Large commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers present a tremendous threat to drivers and passengers in standard vehicles when an accident occurs. Commercial vehicles are used to haul all sorts of materials, some of which may be flammable or hazardous in other ways. Even without particularly dangerous cargo, trucks are dangerous to standard vehicles due to the immense size and weight difference.
If you were harmed in a collision with a big rig, consider speaking with a Fort Wayne truck accident lawyer. A reliable local attorney could represent your best interests during settlement negotiations or in trial, if necessary.
Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
The weight of commercial trucks often has a contributory role towards causing an accident to occur which is why weight is regulated under Indiana Code §9-20-3. Tractor-trailers, for example, require tremendous stopping power that standard braking systems are unable to provide. Still, a truck’s braking system can only be so effective if a truck is improperly loaded or beyond commercial weight limits.
In most cases, commercial truck accidents are caused by driver error, overloading, improper loading, or improper maintenance, which are considered negligent acts by either the driver or their trucking company, potentially resulting in liability. If you were injured during a truck accident, an experienced Fort Wayne lawyer might be able to aid your recovery of compensation for your injuries.
Who is Liable for an 18-Wheeler Wreck?
In most cases, commercial trucks are not solely owned and operated by the driver. Even in cases where they are, there is probably some level of separation between the driver and their business. Holding the correct party responsible can significantly affect a case based on insurance policies and capital available.
Because trucking companies are responsible for the actions of their drivers, it is possible to hold the trucking company responsible for the accident even when the wreck results from a negligent driver’s actions. Under the appropriate circumstances, the company may be held responsible for accidents resulting from negligent hiring, improper loading, poor maintenance, and overworked drivers.
There are extensive regulations, both state and federal, in place governing the operation of commercial vehicles. If a company has violated any of these regulations, it can easily result in liability. However, knowledge of existing regulations and the ability to obtain evidence to prove a violation is critical. A seasoned tractor-trailer accident lawyer in Fort Wayne may be vital.
Relief Available to People Injured in a Semi-Truck Crash
Injured parties may obtain financial compensation for their injuries and property damage by one of two means: negotiated settlements and litigation. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult when attempting to negotiate for fair settlement terms. However, an effective Fort Wayne truck wreck attorney may successfully negotiate a favorable agreement before trial.
The compensation available to injured parties is fairly comprehensive under Indiana law. Injured parties can receive compensation which covers their:
- Lost income and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Current and future related medical expenses, and
- Loss of consortium
While it is difficult to affix a financial figure to someone’s pain, the courts recognize that pain is actual harm and worthy of compensation.
Schedule a Consultation with a Fort Wayne Truck Accident Attorney
Collisions with big rigs can result in catastrophic harm or even death. Fortunately, a Fort Wayne truck accident lawyer could review your case, gather essential evidence, and put together a strong claim to damages. Call our office today to schedule your initial consultation.