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Indiana Big Rig Attorney In Indiana

Indiana Big Rig Accident Attorney

Indiana sits in the middle of the country. Big rigs, also known as semi-trucks, tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers, routinely pass through Indiana with their big loads. Unfortunately, given the large number of big rigs that drive on Indiana roadways, accidents often occur.Generally speaking, accidents with big rigs, because of their size and weight, can cause serious injuries to other drivers. Consequently, if you were injured in a big rig accident, you need an Indiana big rig accident attorney.

Does This Sound Like Your Accident?

A big rig heading south on Rt. 65 from Gary was on its way to Indianapolis. Traffic was very heavy and even completely stopped for an hour. Due to an accident, highway workers were cleaning up the road.

When the big rig was getting off Rt. 65, he proceeded on the exit ramp, which had a somewhat sharp curve. The big rig driver later told the police he had never been on this exit ramp before. He applied his brakes as he went into the curve, but the trailer began to sway. Trying to compensate, the driver tried to steer the truck out of the curve, but, at this point, there was a small shoulder and a large divider. Therefore, his space was limited to correct his turning.

As a result, the trailer rolled over, onto the divider. Two cars were closely following the big rig on the ramp and they both collided with the overturned big rig (and each other). Unfortunately, the drivers in those two cars were seriously injured in the collisions. 

For one thing, was the driver speeding because he was late making his delivery? Was the cargo load improperly secured, thereby contributing to the rollover? Has this driver had similar serious accidents in the past? An experienced Indiana big rig accident lawyer can find the answers to these questions. 

What Types of Big Rig Accidents Occur in Indiana?

Given the large number of big rigs on Indiana roadways, there are many types of big rig accidents that happen in Indiana. 

Rollovers can occur with devastating consequences. For example, if a driver is speeding on a curved ramp, a rollover can occur. Likewise, if the shipping company put too much cargo in the trailer, or did not properly secure the load, a rollover can be the result.

Other types of big rig accidents are:

  • Rear-end collisions 
  • Multi-truck accidents
  • T-bone
  • Jackknife-semi
  • Backing-up collisions

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that there were 13.5 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States in 2018. This is a 27 percent increase from 10.6 in 2010. Furthermore, in 2018, on average, there were 1.12 fatalities in fatal crashes involving large trucks. In fact, in 90 percent of those crashes, there was only one fatality. Notably, the majority, 82 percent, of fatalities were not occupants of the large truck.

If you or a loved one are injured in a big rig accident, contact a knowledgeable Indiana big rig accident attorney to assist you. 

What Causes Big Rig Accidents in Indiana?

As with other motor vehicles, big rig accidents happen in Indiana for many reasons, including: 

Adverse weather conditions

Frequently, big rig accidents occur in Indiana because of bad weather. Slippery roads from rain, ice and snow lead to big rig accidents. Of course, these are large trucks. In case they go into a spin or slide acrossd a wet or icey highway, they are difficult to control.

Big rig truck driver fatigue

Unfortunately, driver fatigue is a common cause of big rig accidents in Indiana and elsewhere. Indeed, federal trucking regulations limit the number of hours big rig drivers can be on the road. And it is not just falling asleep at the wheel that is the problem. In the first place, fatigued driver’s coordination and reaction time will be slowed down by fatigue. Secondly, they will be less aware of their surrondings and obstructions in the proadway. Consequently, fatigued big rig drivers are a danger to themselves and other people on the road.

Speeding

Of course, speeding big rigs are a hazard to themselves and other vehicles. Under federal trucking regulations, fully-loaded big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. At that weight, they can be difficult to stop when they are traveling at a high rate of speed. In addition, speeding big rigs are at risk of having a rollover accident if they have to brake or turn quickly to avoid another vehicle or an obstruction on the highway.

Unsecured loads

The cargo in the trailer of a big rig has to be properly secured. If the cargo is not properly secured, it can shift inside the trailer when the big rig is on a curved roadway. In addition, the cargo can shift if the big rig has to turn sharply to avoid  another vehicle. As a result, its center of gravity can shift. Consequently, a rollover accident can occur.

Tow hitch defects

The tow hitch, also known as the trailer hitch, connects the cab to the trailer. But, tow hitches can be made defectively. Also, tow hitches are subject to wear and tear. Additionally, they can get rusty over time. Consequently, both the trucking company and the drivers are required to regulary inspect tow hitches. However, sometimes they do not. Or an inspection does not reveal any problem. As a result, a tow hitch can fail. In that event, if the required safety chains do not hold up, the trailer detaches from the cab and continues on the road. Obviously, a run-away trailer is a danger to other vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Other causes of Indiana big rig accidents include:

  • Mechanical failure 
  • Hazardous road conditions
  • Defectively designed road
  • Tire blow outs
  • Headlight defects
  • Brake failure
  • Drunk/impaired driving

If You Are Injured in an Indiana Big Rig Accident, Who Can You Hold Liable?

You can sue multiple parties because of your injuries in an Indiana big rig accident:

The big rig driver

The big rig driver could have been speeding or driving while fatigued. Perhaps he failed to inspect the trailer hitch or that the cargo was properly secured. 

The owner of the big rig

The owner is responsible for inspecting and properly maintaining his fleet of trucks. Consequently, if a poorly maintained big rig gets in an accident because of tow hitch or brake failure, injured parties can sue the big rig owner.

The manufacturer of the vehicle, tires, or other defective parts 

If a defective trailer hitch caused the big rig accident, injured parties can sue the hitch manufacturer. Likewise, if brake failure caused the accident and those brakes contained a defect, persons injured in the accident can sue the brake maufactuer. Lastly, if tire blew out because of a manufacturing defect, injurednparties can sue thatcomopany. 

The loader or shipping company

If the loader or shipping company put an overweight load in the big rig, parties injured in an accident because of that can sue the shipping company. Likewise, if the shipping company did did not properly secure the cargo, resulting in a rollover, injured parties can sue the company. 

In addition, other motorists who operated their vehicle negligently, causing the big rig to roll over, jackknife, etc., can be sued by persons injured in the accident.

Lastly, in the case of a defectively designed road, the government agency /construction company who defectively designed the roadway can be sued.

Every big rig accident is unique. An experienced Indiana big rig accident attorney will know how to investigate the accident. Additionally, that attorney will preserve evidence to support your case.

Finally, that attorney will know when to hire an expert to examine the big rig or reconstruct the accident itself to determine where fault lies. 

 

 What Kind of Injuries do People Get in Indiana Big Rig Accidents?

 

  • Soft tissue
  • Bone fracture
  • Concussions
  • Shoulder, back and neck sprains/strains
  • Burns
  • Internal organs
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord/paralysis
  • Wrongful death 

Big rigs are large and carry significant loads. Consequently,  accidents involving big rigs can lead to major injuries, including death. Therefore, serious injuries in a big rig accident can mean hospitalization and multiple follow-up visits to a doctor. Additionally, treatment for some injuries above will also require a course of physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. 

 

Experienced and Knowledgeable Indiana Big Rig Accident Lawyer

 

As can be seen, if you or a loved one have been injured in a big rig accident in Indiana, you need an experienced Indiana big rig accident attorney. As shown above, an accident involving a big rig hauling a huge cargo load is probably more complicated that an accident involving passenger cars. Consequently, we will investigate the accident, determine who caused the accident and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Accordingly, contact us at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation. 

 

 

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