drivers to work for 14 hours a day, with no more than 11 of those hours spent driving, but the pressures of earning a living may motivate truckers to exceed the legal limits on their time. This can negligently impact a truck driver’s ability to concentrate, react, or even stay awake, sometimes with tragic consequences.
In addition to driver error, malfunctioning parts or vehicular defects can be significant factors in truck accidents as well, including:
- Failing brakes
- Broken signals
- Fading headlights
- Tire tread separation
- Snapped tow hitches
- Jackknifing trailers
- Improperly secured cargo
Regardless of the cause of a truck accident, the outcome can be dire for everyone involved. The Greenwood personal injury attorneys at our firm are highly skilled at getting you the resources you require after a collision.
Who Is at Fault for a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents present some of the greatest challenges in personal injury litigation because of the number of parties that may be involved, especially when a truck or tractor-trailer is being used for commercial purposes at the time of a crash.
In addition to the truck’s driver and its owner (if different from the driver), the company deploying the truck could potentially be liable in the event of an accident (assuming the company is not the truck’s owner).
There are about 15,820 trucking companies currently located in Indiana, transporting 417,500 tons of manufactured goods in the state each day. These companies have an obligation to make sure their drivers are trained to operate trucks safely and follow all applicable state and federal laws. They further have a duty to routinely inspect and maintain their trucks so that they do not experience preventable malfunctions that inflict harm. Putting unsafe drivers or vehicles on Indiana roads could make these companies culpable for any injuries sustained.
If a trucking company employs outside entities to load or maintain its trucks, they could also share a level of responsibility when there is an accident. Improperly loaded cargo may shift during travel and throw off a truck’s balance, causing it to tip over or jackknife its trailer into a passing vehicle. Similarly, a poorly maintained truck may be more likely to break down while in use, precipitating a crash.
Additionally, if a truck accident is caused by a defective part, such as a brake failure or a tire blowout, the manufacturer or distributor of that part could be held accountable for the damages incurred.
As you can see, many different parties could be at fault in a truck accident, and every one of them needs to be identified and pursued within the time allotted by law, known as the Statute of Limitations. The Statute for a truck accident in Indiana is typically two years, though it can be much shorter when a government vehicle or agency is involved. Failure to file suit or otherwise resolve a claim against everyone responsible before the Statute expires could forever bar a plaintiff from obtaining full and fair compensation.
How Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
A truck accident can be cataclysmic, leaving victims to cope with skyrocketing medical bills and other unforeseen expenses while potentially hindering their ability to go to work. In an instant, they could find themselves careening towards disaster.
When the worst happens, you need attorneys who can guide you on the troubled roads ahead and steer you back on the path to recovery. In short, you need the Greenwood truck accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group.
Since 1998, we have devoted our practice to helping honest Indiana residents just like you who have been injured through no fault of their own. We won’t let the intimidation tactics of billion-dollar corporations and insurance giants prevent us from doing everything within our power to get justice for our clients.
If you decide to retain our firm, we will conduct a comprehensive investigation to identify and pursue everyone who may be at fault for your truck accident within the time permitted by law. Furthermore, our team will work tirelessly to amass the evidence needed to support your claim, including:
- Police reports
- Traffic citations and dispositions
- Eyewitness accounts
- Crash scene photos
- Traffic light, dash cam, and surveillance videos
- Black box data
- Driver histories
- Maintenance logs
- Phone records
- Accident reconstruction and forensic analysis
After putting together the best case possible against every defendant, we will attempt to negotiate a settlement that takes into consideration the entirety of your losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional trauma
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Punitive and wrongful death accident damages (if applicable)
If we do not receive an offer that reflects your claim’s true worth, we are more than willing to go to trial to obtain a verdict or judgment that does, unlike many of our competitors, who rarely, if ever, step foot inside a courtroom.
Every case is different, but rest assured that our Greenwood truck accident lawyers will always strive to get you the maximum amount of compensation for yours.
You Pay Nothing If We Don’t Win
We understand that you may be worried about additional expenditures when you can probably least afford them, so you may be pleased to learn that our firm works on a contingency basis. This means you will pay us nothing if our Greenwood truck accident attorneys don’t win your case.
Hensley is committed to putting itself on the line with you. Just like your struggles are our struggles, your success will be our success.
Contact a Greenwood Truck Accident Lawyer
Hensley Legal Group has been the voice of the everyday people of Indiana for over a quarter century. If you have had your world turned upside down because of someone else’s negligence, contact a Greenwood truck accident lawyer to learn how to set it right again.
Call (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-cost consultation with a dedicated truck accident attorney today.
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