Do not hesitate to call our Carmel injury lawyers at (317) 526-4467 to review your case. Our team works on a contingent fee basis, which means that you do not pay us unless and until you win. You focus on healing – we handle the rest.
Carmel Truck Accident Attorneys
We've Recovered Millions for Our Clients
Though any kind of auto accident can be disastrous and deadly, some of the most devastating accidents are those that involve trucks. Trucks can cause more damage, including injuries and fatalities, in an accident due to their size, weight, and force of impact. The more serious the injuries, the more it costs to recover. If you have been injured in a truck accident and are in debt from your mounting medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, don’t lose hope.
The Cline Law Firm has solutions for even the most complicated legal matters and is passionate about serving our injured clients. Our truck accident attorneys in Carmel are known in our community and among our peers for our experience and skills in and out of the courtroom, and our own attorney, Lance Cline, is an invited member in the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, which is comprised of some of the most accomplished plaintiff lawyers in the United States.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
A truck accident refers to any collision or incident involving a truck, which is a large motor vehicle typically used for transporting goods. These accidents can result in varying degrees of damage, injuries, or fatalities.
Common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-end Collisions: Occur when a truck collides with the vehicle in front of it. This can be due to the truck driver's inability to stop in time.
- Jackknife Accidents: Happen when a truck's trailer swings out to the side, forming a "V" shape with the cab. This often occurs when the trailer skids, and the cab loses control.
- Underride Accidents: Involve a smaller vehicle sliding underneath the rear or side of a truck. These accidents can be particularly severe for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
- Override Accidents: Occur when a truck runs over a smaller vehicle. This can happen if the truck is unable to stop in time or if the smaller vehicle is in the truck's blind spot.
- Rollover Accidents: Involve the truck tipping over onto its side or roof. Rollovers can be caused by factors such as speeding, sharp turns, or uneven road surfaces.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Result from a truck driver being unaware of vehicles in their blind spots. Smaller vehicles can be easily overlooked, leading to collisions when the truck changes lanes or makes a turn.
- Tire Blowouts: Sudden tire failures on a truck can lead to loss of control and accidents. This is often caused by tire defects, improper maintenance, or road hazards.
- Hazardous Material Spills: Trucks carrying hazardous materials may be involved in accidents that result in spills, posing environmental and safety risks.
- Wide Turns: Trucks have a wider turning radius, and improper turning maneuvers can lead to collisions with other vehicles or obstacles.
Common Truck Accident Causes & Injuries
A tractor-trailer or semi-truck can weigh 30,000 pounds or more. A passenger vehicle weighs 4,000 pounds on average. As a result, an accident with a truck often causes far more damage and personal injury than a car accident.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue: Commercial truck drivers transport their cargo over long distances and drive for many hours at a time, sometimes through the night. Though truck drivers are mandated to take meal and rest breaks, it is common for drivers to experience fatigue. Driver fatigue increases the risk of accidents.
- Driving a truck like a car: Large, heavy trucks take a long time and great distance to slow or stop and are far less maneuverable than a car. Truck drivers can and do get into trouble on the roadway when they ignore the stopping distance of their large, heavy rigs and drive their trucks like a car.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers can become distracted like anyone else and cause accidents if they are texting, on a cell phone, or otherwise not paying attention to the road and traffic conditions.
- Alcohol and drugs: Intoxicated driving contributes to many car and truck accidents because intoxication can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time. Some truckers use amphetamines to stimulate themselves into staying awake for longer drives. Such action can dull a driver's attention and reaction time.
- Speeding: Known as a leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents, speeding reduces driver reaction time to avoid a collision and can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. It is important for truckers to not speed because speeding increases the stopping distance for trucks.
- Poor training and maintenance: Commercial trucking companies are supposed to carefully and thoughtfully train their drivers and regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles before each use. Failure to do so can cause accidents due to poor driving judgement and attention, as well as faulty brakes and other equipment.
Because of the enormous force that trucks generate, injuries resulting from truck accidents are often severe and permanent, resulting in the need for lifelong medical care. Common injuries include head and back injuries and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries that can lead to paralysis, burns, amputations, and disfigurement.
What Are the Hours of Service Regulations?
The FMCSA imposes many regulations on truck drivers that aim to reduce the chances of an accident, protecting not only truck drivers but other, smaller vehicles on the road. The hours of service regulation are one of these rules that aim at prevent fatigued driving. According to these rules:
- Truck drivers can work no more than 14 hours in one day
- Truck drivers must rest or take meal breaks totaling 3 hours in a day
- Driver must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours at the end of the day
- Truck drivers must take days off work at regular intervals as well
Who is Liable in a Commercial Trucking Accident?
Parties that may be held liable for damages in a truck accident include:
- Truck Driver: Individual drivers can be held liable if they are personally negligent, such as if they are intoxicated or over allowable hours behind the wheel at the time of the accident.
- Trucking Company: Companies can be held liable if they improperly train their drivers or cut corners concerning inspection, maintenance, and safety to meet deadlines.
- Cargo Loaders: Sometimes, accidents are caused by negligent constraint of cargo in the truck. If a loader fails to secure cargo properly, this can cause problems with the handling of the truck and can cause a driver to lose control of their rig.
- Vehicle Maintenance Providers: If the accident is caused by mechanical failures due to poor maintenance, the entities responsible for maintaining the truck, such as mechanics or maintenance contractors, may be held liable.
- Manufacturers: If a defect in the truck's design or manufacturing contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of the truck or its components may be held liable. This includes issues such as faulty brakes, tires, or other critical components.
- Government Entities: Poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or other issues related to the road infrastructure may lead to accidents. In some cases, government entities responsible for road maintenance and design may share liability.
- Other Drivers: In multi-vehicle accidents involving a truck, other drivers on the road may also be partially or fully responsible for the collision. Determining the actions of all drivers involved is crucial in assigning liability.
As a well-established personal injury law firm, we can fully assess your accident and determine responsibility and liability for the accident to make certain that you are fully compensated for your injuries, harms, and losses. Suffering from injuries can be debilitating and isolating. We strive to help our clients put their lives back together and to obtain full and just compensation.
Why Do I Need A Truck Accident Lawyer?
Recovering proper compensation after suffering injuries in a truck accident without an experience attorney on your side can be very difficult. This is because trucking companies are often backed by top-tier law firms who are hired to protect their company, and essentially, keep you from recovering the compensation you deserve.
The attorneys at The Cline Law Firm are experienced in handling truck accident claims and know what to expect during the entire process. We will fight for your best interest every step along the way. Learn more about how we can help you today.
$5,634,669 Verdict for a Wrongful Death Caused by Pneumonia
Lance D. Cline obtained a jury verdict of $5,634,669.84 for the wrongful death of a fifty-two-year-old Indian female married to a sixty-four-year-old Indian male at the time of her death. The couple had no children. The decedent developed MRSA pneumonia, a rare form of pneumonia.
$4,100,000 Verdict for Birth-Related Brachial Plexus Nerve Injuries
Lance D. Cline tried this case to a jury in 2012. The plaintiff was a minor male who sustained injuries to brachial plexus nerves in his right arm at the time of his birth. A shoulder dystocia occurred during the vaginal delivery.
$3,500,000 Verdict for a Brachial Plexus Nerve Injury During Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Lance D. Cline tried this lawsuit to a jury in a conservative, northern Indiana county in 2018. The sixty-five-year-old plaintiff had a history of multiple dislocations in his left shoulder between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five that led to the performance of a Magnuson-Stack procedure upon his left shoulder at the age of twenty-five that prevented further dislocations.
$1,285,000 Verdict For a Minor Who Sustained Permanent Brachial Plexus Nerve Injuries at Birth
Lance Cline presented expert witness testimony from two board-certified obstetricians and a biomechanical engineer with expertise and knowledge regarding physician-applied forces during child delivery. The Defendant made no offer of settlement before the trial. The jury deliberated for ninety minutes before ignoring the medical review panel opinion and returning a verdict in favor of the client in the amount of $1,285,000. That was a record verdict in the county where the case was tried.
The Inner Circle of AdvocatesFounding member, Lance D. Cline, is one of only two Indiana lawyers ever invited into this most prestigious and selective organization of plaintiff trial attorneys.
Best LawyersLance D. Cline has been voted by his peers as a Best Lawyer in America in the fields of medical malpractice and personal injury every year since 1997, as the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year three times and as the Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year in 2019.
Super Lawyers®Lance D. Cline has been selected by his peers as an Indiana Super Lawyer and as one of Indiana's Top 50 Lawyers since the inception of the award in 2004. He has also been selected as one of Indiana's Top 10 Lawyers in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Indiana Trial Lawyers AssociationLance D. Cline has been a member of ITLA's Board of Directors since 1984 and was selected by his ITLA peers as the Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2018.