Large trucks and other commercial vehicles pose a significant risk to all travelers on Indianapolis’s roads. Despite their obvious utility in moving cargo from one location to another, the massive size of these vehicles makes them slow to stop in an emergency and unable to see smaller vehicles in close proximity.
If you were injured in a collision involving a big rig or tractor-trailer, an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer may be able to help you. A skilled personal injury attorney could explain the laws that govern safe truck operation and demonstrate how a trucker’s failure to follow those rules led to your injuries.
Truck Drivers Have a Duty to Not Harm Other Travelers
All drivers on Indianapolis’s roads assume a duty to protect other people. This includes the universal duties of obeying speed limits, stopping at red lights, yielding when required, and refraining from texting while driving.
However, additional rules govern the safe operation of tractor-trailers and other large vehicles. One of the most common violations that can result in accidents is the restrictions on drive times. According to regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers cannot be on the road for more than 11 hours after ten hours of rest. Additionally, truckers cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days. Violations of this law can lead to fatigue that reduces reaction times and makes accidents more likely. An Indianapolis truck accident attorney could investigate the cause of a collision to determine how a truck driver failed in their obligation to protect others.
A Trucking Company May Share Responsibility
One important but often overlooked aspect of a truck accident case is the proper identification of liable parties. A trucker who causes an accident is to blame for the incident. So too is their insurance company that protects the driver from much personal liability.
However, in some situations, a trucking company may share the blame. This is because of the concept of law called respondeat superior. In short, this law states that employers are responsible for the negligent acts of their employees while those employees are performing work duties. As a result, if a trucker was on the clock when a collision occurred, it is likely that their employer is jointly liable. This may not always be true.
Many truckers are independent contractors who own their own vehicles. In these situations, that trucker and their insurance company are the sole potential defendants.
It is essential to be able to make this determination quickly. Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4 says that there is a strict two-year time limit on claims for compensation following truck accidents. A knowledgeable Indianapolis truck accident lawyer could help to identify all possible defendants and file insurance claims and lawsuits within the statute of limitations.
Contact an Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
Suffering injuries in a truck accident can place you in a difficult position. Of course, you need to make your best recovery and try to get your life back to normal. Sadly, the need to attend medical appointments, lost quality of life, and an inability to get back to work may make this impossible. Thankfully, the law says that you have the right to demand compensation for all your losses from negligent truck drivers, their insurance companies, and their employers. However, collecting these payments can be a fight in and of itself.
Let an Indianapolis truck accident lawyer can take every necessary step to bring you the compensation that you deserve while you concentrate on setting your life back in order. Call today to get started on your case.