We Won $48.5 Million in a Truck Accident Case
In this case, we took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.
Box trucks are a common sight on Indiana roads, as they are cost-efficient and help companies move their cargo on time. With their prevalence comes a larger number of accidents, especially since drivers are often under pressure to make deliveries quickly.
Accidents may include other motorists, bicycle riders, and pedestrians, who may be left with life-changing injuries, facing long and painful recoveries that require expensive rehabilitation and continuing care. In addition, household and medical bills mount up when it may be impossible to work, and severe injuries may lead to death.
Suppose you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in an accident with a box truck due to another party’s negligence. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a lawsuit. However, winning a settlement on your own is not easy, as Indiana laws are complicated, and insurance companies will try to deny claims or get you to accept a settlement for less than your case is worth.
In addition, truck accidents are further complicated due to the number of parties potentially liable for the accident, which may include major corporations and insurance companies with high-powered lawyers well-experienced in defending claims and lawsuits.
Fortunately, you do not have to fight for fair compensation alone. The experienced box truck accident lawyers at Stephenson Rife, LLP, are ready to help. When you have us on your side, we will take the burdens off you by dealing with all legal hurdles involved with proving liability and winning your case so that you can concentrate on your recovery.
We provide a free consultation to discuss your accident and determine the best way forward, so call us to get started today.
Our Box Truck Accident Lawyers Help You Win Compensation
Why Choose Stephenson Rife?
When selecting an attorney to represent you, it’s important for you to find one who not only feels comfortable with you but who has the resources and qualifications needed to win optimum compensation.
Here are some reasons why we think you should choose Stephenson Rife:
- We are experienced. We have been meeting the needs of people throughout Indiana since 1976. Attorney Mike Stephenson has 40 years of experience handling injuries and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies.
- We get results and win large settlements, such as the $48.5 million we won in a truck accident case. We have a strong record of success in a wide range of personal injury cases. You can read our clients’ testimonials and their cases.
- We handle all required legal requirements, forms, paperwork, and court appearances.
- We deal and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement, so you won’t have to.
- We are recognized for our expertise and are the law firm that other law firms consult.
- We offer free initial consultations to get you started.
- We are able to provide cost-effective legal services to keep fees low and work on a contingency basis, so you pay us nothing unless we win and you get your money.
How Our Box Truck Accident Lawyer Works for You
When investigating any truck accident case, time is of the essence in order to find and preserve evidence. So, when you have Stephenson Rife on your side, we will get to work for you immediately. We will:
- Meet with you to hear how the accident happened, who the at-fault parties may be, and what the case should be worth
- Make sure you get proper medical care and that everything is documented
- Thoroughly investigate your case by examining the crash scene, interviewing eyewitnesses and first responders, and examining driver and cell phone records, truck maintenance, and employer hiring and training records
- Gather evidence to build your case, such as photos and videos from traffic cameras; pictures of the damage to vehicles and skid and tire marks; police, ambulance, doctor, phone, and hospital records; and past driver citations for speeding and safety violations
- Hire experts to reconstruct the accident and testify as to fault and life-care experts to testify as to the extent and costs of your injuries, the effects on your earnings, the care you may need in the future, and the physical and emotional effects on you and your family
- Handle all correspondence and negotiate with the insurance companies for each defendant for a fair settlement
- Build your case, take it to trial, and advocate on your behalf if necessary.
Box Truck Accident Attorney Must Prove Negligence
A box truck, also called a “straight” or “cube truck,” is a commercial motor vehicle in which each axle — from the tip of the cab to the rear of the trailer — is connected by a single frame. into which cargo is loaded.
Due to the fact that even when fully loaded, most box trucks don’t exceed 26,000-pound gross combined vehicle weight thresholds, they are allowed to be operated by drivers that don’t possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
As a result, these drivers often do not have the training and skills that a commercial license provides. Whether due to lack of training, speeding and cutting corners to make deliveries quickly, or driving while intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted, box truck accidents are often caused by driver negligence.
However, there may be other negligent parties that contributed to the accident and can be held liable in a lawsuit.
These may include:
- The trucking company that failed to train, supervise, or investigate the driver
- The owner of the cargo, if this was not loaded properly
- The manufacturer of the truck or its equipment or parts, if these were defective and failed
- The mechanic, who is responsible for maintaining the vehicle, if a repair was not made correctly
- The municipality or road repair company responsible for maintaining the road, if there were problems such as potholes or debris, or equipment left in lanes
- Other negligent drivers involved in the crash.
To win your personal injury lawsuit, our Indiana box truck accident lawyers would have to prove that another party or parties were negligent and at fault for causing the crash and should therefore be held liable for the damages you received.
Any or all these parties who may be at fault for contributing to the accident should be named as defendants in the case, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go towards a settlement award.
Proving fault legally means showing the existence of the following elements:
- Duty: The defendant owed you a duty of care not to cause harm.
- Breach: The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act.
- Cause: This action or failure to act caused a crash and your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered actual damages as a result.
Our legal team would do this by thoroughly investigating the case and collecting evidence, finding all liable parties, and hiring experts to provide testimony as to fault and damages.
Damage Awards in Box Truck Accident Claims
In a successful case, Indiana allows accident victims to recover an award for compensatory damages. These are meant to cover both your economic damages for monetary costs and losses and your noneconomic damages for losses that may not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life.
Economic damages may include:
- Medical, therapy, and rehabilitative equipment costs
- Loss of wages and future earning capacity
- Property damage.
Noneconomic damages are for nonmonetary losses such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in certain rare circumstances to punish negligent parties for willful negligence or especially egregious behavior, and to act as a deterrent for similar misconduct in the future.
Call Our Box Truck Accident Lawyers in Indiana for Help
At Stephenson Rife, we have the experience to pursue positive results, no matter what legal challenge your case involves. We provide caring, confident, and cost-effective service you can count on, which is why we are the law firm that other law firms consult.
Box truck accidents require extensive investigation and experience, and the longer you wait the more chances there are of evidence being lost, so the sooner our commercial trucking accident lawyers are working for you, the better.
In addition, Indiana has a statute of limitations for filing (Indiana statute §34-11-2-4) that is generally two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit and two years to file a wrongful death claim from the day of the death. If you fail to file on time, the courts are unlikely to hear your case.
We work on a contingency basis, so there are no fees to you unless and until we win your case, so call us for your free consultation today.
FAQs about Box Truck Accidents
Attorneys Answer Common Questions
After a traumatic box truck accident, you are bound to have questions and concerns. These are best addressed at your free consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our attorneys are frequently asked:
How much will my damage award be?
Damage award amounts in a successful box truck accident case may vary from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances. In general, if your injuries involve serious or permanent damage and require long-term care, if a death is involved, or if there are multiple parties at fault with insurance and/or assets, the award amount may be higher.
Should I talk to the insurance companies?
No, the less you say to insurance companies the better. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible and will try to deny claims or trick you into saying something that makes it seem as if you are at fault. Tell the insurance companies to speak to your attorney, and let Stephenson Rife handle all dealings and negotiations.
What if I did something to contribute to the accident?
You may still collect damages if your fault is not greater than fifty percent (50%) of the total fault involved in the incident, according to Indiana’s modified comparative negligence statute (Indiana Code Title 34, Section 51-2-5, et seq.). However, the damage award will be reduced according to the percentage of fault you bear.
What if a loved one died from the accident?
If the accident results in death, Indiana’s wrongful death statute (IC 34-23-1-2) allows the personal representative of the deceased to file a wrongful death suit for damages for medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses as well as compensation for loss of love and companionship and lost wages and reasonable attorney’s fees.
When you have our Stephenson Rife lawyers working for you, we will always be there to answer your questions and keep you informed throughout the entire legal process.
Attorney Mike Stephenson
Attorney Mike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, just to name a few. Mike is a proven advocate and trial attorney. He has served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and has handled litigation in 18 states. [ Attorney Bio ]