Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer
According to the most recent data compiled by the Indiana government, in 2017, there were 18,591 commercial vehicle collisions in the state. Fatalities occurred in 142 of these crashes, with the driver or occupant of the large truck being least likely to be the one killed. Although large trucks and other commercial vehicles were involved in only four percent of collisions, they were present in nearly ten percent of fatal crashes.
When truck accidents happen, they are much more likely to cause severe injury or death to the occupants of the other vehicle. Because of the severity of truck accident injuries and the complexity of these cases, it is crucial to obtain highly experienced and knowledgeable legal representation to help you with a claim. The Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP include former crash team criminal prosecutors who litigated the most serious cases of injurious and fatal car accidents and proved them beyond a reasonable doubt. Our firm has the experience and expertise necessary when going up against trucking companies and their insurers.
Why do truck accidents happen?
Truck accidents happen for a lot of the same reasons car accidents happen – speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving – but factors unique to trucking make certain accidents more likely than others. Also, any truck accident is likely to be far more serious than a similar car accident, because the immense size and weight of tractor-trailers deliver a much greater force of impact than even a heavy-duty pickup truck or SUV. Some of the main reasons for semi-truck accidents include:
Drowsy driving – Drowsy driving affects all types of drivers, but truckers are especially susceptible to driver fatigue. All or most of a trucker’s day may consist of fatigue-inducing highway driving, and lax federal regulations allow truckers to stay behind the wheel for eleven hours and on-duty for fourteen hours before ending their workday. A trucker can also work for 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight consecutive days before being required to take just 36 hours off and then restarting their grueling schedule all over again. To make matters worse, truck drivers may take stimulants to stay awake, which can actually decrease alertness and build up a dangerous level of fatigue. It is also well-known that truckers work even longer than federal regulations allow and falsify their logs to hide their noncompliance.
Distracted driving – Spending all day on the road can be tiresome, and truckers may be even more compelled than other drivers to distract themselves by checking in on social media, making phone calls, texting or reading while driving. Truckers are also likely to perform other distracting tasks behind the wheel, such as eating, shaving or changing clothes. These dangerous behaviors can have tragic consequences for other drivers on the road.
Poor vehicle maintenance – You might think that semi-trucks are better maintained than other vehicles on the road since they haul cargo for a living and often have in-house mechanics to maintain and repair them. The sad truth is that thousands of semi-trucks and commercial vehicles are on the road right now with dangerously worn tires and bad brakes, malfunctioning signal lights and other serious safety issues. These dangers are discovered every year during annual roadside safety checks when tractor-trailers across the country are stopped, inspected and immediately pulled from service due to major safety violations.
Speeding and aggressive driving – It’s dangerous to drive aggressively around a semi-truck due to their numerous and extensive blind spots, their limited maneuverability, and the extra time it takes them to come to a stop in an emergency. For these reasons as well, it’s just as dangerous for truck drivers to speed or drive aggressively. Bad driving by anybody creates dangers on the road. For truck drivers, the dangers created are exponentially greater.
Get the Help You Need After an Indianapolis Truck Accident
Truck crashes are complex, and the significant liability they create makes the insurance companies fight them extra hard. Make sure your attorney has the skills and experience necessary to take on the hard cases and achieve success. Call the Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP for immediate assistance with your claim.