Why Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Experienced truck accident attorney, Lee Christie, who has won several truck accident cases for his clients for millions of dollars, explains that if you have been involved in a semi-tractor collision, it is a serious matter. Insurance companies and truck companies have teams that are out on the scene immediately interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, destroying evidence, or preserving evidence. So you need an attorney that’s going to have a team of their own team of accident reconstructionist investigators. We’ll get out to the scene because all semi-tractors have black boxes and there’s an amazing amount of data that’s available on the black box or the electronic control module.

At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we are members of several trucking litigation groups with the American Association of Justice. We are members of the Association of Trucking Accident Attorneys. Lee Christie has been a member of both of those organizations for over 10 years and specializes in trucking and semi-tractor collisions. If you have been involved in a truck accident, time is of the essence. You need to contact Lee at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, and we will get a team immediately on your personal injury case to make sure that you are fully protected. We have won several large multi-million trucking accident verdicts and settlements with our knowledgeable litigation team, a few of those results are listed here:

truck accident lawyer case results

Timeframe to File a Claim After a Truck Accident

Filing a personal injury claim, within a specific period known as the “statute of limitations” is an important factor in any lawsuit. The statute of limitations on most any personal injury claim in Indiana is two years, per Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4(1). Failure to submit your claim within this timeframe may lead to the forfeiture of your right to receive compensation.

 

How Common Are Truck Accidents in Indiana?

Over 16,000 people had an accident with a commercial vehicle in Indiana in 2017. These truck and commercial vehicle collisions included 16% of all fatal traffic collisions in Indiana, claiming 152 lives. Most shockingly, there was a 21% increase in Indiana commercial vehicle collision fatalities from 2016 to 2017.

Why? Almost 94% of these accidents were related to the behavior of one or more drivers involved. Here are the most common behaviors by truck drivers that led to catastrophic injuries:

  • Unsafe lane movement: 2,774 (19.5%)
  • Following too closely: 2,302 (16%)
  • Unsafe backing: 1,542 (11%)
  • Improper turning: 1,183 (8%)

 

How truck accidents happen

 

An Indianapolis truck accident lawyer at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell is committed to helping victims regain peace of mind and move forward in life. Call 317-488-5500 today to get started.

 

What Are Common Causes of Indiana Trucking Accidents?

Major accidents in Indiana are often caused by negligence of truck drivers who are not following protocols, rules, or in the right condition to operate the large vehicle, thus causing catastrophic accidents and personal injury to our citizens and drivers in the state of Indiana. Christie Farrell Lee & Bell has assisted many truck accident victims file lawsuits against these negligent drivers and companies in our decades of experience and here are some of the common types of reasons why these accidents happen:  

  • Driver errors: Errors from the truck driver is probably the most common causes of trucking accidents in Indiana. This includes careless driving, speeding, distracted driving, improper merging, etc. 
  • Equipment Issues: Issues with truck equipment causes many trucking accidents, which can include a tire blowout, steering issues, trailer attachment failure, suspension problems, poor breaks, and many others. 
  • Improper cargo: The wrong amount or type of cargo can lead to a major accident because the truck can’t hold the weight or the distribution of weight isn’t correct. This can cause jackknife or rollover accidents.
  • Blind spot incidents: Large trucks have substantial blind spots, which can lead to accidents when other vehicles are not visible to the truck driver.

Our personal injury law firm who specializes in truck accident lawsuits can help you properly determine who is at fault with a free legal consultation to ensure you and your family is well compensated for your injuries and pain and suffering.

 

How Do Truck Accident Differ From Car Accidents?

Any accident on the road can be a scary and life-changing experience. However, accidents involving trucks are especially dangerous and difficult for a variety of reasons. Trucking accidents are often much more violent, are caused by different conditions, and are handled differently in court due to federal regulations. Those operating the trucks can be negligent in different ways than a passenger driver. No one knows this better than an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell with over 120 years of combined experience. Let’s take a look at three big differences between a car accident and a trucking accident in Indiana.

 

Trucking Accidents Cause Greater Damages

Obviously, every accident is unique. However, across the board, trucking accidents have the ability to cause a much greater level of damage and permanent disability than those involving regular-sized automobiles. In early 2020, a truck driver on I-65 looked away to put down his coffee cup. He did not see the backed-up traffic in front of him and crashed into the stopped line of cars, killing three people, and injuring 14. This driver’s negligence may have been the same as in other accidents, but the impact was far more deadly and damaging due to the size of the truck.

Trucks are much heavier than cars, and the impact of a 3,700-pound sedan versus an 80,000-pound semi-truck barreling into another vehicle can be far more severe. In 2018, 4,136 people died as the result of large truck crashes, a 31 percent increase from the lowest count of deaths in 2009. Even beyond the damage to other vehicles, the injuries received from trucking accidents can be much more severe.

Though any injury is possible during an accident, some common forms of trucking accident injuries are:

 

Trucking Accidents Have Different Causes

Operating a semi or other large truck is different than driving a car. Although many accidents are due to negligence on one party’s side, the fact is that the reasons for trucking accidents are often unique.

Some of these may include:

  • Careless driving
  • Improper cargo loading
  • Difficulty breaking in close situations
  • Speeding in order to make a delivery on time
  • Improper training or certification of the operator
  • Distracted driving or driver fatigue due to long hours on the road

Though some smaller commercial trucks like a box truck or a heavy-duty pickup can be driven by anyone with a valid driver’s license, trucks carrying a gross weight of over 26,000 pounds need to be operated by someone with a CDL license. If these trucks are being operated by someone without the proper qualifications, a truck accident attorney in Indianapolis can use this to establish negligence in the event of an accident.

 

Indiana Trucking Accident Cases Have Different Regulations

Accidents involving commercial trucking are handled differently by trucking accident attorneys because of the laws and regulations surrounding them. Establishing liability in a trucking case starts with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act (FMCSA), which sets specific rules for routine background checks, strict regulation for hours driven in a single day, company evaluations of existing drivers, and drug and alcohol testing. If any of these are broken, an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer can use this to establish negligence. Additionally, these trucks are covered by different types of insurance policies by insurance carriers. The bottom line is that handling trucking accidents are more complex than a fender bender involving an individual driving their own car.

Trucking accidents are complex and unique, and in order to properly handle these cases, contact the experience and knowledge of a truck accident attorney. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a trucking accident, contact Christie Farrell Lee & Bell today at 317-488-5500.