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, with medical bills mounting 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 the 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 an experienced tractor trailer accident lawyer at Stephenson Rife, LLP. Contact our office for a free consultation today and learn more about the value of your insurance and civil claims, who could be held accountable for your damages, and what to expect from the commercial truck accident claims process.

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, and 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 with 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.

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.

Tractor Trailer Lawsuit in Indiana

Our Tractor Truck Accident Lawyers Must Prove Negligence

Proving negligence is essential in any tractor truck 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.

Cause and Fault for Tractor Trailer Accidents

Establishing the cause of your tractor trailer accident will help us reveal the identity of anyone and everyone who may have contributed to your damages:

Top Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents

To determine who is at fault for your collision, we will begin our investigation by figuring out what caused the accident. Most trucking accidents are caused by negligent driving. Some examples of negligent or irresponsible driving could include:

  • Driving over the speed limit
  • Failure to stop
  • Making unlawful turns
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Failure to yield
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Tailgating
  • Drunk or drugged driving.

However, negligent driving is not the only cause of commercial truck accidents. When parts are defective or malfunctioning, road conditions are dangerous, or loads are not properly secured, catastrophic crashes can occur.

Some of the truck parts that could be defective are:

  • Steering columns
  • Gas lines
  • Fuel tanks
  • Braking systems
  • Tires
  • Airbags.

Some examples of dangerous road conditions include:

  • Lack of sufficient street lighting
  • Failure to repair roads
  • Failure to repair or replace defective traffic lights
  • Failure to properly secure road construction zones.

Liability for Your Damages

In tractor 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 Victims in Indiana May Recover

In a successful tractor trailer accident 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 to similar misconduct in the future.

Truck Accident Wrongful Death Damages

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 and the semi driver’s cellphone.

Through the collection of this evidence, it was determined that the cruise control for the semi was set to 65 mph 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 cellphone activity in the week prior to the crash to establish that the driver had likely fallen asleep at the wheel.

More Of Our Case Results

Tractor Trailer Truck Accident FAQs

After a traumatic truck accident, it is natural to have questions and concerns. These are best addressed at your initial case evaluation, but we have provided some answers to questions our attorneys are frequently asked regarding tractor-trailer accident insurance and civil claims below. If you have additional questions we do not cover here, make sure to contact our legal team so we can address your concerns during a free consultation.

What Is An Average Amount For Damage Awards?

There is no average amount for damages after a tractor trailer accident. Any results you may find online are dramatically skewed by substantially lower and higher payouts. The best way to find out how much you could expect to be awarded for your tractor trailer accident injuries is by going over your losses in detail with your personal injury lawyer. This way, you can find out exactly how much compensation you should recover for your economic and non-economic damages.

Should I Talk to Insurance Companies?

It is never a good idea to talk to the insurance company unless you have discussed what to say with your tractor trailer accident lawyer first. Unfortunately, insurance companies are profit-hungry. They will do everything possible to reduce payouts.

For this reason, you should avoid speaking with the insurance company if at all possible. Instead, have your attorney provide the insurer with the information they need. If you do need to speak with the insurance company, keep it strictly factual, never express guilt or fault for the accident, and do not speculate.

What If a Family Member Dies In A Truck Accident?

If you lost a family member in a tractor trailer accident, we would like to express our sincere condolences. Our team may be able to help you bring the responsible party to justice by pursuing a wrongful death claim. Only specific parties have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, so be sure to discuss your legal options with an attorney.

What is The Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims in Indiana?

Do not delay. It takes time to investigate and build your case, and we want to get started while the 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.

Why Do I Need to Have An Attorney?

Having a tractor trailer accident attorney in Indianapolis on your side is an invaluable resource that could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. When you are still healing from your injuries, you will not have the time, energy, or legal experience needed to go up against profit-driven insurance companies or build a powerful case against the liable party. We can handle the legalities of your case so you can spend more time with your family and start to rebuild your life.

We can also ensure you are not taken advantage of. We will make sure you understand the true value of your claim so you can seek maximum compensation for your damages. Without a legal advocate working for you, the insurance company could attempt to trick you into settling for less than you deserve.

Call Our Indianapolis Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys in Indiana for Help Today

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.

Find out what we can do for you by calling us today at (317) 680-2350 or filling out our quick contact form for your free consultation with an experienced Indianapolis tractor trailer accident lawyer from our firm. You have nothing to lose, as there are no fees to you unless and until we win your case.

Client Testimonial

”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 ]