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.

Experienced Indianapolis Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyer

When a semi-trailer or huge flatbed truck is overloaded or improperly loaded and exceeds weight limits set by federal and state laws, it can pose a serious hazard to other motorists. This practice of carrying excessive cargo makes these large vehicles challenging to manage, frequently resulting in severe rear-end crashes, jackknifing, and rollovers, which can have catastrophic consequences.

There are also “oversize” loads on large trucks transporting massive equipment and building materials; they must display signage, safety flags, or other alerts and take special care when on the road. Overloaded trucks can spell disaster in high winds, when speeding, or in rain and snow when visibility and braking ability are diminished.

You may be entitled to financial compensation if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a collision with an overloaded truck. This is especially true if someone else’s negligence caused the accident. If your incident involved a UPS vehicle, consulting a UPS truck accident lawyer could provide specific expertise in this area. Stephenson Rife overloaded truck accident lawyers in Indianapolis, can explain your legal rights to you and assess whether you might have a successful claim.

Contact Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2350 to book a free phone, video, or in-person consultation.

Why Choose Stephenson Rife After An Overloaded Truck Accident?

Commercial trucking companies and drivers may employ various strategies to evade accountability for expensive damages resulting from trucking accidents. These maneuvers might include interference with or outright destruction of evidence. This underscores the importance of promptly contacting our Stephenson Rife attorney who focuses on truck accidents.

  • Specialized Expertise: We have a team of seasoned attorneys adept in handling truck accident cases, particularly those involving overloaded trucks. This specialization equips us with an in-depth understanding of the intricate regulations governing the trucking and transportation industries. Our expertise enables us to effectively investigate, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Resources and Network: Overloaded truck accident cases often require access to a network of experts, including accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and industry consultants. We have established relationships with many experts, enabling us to assemble a strong team to support your case effectively.
  • Comprehensive Investigation: After an overloaded truck accident, a thorough investigation is essential to determine liability and establish the cause of the accident. Our overloaded truck accident lawyers conduct comprehensive investigations, collaborating with accident reconstruction experts, forensic specialists, and industry professionals to uncover critical evidence. This meticulous approach strengthens your case and positions you for a successful resolution.
  • Negotiation and Litigation Skills: Whether pursuing a settlement or taking your overloaded truck accident lawsuit to court, we excel in negotiation and litigation. Our overloaded truck accident attorneys are adept at engaging with insurance companies and opposing parties to secure fair settlements. In cases where a settlement cannot be reached, our trial experience and litigation skills ensure that your interests are vigorously represented in court.

You need an experienced Stephenson Rife Indianapolis overloaded truck accident attorney to handle your overloaded truck accident case. Contact Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2350 to schedule a free phone, video meeting, or in-person consultation.

Types of Overloaded Trucks

An overloaded truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis describes common scenarios.

We’ve all seen those mammoth 18-wheelers on the road carrying oversized loads. They are often wide and take up more than one lane. The law frequently requires them to have flags, flashing lights, or signage identifying them as “oversize.” These are meant to alert and protect other motorists. There are many types of overloaded trucks hauling large objects and materials, such as . . .

  • Logs and timber
  • Modular homes
  • Enormous machinery
  • Electrical transformers
  • Farming equipment.

There can also be semi-trailers that are loaded with too many consumer goods that are over the weight limits set by state and federal law. These illegally overloaded trucks pose a serious hazard because the cargo can shift unexpectedly, the trailer can jackknife or tip over, or braking distances can be impaired. In such situations, consulting a cement truck accident lawyer can be crucial to address any legal complexities. Other things that can contribute to oversize truck accidents include driving on a steep grade, tire blowouts, or sharp curves on an interstate.

There are many reasons a trucking company might overload a truck. It could be because they are careless, hurrying to transport as many goods as possible to meet deadlines, or their truck scales are defective or poorly maintained. Whatever the reason, their negligence can result in disaster for other unsuspecting motorists on the road.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Freight Management and Operations, federal law controls maximum gross vehicle weights and axle loads on interstates. Federal limits are 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight; 20,000 pounds on a single axle; and 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group. There are also federal standards for the length and width allowable on interstate roadways.

Stephenson Rife has been enormously successful in winning truck accident cases. We recently recovered $48 million in damages for one of our clients.

When Can I File an Overloaded Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Proving who is responsible for an overloaded truck crash.

You can file a lawsuit in court if you have suffered injuries in a crash with a flatbed truck carrying timber, a modular home, large machinery, or any other type of oversized load. If you are looking for legal assistance in such a case, consulting a fatal truck accident lawyer is a crucial step. You can also file an overloaded truck accident lawsuit if you’ve been injured in a crash with a semi-trailer over the weight limits set by federal law. The trucking company is responsible for ensuring these large loads are tied down, are within legal weight limits, and meet state and federal safety requirements. They must also ensure that their drivers are sufficiently trained and possess the proper commercial vehicle license.

In any truck accident case, Stephenson Rife will prove that the driver, trucking company, and/or truck manufacturer was negligent. For the defendants to be found negligent and at fault legally, an overloaded truck accident lawyer in Indiana must show the following four elements:

  1. Duty — The defendant owed you a duty of care not to cause harm.
  2. Breach — The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act.
  3. Cause – This action or failure to act caused a crash and your injuries.
  4. Damages — You suffered damages, monetary or otherwise, as a result.

How to Choose the Best Overloaded Truck Lawyers in Indiana

The skilled and experienced attorneys at Stephenson Rife are among Indiana’s best-overloaded truck accident lawyers. We are fierce and determined when representing our clients and willing to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies to secure the best financial awards possible. When considering Stephenson Rife first, choosing the top overloaded truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis is easy. You can learn more about our experienced legal team by reading our attorney bios. You can also see what our many satisfied clients have to say about our exceptional legal services by reading their testimonials.

How We Can Help

The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming in the aftermath of an overloaded truck accident. When facing such circumstances, seeking expert legal help is important to protect your rights and receive fair compensation for your damages. Here is how Stephenson Rife an experienced Indiana truck accident attorney, can help.

  • Establishing Liability: Proving liability in overloaded truck accidents can be complex, often involving multiple parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance personnel, and even manufacturers. We will identify all responsible parties, meticulously analyze records, conduct background checks, and employ expert witnesses when necessary.
  • Determining Full Damages: The aftermath of an overloaded truck accident often entails a wide range of tangible and intangible damages. We work closely with medical experts, economists, and other professionals to assess the full extent of damages suffered by our clients. From medical expenses and property damage to lost wages and pain and suffering, we ensure that no aspect of your losses is overlooked when seeking fair compensation.
  • Thorough Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We are well-versed in the intricacies of overloaded truck accidents and the specific regulations governing the trucking industry. Our skilled investigators work diligently to gather vital evidence from the accident scene, including photographs, witness statements, and data from electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs). This meticulous approach ensures that all crucial elements of the accident are documented, bolstering the foundation of your case.

Common Injuries in an Overloaded Truck Crash

A box truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis explains serious injuries that arise in overloaded truck accidents.

When an overloaded truck in Indiana crashes into a passenger vehicle, it’s almost always passengers in the smaller car or SUV who are injured. That’s because cars, SUVs, and motorcycles crumple under large trucks’ extreme weight and size. Common injuries in truck accidents include:

  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Burns
  • Internal bleeding
  • Concussions
  • TBI
  • Road rash
  • Cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds
  • Organ damage
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death.

Some of these injuries can heal with medical treatment and rehabilitation, but others cause lifelong impairment and a devastating loss in quality of life. You can be compensated for all you’ve lost if you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence.

Can You Sue a Trucking Company for an Overloaded Truck Accident?

Absolutely. You will often name a trucking company as a defendant in an overloaded truck accident lawsuit. Even if a truck driver error caused the accident, he or she is an employee of the trucking company, and the company is responsible for training all of their drivers. Accidents can be caused by driver fatigue, intoxication, disobeying road signs, speeding, wrong-way turns, failure to yield the right of way, and many other mistakes by a truck driver.

In some instances in Indiana, the accident can also be caused by a mechanical or electrical defect in the truck itself. When this happens, you can also sue the truck manufacturer. The trucking company’s failure to conduct routine maintenance can also cause a crash.

A lawyer at Stephenson Rife will name as many defendants as appropriate in your overloaded truck accident lawsuit. Contact us today at (317) 680-2350 for more information.

Damages That Can Be Awarded in an Overloaded Truck Accident Claim

If you’ve been injured in a crash with an overloaded truck in Indianapolis, you may be entitled to compensation, including economic and non-economic damages. Some of these are:

  • Lost wages and future lost earnings
  • Doctor, hospital, rehabilitative, and equipment costs (current and future)
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Anguish and emotional distress
  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

If the disregard for safety was particularly egregious, a court could also award punitive damages in addition to the damages above. This financial compensation is meant to punish the trucking company or truck manufacturer for their irresponsible conduct and to have a chilling effect on other companies that might be tempted to put profits over consumer safety.

You’re in Good Hands with Stephenson Rife

The overloaded truck accident attorneys at Stephenson Rife have won large settlements for injured clients who have suffered after being hit by a truck. Some of our most notable settlements include:

  • $48.5 million in a case that involved 60 depositions in 5 different states
  • $2 million in a case where a passenger in a vehicle was injured when struck by a delivery truck
  • $250,000 in a case where a young woman sustained severe injuries when a semi-truck pulled out in front of her vehicle
  • $6.5 million for a victim with brain injury in a garbage truck accident
  • $3.97 million for a family of a man killed in a tractor-trailer crash.

A highly experienced Indianapolis overloaded truck accident lawyer can interview witnesses, gather evidence, and build a powerful case on our client’s behalf.

Overloaded Truck Accident FAQs

An Indianapolis overloaded truck attorney provides answers to commonly asked questions.

Clients who are dazed and in shock often have multiple questions when they or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash. Following are answers to some common questions:

How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

The good news is that our attorneys work on contingency, meaning we don’t get paid until you get paid. The defendant pays our attorneys’ fees as part of a settlement agreement or jury award. If you do not win your claim for some reason, then you owe us nothing.

Will I have to testify in court?

Many Indiana lawsuits result in financial settlements rather than jury trials, so no one testifies. If your case is litigated because an insurance company will only offer low-ball dollar amounts, then your attorney will advise you about the best approach to building a courtroom strategy.

What happens if a loved one is killed in the crash?

Fatalities frequently happen in Indianapolis truck accidents because overloaded trucks are much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles. The individuals in the smaller vehicle suffer the greatest injuries and fatalities when these crashes happen. You can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages if your loved one died in an accident.

How much can I get in damages for a truck accident?

There is no “average settlement” for an overloaded truck accident – or any personal injury accident — because each case is different, and the dollar amount depends on the facts in the case. Generally, the more severe the injury, the bigger the payout. This is particularly true if several people are injured and/or if someone dies.

Should I talk to the insurance company if they show up at my house?

If it is your insurance company, you can comfortably talk to them and succinctly answer their questions. If it’s the trucking company’s insurance company, then say nothing and refer them to your lawyer. Some trucking companies will come directly to you and offer you a check to settle your claim – a strategy that benefits them but rarely benefits the plaintiff. Do not accept or cash such a check. Tell your lawyer immediately. These offers are almost always significantly less money than your attorney can negotiate on your behalf.

Does Stephenson Rife only represent clients in Indianapolis?

Stephenson Rife represents clients throughout the state of Indiana. We have tried cases in many jurisdictions. Whether you’re in a small town or a large city, our skilled and experienced overloaded truck accident attorneys can aggressively represent you and get the justice you deserve.

What is the statute of limitation governing overloaded truck accidents?

In Indiana, truck accident or personal injury claims typically have a statute of limitations of two years, commencing from the accident date.

You may be entitled to financial damages to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other difficulties caused by the crash.

Indianapolis Overloaded Truck Accident Attorneys at Stephenson Rife Have the Answers

Do you still have questions? We’ve got answers. An Indiana overloaded truck accident lawyer at Stephenson Rife would gladly offer you a free consultation about your situation and determine whether you have grounds for a legal claim. We treat our clients with compassion, understanding, and a deep commitment to their well-being. Clients and their families are important to us, and we do our best to accommodate their needs, communicate frequently, and explain their legal options. Our team is talented, astute, and aggressive in representing clients who deserve justice. Call us at (317) 680-2350 to learn more. We won’t rest until the guilty parties are held accountable.

Attorney Brady Rife

Attorney Brady Rife has developed a diverse civil litigation practice for plaintiffs throughout Indiana. Brady is heavily involved in serious personal injury matters, complex business and commercial disputes, and insurance litigation in state and federal courts. Some of the firm’s most successful cases include winning a $48 million settlement against a large corporation in a fatal vehicle crash in New Mexico and a $14 million dollar settlement against a national trucking company in Illinois. The firm handles cases across the United States. [ Attorney Bio ]