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.
Our Indianapolis Delivery Truck Accident Attorney Can Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Getting compensation after a delivery truck accident requires knowledge and skill – our commercial vehicle accident law firm can help you get what you are entitled to.
The presence of delivery trucks in our society has been increasing rapidly with our changing lifestyles, and with it has come an increase in the number of accidents that involve delivery vehicles. Drivers who are under pressure to make deliveries quickly to multiple addresses are more apt to cut corners and make mistakes that lead to crashes that can cause life-changing injuries and fatalities. Survivors of these commercial vehicle accidents often face long, painful recoveries that require expensive rehabilitation and continuing care, and medical bills mount up at a time they are unable to work; some crashes result in death.
How Our Delivery Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a delivery truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. However, this is not something you should handle on your own. Indiana laws are complicated, and insurance companies are out for their own benefit and will try to get you to settle for as little as possible.
There are a large number of parties potentially liable for a delivery truck accident, often including major corporations and several insurance companies. These entities have high-powered lawyers on their side who are experienced in defending claims and lawsuits, and you need proper representation to fight for your rights and the settlement you deserve.
Fortunately, there is help available from the commercial truck accident law firm of Stephenson Rife, LLP. At this difficult time, when you are trying to recover from your traumatic accident, our delivery truck, dump truck, and big rig truck accident attorneys can take the burdens off you by dealing with the complex laws and multiple parties and insurers these cases involve. We understand the difficulties you and your family face, and we are deeply committed and fully prepared to handle all legal hurdles involved with proving liability and winning your case, so you can concentrate on your recovery.
Our team of delivery truck accident lawyers will provide a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident and determine the best way to move forward.
You pay nothing unless and until we win, so call us today at (317) 680-2350 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Our Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers Win Big
Our truck accident lawyers have won major settlements over the years. Here are some examples.
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.
UDF Delivery Truck Accident – Passenger Injury. D.W. was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations, and Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case. The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount.
How Our Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers Work for You
Our team knows when to bring a delivery truck accident lawsuit and how to win it.
Delivery truck owners and drivers have a duty of care not to cause harm, but drivers under pressure to get their work done are prone to stress, fatigue, distraction, and making errors that can lead to accidents. To win a lawsuit, your attorney would have to show that another party or parties were negligent and at fault for causing the accident, and therefore are liable for the damages you received. This can be complicated when delivery trucks are involved, depending on the circumstances.
A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is any vehicle used to transport goods or passengers for the profit of an individual or business. In cases where a delivery truck owned by a trucking company and one of its employees causes a crash, both the truck driver and the trucking company may be held responsible for the injuries caused to others. This is because employers are generally held responsible for the negligent conduct of their employees under a legal doctrine known as “respondent superior.” However, in some cases, the driver is an independent contractor, and only the driver may be responsible.
In addition, there are often other defendants who may be held liable in a delivery truck accident, and doing so involves identifying them and proving how they were at fault. For example, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts may be liable if there was an equipment failure that caused the accident; or a mechanic who failed to make repairs or the company that loaded the cargo could be responsible, if this was not done correctly. These parties may all have insurance and should be named in a lawsuit.
Our attorneys can help you win your delivery truck accident case by:
- Meeting with you, listening to your version of what happened, and determining whether you have a valid lawsuit and what the case should be worth.
- Thoroughly investigating your case by examining the crash scene, interviewing eyewitnesses and first responders, examining driver cell phone records and truck maintenance and employer hiring and training records.
- Gathering evidence to build your case such as photos and videos from traffic cameras; pictures of damage to vehicles and skid and tire marks; police, ambulance, doctor, phone, and hospital records; and past driver citations for violations such as speeding and safety violations.
- Hiring experts to testify on your behalf. These may include accident reconstruction experts and life experts who can testify as to the extent of your injuries, the costs and modifications to a home or vehicle to accommodate a disability, the effects on your earnings, the type of continuing care you may need in the future, and the physical and emotional effects of the accident.
- Negotiating with all insurance companies for a fair settlement. Insurance companies are out for their own profit and will attempt to get you admit fault or settle your case quickly for less than it is worth. Once you do, you will not be able to receive additional benefits should your injuries worsen. Our lawyers are familiar with these tactics and know how to deal with them, and insurance companies are more likely to take your case seriously if they know you have an attorney on your side willing to take your case to court.
- Building your case and preparing it for trial if necessary. If a fair settlement cannot be negotiated, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial. We will be there at every stage of the legal process, from filing pretrial motions, to discovery, to presenting evidence and making closing arguments, to filing an appeal.
It’s important to contact our delivery truck accident attorneys as soon as possible, while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found.
Our Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers Must Prove Negligence
In trucking accident cases, multiple parties may be negligent and held responsible for the damages you received. To prove these parties (the defendants in the case) were at fault legally, our attorneys must show 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 damages as a result.
Depending on the circumstances, liable parties in a delivery truck accident may include:
- The delivery truck driver
- Other negligent drivers
- The delivery trucking company
- The owner of the cargo
- The company that leased the truck
- Third-party contractors
- The manufacturer of the truck or its equipment or parts
- The mechanic responsible for maintaining the vehicle
- The government entity responsible for maintaining the road
- A road repair company.
Any or all of these parties may be at fault for contributing to the accident, and they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement award. Our attorneys would look to identify all responsible parties.
Our FedEx Truck Accident Lawyer Knows the Pressures Drivers Are Under
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates interstate commercial trucking companies and commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, including FedEx drivers who transport packages from state to state. In addition, FedEx must meet state regulations governing commercial motor vehicles, such as routine vehicle inspections and time limits on how long drivers may drive in a day.
With more and more people ordering online, FedEx drivers are pressured to meet deadlines by having a package delivered overnight, or even the same day. When drivers push to deliver faster and make more deliveries, they may cut corners and can easily make mistakes. For example, they may not secure packages properly or close cargo doors or set their brakes when they get out to leave parcels at someone’s door. Shortcuts taken become accidents waiting to happen, and trucks that may not be properly loaded or maintained add to the problem.
The size and force of FedEx trucks can cause significant damage in a collision with a smaller passenger vehicle or pedestrian. According to the FMCSA, which maintains records of vehicle accidents, commercial vehicle inspections, and safety violations by commercial driving companies, FedEx truck drivers are involved in hundreds of accidents each year. They have been issued citations for safety violations that include speeding, inattentive driving, failing to yield right of way, and texting while operating a vehicle.
Who Is Liable in a Fedex Lawsuit?
When a FedEx truck causes an accident, there are several parties who may be held liable. Depending on the circumstances, these may include:
- The FedEx driver. If the FedEx driver caused your accident, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver for injuries that you suffered in the accident.
- The supervisor at FedEx. Supervisors may be liable for an accident if they fail to properly supervise drivers and this leads to an accident. Examples include failure to take actions if a driver exhibits unsafe practices, such as getting a DUI (driving under the influence) or speeding ticket, or allowing drivers to exceed the number of hours allotted for making deliveries before taking a mandatory rest.
- FedEx. The company of FedEx may be held liable for accidents caused by an employee if that employee was acting in the scope of employment at the time of the accident. FedEx may also be liable for accidents due to negligent hiring, such as by hiring drivers without checking to see if they have a record for a DUI and the employee causes an accident due to intoxication. FedEx may also be held liable for an accident if the accident occurred as a result of failing to properly train an employee on tasks such as how to safely secure and handle packages while delivering.
Our UPS Truck Accident Lawyer Knows the Issues
United Parcel Service (UPS) delivers many packages state to state and therefore is generally regulated by safety requirements from the FMCSA, as well as Indiana state regulations. Like FedEx, UPS drivers are under pressure to make deliveries, drive many miles over long hours, and operate under stress and duress — all contributing factors to accidents.
Determining liability in a UPS accident is also complicated. Fortunately, UPS drivers are generally employees, and therefore the company can be held responsible for any resulting damages that occur because of the driver’s negligence while in the course and scope of employment. UPS may also be found negligent in situations such as if the company failed to properly hire, train or supervise its drivers, failed to properly maintain vehicles or provide adequate safety equipment, or created an environment where profit (speed or deliveries) is valued over safety.
Common causes of UPS truck accidents include:
- Failing to yield the right of way when leaving a driveway or merging into traffic
- Backing up too quickly or negligently reversing the UPS truck after completing a delivery
- Braking suddenly
- Making unsafe left turns
- Driving while distracted or impaired.
There are also situations that fall outside of a UPS driver’s scope of employment, such as an accident that occurs when the driver is using the UPS truck outside of work hours. If this is the case, UPS will argue that the driver was operating outside the scope of their employment, to avoid any responsibility for damages.
Our Attorneys Handle UPS Truck Accident Lawsuits
It is generally in your best interest to be able to hold UPS, rather than the driver, liable for your damages, as companies like UPS are required to carry larger insurance policies than the driver’s personal policy, and there are more resources to go after. The lawyers who work for UPS will try to prove the company was not liable, but our UPS accident lawyers in Indianapolis are prepared to negotiate aggressively for a fair settlement and fight to hold the company liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Our Amazon Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Over the past few years, Amazon has changed their system in order to make their own deliveries for purchases that are processed through their site, often through same-day and next-day shipping. Amazon truck drivers spend their time zipping along roads with trucks full of packages, and this can lead to fatigue and failure to pay attention to and abide by the rules of the road. Accidents with other vehicles and pedestrians may be the result.
Amazon has its own vans and semi-trucks as well as thousands of independent contractors who deliver for Amazon. These drivers use their personal vehicles to deliver on behalf of Amazon and are required to be self-insured. If the driver is an independent contractor, it can still be asserted that Amazon is liable due to the pressure it exerts on drivers that creates dangerous conditions on our roadways. If we can prove this is the case, Amazon should be held accountable for accidents that are caused by delivery vehicles working on its behalf.
Proving Liability in an Amazon Truck Accident Lawsuit
As in any delivery accident lawsuit, recovering compensation involves finding all parties at fault for the accident and proving them liable. When it comes to an accident with an Amazon truck driver, we would have to investigate to determine whether the driver was an employee or independent contractor. This means finding out who owns the delivery vehicle, whether the driver was on the job when the accident occurred, and what insurance policies are available.
Our DHL Truck Accident Lawyer Has Experience You Need
DHL Express is a Kentucky based company that specializes in the transport of general freight and parcels. It is one of the smaller interstate carriers, and, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the more than 1,500 drivers who work for DHL Express are often safer than many of their competitors. However, while it is among the safest trucking companies in the country, DHL drivers still make mistakes. As in the case of other delivery vehicles, when DHL truck drivers are involved in an accident in the course of their employment, the company can be held liable.
Our Delivery Truck Accident Attorneys Provide Answers to Questions
Because accidents with delivery trucks are complicated, it’s natural for accident victims to have questions and concerns. The following are some answers to questions our attorneys are frequently asked:
The average settlement in a truck accident includes an award for your compensatory damages. These are to cover both your economic or financial losses and your non-monetary damages that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life, and may include:
- Medical and rehabilitative bills and equipment
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in certain circumstances to punish negligent parties for willful negligence or especially egregious behavior and to act as a deterrent for similar misconduct in the future.
The amounts of damages you may be awarded after an accident with a delivery truck can vary greatly, depending on the circumstances of the case. In general, if your injuries involve permanent damage and require long-term care, or if a death is involved, it may result in a higher settlement. If there are multiple parties at fault and they all have insurance and/or assets, the settlement may be higher.
Insurance adjusters are not on your side, so the less you say to them, the better. While trucking companies are required by law to carry substantial insurance, insurance companies are interested in their bottom line and want to pay as little as possible. They may contact you and try to get you to say something that shows you were at fault or make a lowball offer to settle your claim quickly. Admitting to fault makes it very difficult to prove other parties’ negligence, and if you accept their offer, it may keep you from being able to receive the full settlement you are entitled to or to get anything more should your injuries worsen.
Tell the insurance companies to speak to your attorney, and let our delivery truck accident lawyers handle questions and negotiations. Once they know that there is an attorney at your side who is willing to go to trial, insurance company adjusters and lawyers are likely to take your case more seriously and come up with a legitimate offer for compensation.
When a delivery truck accident results in a death, our attorneys may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is similar to a personal injury case where the personal representative of the deceased person seeks compensation since the deceased can no longer do so.
The Indiana Adult Wrongful Death Act (AWDA), Indiana Code 34-23-1-2 provides that when a death is caused by the wrongful act or omission of another, the deceased person’s personal representative may maintain an action against the negligent party. Claims must be filed within two (2) years of the death, and the damages include reasonable medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses, and lost earnings of such deceased person.
In most cases, large commercial trucking companies and their insurance companies have a team of powerful injury lawyers, investigators, and insurance adjusters working to minimize your settlement. This is very difficult for an individual to go up against without the help of an attorney familiar with the laws and complications that a big rig truck lawsuit involves.
Our Stephenson Rife delivery truck accident attorneys work with investigators and experts in accident reconstruction to determine how your trucking accident occurred and who may have been at fault. We know the courts, the system, and how insurers operate and are fully prepared to find all potentially liable parties and hold them responsible for the optimum settlement you deserve. We will aggressively negotiate with insurers and take your case to trial if necessary.
Call Our Delivery Truck Attorneys in Indianapolis to Get Justice
Delivery truck accidents require extensive investigation and experience; the longer you wait, the more chances there are of evidence becoming stale, so contact our delivery trucking accident lawyers as soon as possible. In addition, there is a time limit for filing. According to Indiana Code (IC) 34-11-2-4(3), you must file a claim for personal injury or wrongful death within two years or the courts will not hear your case.
At Stephenson Rife, we have the experience to pursue positive results, no matter what legal challenge your delivery truck accident 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.
Find out what we can do for you by calling our delivery truck accident lawyers today at (317) 680-2350 for your free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no fees to you unless and until we win your case.
Table Of Contents
- How Our Delivery Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You
- Our Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers Win Big
- How Our Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers Work for You
- Our Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers Must Prove Negligence
- Our FedEx Truck Accident Lawyer Knows the Pressures Drivers Are Under
- Our UPS Truck Accident Lawyer Knows the Issues
- Our Amazon Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
- Our DHL Truck Accident Lawyer Has Experience You Need
- Our Delivery Truck Accident Attorneys Provide Answers to Questions