A tanker truck accident lawyer can help Indiana residents harmed in one of these destructive collisions. Tanker truck accidents are capable of disastrous injuries and damages. While government regulations exist to safeguard Indiana’s roads from catastrophic tanker truck accidents, they cannot prevent all calamities.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a tank truck accident in Indianapolis, find out how an experienced attorney can help.
Tanker Truck Accidents in Indiana
Tanker truck accidents are one of the most serious accidents on Indiana’s roads. Tanker trucks are large vehicles. A heavy-duty tanker truck can measure up to 100 feet in length for multi-trailer configurations and can transport 9,000 gallons of cargo. An accident with a vehicle of that size can be devastating regardless of what it transports.
However, tank trucks are dangerous for more reasons than their impressive size. Manufacturers build these trucks to transport liquid cargo. These liquids can be volatile or combustible, such as:
- Industrial chemicals
- Diesel fuel
- Agricultural chemicals.
A tanker truck accident can occur in various ways, including improper tank maintenance, errors in tank construction, failure to close a tank properly, and damage during an accident. These occurrences can lead to accidents, serious injuries, and death.
Sparks can fly when a tanker truck is involved in a collision with another vehicle, which could ignite the flammable liquid within the tanker. These tanker truck accidents may involve fires and explosions that can result in catastrophic injuries for everyone involved.
Because tanker trucks can pose a serious risk to all drivers on Indiana roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created a comprehensive list of regulations. These tanker trucking companies must comply with all regulations to operate in Indiana.
These regulations require tanker trucking companies to:
- Comply with federal regulations
- Hire skilled tanker truck drivers
- Conduct safety checks before and throughout transit
- Properly maintain their tanker trucks
- Limit tanker trucker drivers’ hours.
Unfortunately, sometimes tanker truck companies do not abide by these requirements, or they may incentivize their employees to bend the rules. When this happens, victims of tanker truck accidents may be eligible to file a lawsuit for their damages.
Consult with Our Indianapolis Tank Truck Accident Lawyer
Tank truck accidents can cause serious injuries and damages. If a tanker truck collision has harmed you or a loved one, you may have multiple legal options for pursuing justice. Our tanker truck lawyer in Indiana will sit down with you to discuss the pros and cons of each option and explain the implications of each.
Tank truck accidents are often traumatic, resulting in staggering medical bills, property damage, and mental and emotional trauma. You do not need to fight this battle alone. Our tanker truck accident attorney will answer all your questions and explain the process of filing this type of lawsuit, along with projected timelines and the potential damage awards and settlement offers.
Why Choose a Stephenson Rife Tanker Truck Accident Attorney
Stephenson Rife is an established Indiana law firm with experienced tanker truck accident lawyers. Our firm has been helping people throughout Indiana since 1976. Renowned for our dedication, preparation, and drive, you can be confident that our lawyers will pursue the results you deserve. We have been helping the greater Indianapolis and Indiana community for decades.
When our team enters the courtroom, our reputation for excellence proceeds us. The opposing counsel knows we will accept nothing less than the settlement you deserve. Failing that, they understand that we do not shy away from a trial. We pride ourselves on our dedication to justice and our clients’ rights.
Our past accomplishments prove our relentlessness in pursuing our clients’ best interests. Our law firm has recovered numerous verdicts and settlements for our Indiana truck accident clients. These compensation awards are in the tens of millions of dollars.
In one case, our law firm recovered a $48.5 million settlement for a client in a truck accident case. Our team took over 60 depositions across five states to prove our client’s case. Because of our firm’s tireless efforts, the party offered a reasonable settlement before the trial.
Tanker Truck Accident Damages
Following a tanker truck accident, there are usually damages, similar to other personal injury cases. These damages can include injuries and damage to the victim’s body, health, vehicle, personal property, earning potential, relationships, and mental health. Sometimes additional punitive damages are awarded by the court. Without damages, victims cannot file a legal claim.
If the negligent party caused a victim to suffer damages in the form of medical expenses or physical or mental pain, the court would acknowledge this. It is fair and just that the court should order the responsible party to compensate the victim for damages.
These damages can be divided broadly into economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Examples of damages that the Indiana court may compensate include:
- Medical expenses: Most injuries require medical treatment. Medical expenses can include hospital bills, medication expenses, physical therapy treatments, future medical expenses, medical devices, and other reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from the accident.
- Property damage: The tanker truck accident may have totaled your vehicle and any property within, such as a cell phone, laptop, or sporting equipment.
- Lost income: In a severe accident, the victim is unlikely to immediately return to work. If weeks of work are missed, this lost income may be recoverable. If doctors anticipate additional months of recovery before the victim can return to work, the damage awards can also include this amount of lost wages. Sometimes, an injury can result in a disability or impair the victim from ever returning to their profession, such as a pianist who loses a finger. The court will appropriately compensate these unfortunate damages, as well.
- Pain and suffering: This type of damage awards the victim for the physical pain and discomfort they have endured due to the accident. Like other non-economic damages, it is difficult to assign a dollar amount. However, courts will attempt to adequately compensate victims for these damages.
- Loss of consortium: These damages are awarded to the victim’s spouse, as the victim may no longer be able to provide the same level of companionship as before the accident.
- Emotional distress: The court bases mental anguish damages on the emotional trauma of the accident, such as suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or nightmares.
The court may levy punitive damages against the negligent party to punish them for their actions. These damages warn similar actors that the Indiana court system will not tolerate the same type of negligence as in your case. Courts do not regularly enact punitive damages against negligent parties, but these damages can be substantial when they do.
Many states, including Indiana, have damage caps on punitive damages. Indiana courts cap punitive damages at the greater of $50,000 or three times the amount of compensation from the economic and non-economic damages.
The court will order the liable party to compensate you for your damages to make you whole again. That is, to restore you to the place you were before the accident.
We understand that no amount of money can adequately compensate a serious tanker truck accident victim for loss of health, physical pain, and other damages. However, the courts in Indianapolis make a great effort to compensate victims appropriately.
How Our Indianapolis Tanker Accident Lawyer Helps Our Clients
The first step is contacting Stephenson Rife to arrange a free consultation. Our tank truck accident lawyer will speak with you during this complimentary, zero-obligation meeting. At this time, you will have the opportunity to have all of your questions answered, and your case will receive a preliminary analysis. Your attorney will provide a rough analysis of the strength of your case, whether it is eligible for representation via our firm, and the range of compensation you may expect if you pursue legal action.
It is important to note that no one can ever guarantee your case will win or the amount of damage awards the court will declare. However, if we accept your case, we are confident we can win. This is because we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we never charge our clients a fee unless we win. Our contingency fee is incredibly important to many clients who struggle with mounting medical bills and expenses in the wake of a devastating accident. Our contingency fee basis lowers your risk, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Contact our Indiana tanker accident lawyer at (317) 680-2350.
FAQs Answered by Our Indiana Tanker Truck Accident Lawyer
Stephenson Rife works with tank truck accident victims across Indiana. Many of them have similar questions regarding their accident and their upcoming lawsuit. The following are frequently asked questions regarding Indiana tank truck accidents and our attorneys’ answers.
When a tanker truck is properly operated, according to regulations, it should not pose a danger to other motorists. However, because these trucks are often filled with hazardous liquids, a relatively minor accident can quickly escalate into a raging fire or an explosion.
Tanker trucks can explode. Explosions are especially possible if the truck is transporting flammable or combustive substances. Even a relatively minor accident can create heat and electrical sparks. An explosion can occur if this heat source reaches the flammable substance within the truck’s tank. Even without a flammable substance, regular vehicles can explode under certain circumstances.
The value of your tank truck accident will be primarily based on the damages you suffered due to the accident. If you have medical bills and property damage, add that up. Next, consider whether you have missed wages or will continue to miss work in the future and add those amounts. You may receive additional damage awards if your injuries cause you physical suffering. Another award may be offered if you cannot provide the same level of companionship to your spouse. Likewise, if you suffer from emotional or mental health issues, such as depression, the court may issue an award for these damages, too. If the liable party was particularly reckless or negligent, the court may demand they pay punitive damages, which could triple your award.
Hiring a lawyer can be scary, especially when you are in debt from the accident. One solution is to hire a law firm that works on a contingency fee basis. Under this arrangement, you will not pay your Indianapolis tank truck accident lawyer anything unless you win. Instead, they will take a percentage from your damage awards when you win your case. This arrangement is helpful for victims who may otherwise be unable to afford to pursue justice.
According to Indiana law, IC 34-11-2-4, you must act quickly if you have been injured by a tanker truck accident in Indiana. You have only two years to file your legal claim before the statute of limitations runs out. After two years, you will be time-barred from pursuing legal action, with relatively few exceptions.
One of the main damages tanker truck settlements should cover is all medical bills related to your accident. However, you have full control over whether you wish to accept a settlement offer. Your tanker truck accident attorney may advise you not to take a settlement if it does not sufficiently cover your damages. However, accepting or refusing a settlement is ultimately up to you.
No two cases are the same, and sometimes there are exceptions to the rules. For the most accurate answers customized to your precise situation, contact Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2350 to discuss your Indiana tanker truck accident.
Get Help from Our Indianapolis Tank Truck Accident Lawyer
Your time limit for filing a tank truck accident is running out. The hardest step is making the first phone call. Once you speak with an Indianapolis tank truck attorney you can trust, we can handle the rest. Our lawyers answer your questions and pursue your case while you focus on your recovery. We will keep you in the loop of any developments and settlement offers the liable party may extend. Your lawyer will advise you of your legal options every step of the way.
Contact Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2350 to arrange your free consultation.
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 ]