Our young client was extracted from her vehicle and taken for immediate surgery. The semi-truck driver testified that the accident was to due to our client’s distraction. We proved this testimony false by reconstructing a 16-camera video surveillance from the scene of the accident.
Our Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis Wins Compensation
Tractor trailers are large trucks with a trailer attached to the back. They are cumbersome and heavy, difficult to maneuver, take longer to stop, are prone to rollovers and may carry dangerous or toxic cargo. As a result, crashes with tractor trailers can cause devastating and life-changing injuries and even death. Survivors may face long, painful recoveries that require expensive rehabilitation and continuing care, and medical bills mount up at a time they are unable to work.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a tractor trailer accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through insurance or a lawsuit. However, winning compensation is not an easy process. Tractor trailer accidents are complicated by Indiana laws, and complex trucking rules and regulations from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and insurance companies will try to get you to settle for as little as possible. Parties potentially liable for the accident may include major corporations and multiple insurance companies well-experienced in defending claims and lawsuits. It takes a law firm experienced in tractor trailer truck accidents to go up against them.
Fortunately, there is help available from the commercial truck accident lawyers at Stephenson Rife, LLP. We have helped many victims of truck accidents and can do the same for you. For example:
We Won $48.5 Million
In this Truck Accident 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.
Let us 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 fully prepared to handle all legal hurdles involved with proving liability and winning your case, so you can concentrate on your recovery.
We provide a free consultation to evaluate your case 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.
How Our Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys in Indiana Work for You
When you retain Stephenson Rife, we will get to work to analyze and build your case immediately. We will:
- Meet with you to discuss the accident, determine whether you have a valid lawsuit, who the at-fault parties may be, and what a fair settlement would be
- Investigate the crash scene and gather evidence such as photos and videos from traffic cameras; police, ambulance, doctor, phone, and hospital records; the truck’s black box data; driver cell phone record; truck maintenance and employer hiring, training and safety records
- Interview eyewitnesses and first responders
- Hire experts to reconstruct the accident and experts to testify as to the costs and extent 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
- Deal will all insurance companies for each defendant, and negotiate with them for a fair settlement
- Build your case and take it to trial if necessary.
We will be there for you at every stage of the legal process, from filing pretrial motions, to discovery, to presenting evidence and making closing arguments, to filing an appeal, if necessary. Call today at (317) 680-2350.
Tractor Trailer Lawsuit in Indiana
Our Tractor Truck Accident Lawyers Must Prove Negligence
Proving negligence is essential in any tractor lawsuit. The trucking industry is governed by state regulations, and trucks that engage in interstate commerce must adhere to federal regulations as well. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rules (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Title 49, Parts 350-399) for driver’s license standards, safety and fitness procedures, maximum hours truckers can drive, and for inspection, repair and maintenance of vehicles. When regulations are not adhered to, the responsible parties can be found negligent and liable for damages.
To prove 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.
In trailer truck accidents, there may be multiple parties who were negligent and may be defendants in the case. Depending on the circumstances, liable parties may include:
- The truck driver, who might have been distracted or fatigued
- The trucking company that might have failed to train and supervise the driver properly
- The owner of the cargo, if this was loaded incorrectly
- Third-party contractors and other negligent drivers
- The manufacturer of the truck or its equipment or parts, if these were faulty
- The mechanic responsible for maintaining the vehicle
- The government entity or road repair company responsible for maintaining the road.
Any or all of these parties may have contributed to the accident, and our trailer truck accident lawyers would look to name them as defendants as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement award.
Damages Tractor Trailer Lawyers in Indiana May Recover
In a successful tractor trailer lawsuit, our attorneys may help you recover an award for compensatory damages. These cover both your economic damages for specific monetary losses and your non-economic damages for losses that may not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life. These may include:
- Medical and rehabilitative and equipment costs
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Loss of consortium and enjoyment of life.
In some rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish negligent parties for willful negligence or especially egregious behavior and to act as a deterrent for similar misconduct in the future.
We obtained a settlement of $5.3 million for the family of a father and son who were killed.
Stephenson Rife obtained a settlement of $5,350,000 for the family of a father and son who were killed when their vehicle was rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer at highway speeds. Stephenson Rife worked quickly to preserve critical evidence, including the download of the semi’s electronic control module the semi driver’s cell phone. Through the collection of this evidence, it was determined that the cruise control for the semi was set to 65mph and no braking or evasive action was taken by the driver of the semi until after impact. The team at Stephenson Rife, along with its experts, were able to utilize the driver’s cell phone activity in the week prior to the crash to establish that the driver had likely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Tractor Trailer Truck Accident Attorneys Provide Answers to Questions
After a traumatic truck accident, it’s natural 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:
There is no average amount of damage awards in a successful truck accident case, since every situation is so different. Awards may range from the thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances. Factors which may affect a settlement amount include:
- Extent and permanence of your injuries and whether you will need continuing care
- Lost earnings and whether you will be able to work in the future
- Your age, earning potential, and family situation
- Costs of your losses
- The insurance coverage available
- Whether the accident resulted in death
- The individual jurisdiction, judge, and jury, if there is a trial
- The skill and negotiating power of your attorney.
Trailer truck accidents often involve major injuries and property damage and multiple defendants, so damage awards tend to be higher. Our Stephenson Rife trailer truck accident lawyers know from experience how much compensation you should receive based on the individual factors involved and will fight for optimum compensation.
The less you say to insurance companies, the better. While trucking companies are required to carry substantial insurance, insurance companies are working to make profit, not for your benefit. If you accept their first offer, which is most often a low one, you may lose your rights to seek full compensation at a time when you may not even know the full extent of your injuries. In addition, they may try to get you to say something that shows that you were at fault, which makes it very difficult to prove other parties’ negligence. Tell the insurance companies to speak to your attorney, and let us handle questions and negotiations.
When a truck accident results in 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 (Indiana Code 34-23-1-2). Claims must be filed within two 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 of trailer truck cases. Our Stephenson Rife attorneys know the system and how insurers operate. We work with investigators and experts in accident reconstruction to determine how your trucking accident occurred and who was at fault and will take your case to court if necessary.
At Stephenson Rife, our team is here to answer all your questions and concerns and will keep you informed all through the legal process.
Call Our Indianapolis Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys in Indiana for Help
At Stephenson Rife, we have the experience to pursue positive results, no matter what legal challenge your 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.
Do not delay. It takes time to investigate and build your case, and we want to get started while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found. In addition, there is a statute of limitations – 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.
Find out what we can do for you by calling us today at (317) 680-2350 for your free consultation. You have nothing to lose, as there are no fees to you unless and until we win your case.
”I have worked with this firm closely for several years and love the care and commitment they bring to every facet of their personal injury work. Stephenson Rife has true direction and organization that enables the firm to succeed in any endeavor they undertake.” – Hallie Huff (Google Review)
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 ]
Table Of Contents
- Our Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis Wins Compensation
- We Won $48.5 Million
- How Our Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys in Indiana Work for You
- Tractor Trailer Lawsuit in Indiana
- Damages Tractor Trailer Lawyers in Indiana May Recover
- Tractor Trailer Truck Accident Attorneys Provide Answers to Questions
- Call Our Indianapolis Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys in Indiana for Help