Rear-End Truck Accident

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Rear-End Truck Accident In Indiana

Rear-End Truck Accidents in Indiana

National and local trucking companies send their trucks across Indiana’s highways every day. And
every day (or almost every day), there are truck accidents in Indiana. In fact, one of the most common type of truck accident is a rear-end collision. In short, this article is about rear-end truck accidents in
Indiana.

Indiana law requires truck drivers to drive their truck safely. Nevertheless, a trucker speeding or driving impaired can cause a rear-end truck accident. Remember, if a rear-end truck accident injures you, you may recover money damages.  Therefore, you can help us punish the negligence of the truck driver and his company.

Does This Sound Like Rear-End Truck Accident?

In November last year, a Ford SUV was traveling on Rt. 465. Traffic was heavy; cars, trucks and buses occupied all the lanes. Noticeably, traffic had slowed down, below the speed limit, because of congestion. Suddenly, the SUV driver heard honking from behind. The SUV driver looked in the rear-view mirror. She saw a set of headlights lights bearing down. At the same time, cars in front and both sides boxed the SUV in.

A truck rear-ended you!  – Oh no.

A dump truck that was full of gravel rear-ended the SUV. The initial impact of the collision jolted the SUV driver, whipping her around. Then the impact sent the SUV into the rear of the car in front of it. Thankfully, the SUV driver always wears a seat belt.

Later, the truck driver told the police that the traffic in front of him stopped suddenly. He claimed he could not stop the truck before the collision. Was he speeding? Did something go wrong with the brakes? Was the truck not properly maintained? What were the road conditions that day?
Certainly, an experienced Indiana rear-end truck accident attorney can help answer those questions. Furthermore, that attorney will prove who the negligent party was.

How Do Rear-End Truck Accidents Occur?

A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that rear-end crashes happen in about 29% of all crashes. This is more than any other type of vehicle accident.

There are several reasons rear-end truck accidents occur:

Mechanical failure

Frequently, mechanical failure causes a rear-end truck accident. Brake failure or problems with the steering on large trucks can lead to rear-end truck accidents.

Truck driver fatigue

In many instances, accident investigators cite truck driver fatigue as a reason for a rear-end truck accident. Notably, federal trucking regulations require large truck drivers to take regular breaks. They are supposed to drive only a set number of hours in a day. Moreover, federal regulations require them to keep a driver’s log showing how many hours they drove. Additionally, the log must show when they took their rest breaks. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow those rules.

Hazardous road conditions

Wet or icy roads can be hazardous. So can roads cluttered with debris and potholes. Such conditions lead to rear-end collisions. Additionally, poorly designed roads and those with  narrow or non-existent shoulders can cause rear-end truck accidents.

Speeding

Speeding is another common cause of a rear-end truck accident. As a practical matter, large trucks speeding take a relatively long time to a stop if other vehicles cut them off. Additionally, if a car stops short in front of the truck, the truck may not have the time to stop.

Other causes of a rear-end truck accident include:

  • Tire blow outs
  • Unsecured loads
  • Brake failure
  • Drunk/impaired driving
  • Bad weather

Who Is Liable if an Indiana Rear-End Truck Accident Injures You?

 If you are injured in an Indiana rear-end truck accident, there are multiple parties who may be liable to you:

Truck driver

If the truck driver was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly, anyone injured in a rear-end truck accident can hold the truck driver liable. Likewise, a fatigued or intoxicated driver should not be behind the wheel. In that instance, injured parties can hold him accountable.

Owner of the Truck

Injured persons can hold the truck owner liable for the negligent actions of his employee truck driver. Additionally, if improper maintenance of the truck caused the rear-end truck accident, the owner can be held liable.

Manufacturer of the Defective Vehicle, Tires, or Other Parts

If defectively manufactured parts on the truck caused the rear-end accident, injured persons can hold the manufacturer of those parts liable. In fact, defectively made brakes and tires can cause a rear-end truck accident.

And Do Not Forget Other motorists

Motorists may drive negligently and cause your vehicle to stop suddenly. Consequently, you can hold them liable if their negligence resulted in you being rear-ended by a truck.

You may need an experienced Indiana rear-end truck accident lawyer to immediately investigate the accident. Of course, if the truck driver rear-ended you while you were stopped at a red light, it will not be too difficult to prove the truck driver’s negligence. However, if mechanical failure caused the accident, experts will have to be hired to inspect the truck. Moreover, if driver fatigue caused the accident, the driver’s log will have to be reviewed.

Consequently, An Experienced Indiana Rear-End Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

If there were witnesses to the accident, an investigator may have to locate and interview those witnesses. Furthermore, if another driver caused you to stop short, resulting in the rear-end collision, your attorney will examine the actions of the other driver.

Lastly, most commercial trucks have “black boxes” similar to an airplane. Therefore, if you are in a rear-end accident with a commercial truck, your attorney can get the data on the black box downloaded. In fact, the data will show what the speed of the truck was before the accident. Indeed, it will also show whether and when the driver applied the brakes. Finally, it can also reveal if the truck was on cruise control at the time of the accident, among other information.

The accident you get in may require a great deal of work to develop evidence and testimony.  Generally, the more evidence and testimony we develop, the more favorable settlement offer we can get from the insurance company. Ultimately, if the truck driver’s insurance company is being unreasonable, we can convince a jury to make a favorable damage award.

In reality, every rear-end truck accident is unique

Accordingly, an experienced Indiana rear-end truck accident attorney will know how to investigate the accident, preserve evidence and determine who is at fault.

What Kind of Injuries do People Get in Indiana Rear-End Truck Accidents?

Soft tissue/whiplash

Repeatedly, we see soft tissue injuries occuring in a rear-end truck accident. As a matter of fact, such injuries can range from being a nagging injury to one that leaves you bedridden

Bone fracture

Frequently, a rear-end truck accident can mean broken bones to the occupants of the car rear-ended. Generally, truck accidents injure car passengers because of the size and weight of the truck

Concussions

In many instances, a rear-end truck accident can also result in concussions to the car’s occupants. Again, the size and weight of the truck can cause car passengers to be severely jostled. At the same time, their head may strike the interior of the car

Wrongful death

Unfortunately, rear-end truck accidents can result in the death of car occupants. Again, given the size and weight of large trucks, wrongful death claims are not unusual

Other common injuries in a rear-end truck accident:

  • Shoulder, back and neck sprains/strains
  • Burns
  • Internal organs
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord/paralysis

Big trucks are heavy!

Remember, trucks are much heavier than passenger cars. As a matter of fact, heavy trucks, such as dump trucks or fuel tankers, can weigh between 25,000 and 35,000 pounds. Likewise, an 18-wheeler, with an empty trailer, weighs about 35,000 pounds; what’s more, fully loaded, it can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

Converesly, typical passenger cars weigh between 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. For this reason, rear-end collisions involving trucks can lead to major injuries for the car occupants, up to and including death. Additionally, serious injuries in a rear-end truck crash can mean hospitalization and multiple follow-up visits to a doctor. Indeed, treatment for some injuries above will also require physical therapy or chiropractic treatment.

What Are Your Damages if an Indiana Rear-End Truck Accident Injures You?

First thing to remember is that in Indiana, there are several types of damage claims parties negligently injured in a rear-end truck collision can make:

Medical expenses

Of course, you may recover all of your medical expenses (even those insurance may have covered)

Damages to your car

 Lost wages

Additionally, if you miss work because of your injuries, you may recover those lost wages

Pain and suffering

Equally important, Indiana personal injury law widely recognizes this type of damage. Consequently, you can tell the jury how badly your neck hurt from your whiplash injury. Likewise, you can explain how you had to go through physical therapy for weeks. Lastly, you can tell the jury how your neck hurt for months. In other words, that is pain and suffering

Disability

If symptoms from your injury are still lingering (and they often do) you can tell the jury. For example, perhaps you cannot concentrate at work as a result of the concussion you got in the accident. As another example, maybe you get headaches reading. The jury will hear that and compensate you

Future medical needs

Undoubtedly, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury or partial paralysis, you will need medical and physical therapy treatment for the foreseeable future. Therefore, the jury may compensate you for that

Loss of consortium

If a rear-end truck accident killed or severely injured your spouse, the jury can compensate you for the loss of consortium. In other words, the loss of the affection, advice and companionship spouses show each other

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are a distinct type of damage. They are not always available in negligence cases. In short, they punish the defendant for bad conduct. Usually, cases in which negligence causes a rear-end truck accident do not involve punitive damages. However, they might be available against a drunk truck driver who had several prior drunk driving convictions.

Likewise, if the company destroyed evidence that showed they failed to properly maintain the truck involved in the accident, a jury might award punitive damages..

In brief, there would have to be serious misconduct by the defendant to justify an award for punitive damages. However, if you deserve to get punitive damages because of the defendant’s misconduct, we will make every effort to get an award of punitive damages for you.

Experienced and Knowledgeable Indiana Rear-End Truck Accident Lawyer

If a rear-end truck collision injures you, you need an experienced Indiana rear-end truck accident attorney. First, we will investigate the accident and find out who caused it. Then we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation.

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