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Noblesville Truck Accident Lawyers
Even though they are a necessary part of American commerce, trucks present certain dangers to other motorists on the road. Truck accidents can be catastrophic, resulting in severe injuries and even death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities resulting from truck accidents increased by 9% in 2017. In Indiana, truck accidents accounted for 10% of all traffic fatalities.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Noblesville, you may be facing a long recovery and mounting medical bills. You may be unable to work and unable to take care of your family. The good news is that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. The truck accident lawyers at GDS Law Group can help fight for you get the compensation you deserve so that you can put your life back together.
What Makes a Truck Accident Unique?
Large commercial trucks such as a fully-loaded 18-wheeler can weigh much more than a typical passenger vehicle. They are less maneuverable, require longer distances to stop, and have larger blind spots, meaning that they are less able to avoid accidents. When traveling at highway speeds, they can exert a tremendous amount of force in the event of an accident.
In addition, the freight the truck may be carrying can also increase the dangers of an accident and risk of injury to those involved. For example, trucks carrying hazardous or flammable materials can cause additional harm to all involved parties, or make it harder for emergency personnel to access the scene to provide medical attention.
State and Federal Trucking Laws
Commercial truck companies are subject to a broad system of federal and state trucking laws that are designed to keep motorists safe. These regulations impose the following requirements:
- Weight limits
- Commercial driver’s license requirements
- Maintenance standards
- Rest requirements for drivers
- Rules regarding the transportation of hazardous materials
An experienced truck accident lawyer can use a failure to meet any one of these requirements as evidence that the truck driver or company was responsible for your crash.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In addition to the unique forces and other factors involved in truck accidents, certain causes are unique to wrecks involving trucks. If you’ve been hit by an 18-wheeler, one of the following situations may have been the cause:
- Driver error due to inexperience or lack of training – Driving a large truck requires specific skills and a great deal of experience beyond what is required to safely drive a passenger car. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers are properly trained and have the necessary experience to drive their trucks.
- Driving while fatigued – According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), commercial truck drivers are among those most likely to drive while drowsy.
- Mechanical failures – Trucking companies have a duty to ensure their trucks are properly maintained, in good working order, and are safe to be on the roads. However, it’s easy for trucking companies to fall behind on their maintenance responsibilities or simply ignore them in order to cut costs. Bald tires, failing brakes, or steering issues can result in serious accidents.
Of course, truck drivers are perhaps just as likely as other drivers to speed, drive while distracted, or fail to pay full attention. If the truck driver’s negligence caused your crash, a truck accident attorney could help you with your claim.
Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents
Because of the size, weight, and the tremendous forces involved, harm incurred in a truck crash can be particularly severe. You could suffer from the following:
- Broken bones
- Severed limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Deep lacerations and contusions
- Back injuries
If you were rear-ended by a commercial truck, you could possibly be suffering from the following injuries:
- Severe whiplash or other neck injuries
- Concussion or other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
In addition to the possible physical injuries, victims of serious truck accidents can suffer extensive psychological damage. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression are common among people who have been involved in truck accidents.
Who Do You Sue?
Truck accidents can be complicated when it comes to determining who should be held accountable for your injuries. Even if the truck driver was responsible for the crash, you might have to sue the trucking company as well. This is fairly straightforward if the driver was an employee of the trucking company, but drivers are often independent contractors.
In other cases, the truck and the driver may be under the control of a subsidiary company intended to shield the trucking company from claims. The situation becomes further complicated if the cargo caused the accident or your injuries, or if a design defect in the truck caused the accident. On top of all of this, there may be issues with insurance coverage that will need to be addressed.
Determining who to sue is an important step in the truck accident claim process. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault and who should be held accountable for your injuries.
Truck Accident Settlements
For many truck accident victims, filing a lawsuit may be the only way to get the compensation you deserve. While going to court may seem daunting, most truck accident claims are settled before they go to trial. A settlement is a compromise between the parties where you agree to dismiss your case and release your claims upon payment of a specified amount. While you may be settling for less than the full amount you believe you are owed, a settlement allows you to avoid the uncertainties of trial, which could result in you being awarded far less than you were seeking.
Contact a Noblesville Truck Accident Lawyer for Help Today
Getting hit by a truck can change your life forever, leaving you with permanent injuries. How will you pay your bills? What about your lost wages? You need a skilled truck accident attorney who knows how to fight for the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been in a truck accident and don’t know where to turn, call the GDS Law Group at (317) 550-5339, or reach out online to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.