Muncie Truck Accident Lawyer
Fully-loaded large trucks weigh over 80,000 pounds. That bulk includes hundreds of gallons of highly-flammable diesel fuel. These massive vehicles are very difficult to control, even if the operator is very experienced and is focused exclusively on driving. Unfortunately, due to the truck driver shortage and driver impairments like distraction and fatigue, many drivers lack these basic qualifications.
Individual drivers might be legally and morally responsible for these accidents, but the companies which own the trucks are financially responsible for them, at least in most cases.
At the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers, our diligent Muncie truck accident lawyers start by listening to you and then laying out your legal options. Once you decide on a course of action, we plan our work and work our plan. That plan usually includes thorough legal research, diligent evidence collection, effective advocacy in court, and a firm but flexible negotiating stance. In other words, once we start working, we never stop fighting for you.
Commercial Driver Duty of Care
Most noncommercial operators have a duty of reasonable care. But truckers are professional drivers. So, they usually have a higher duty of care.
Driving in the rain is a good example. Since noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care, they must slow down when it rains. But since they have a higher duty of care, truckers arguably have a duty to wait until the rain stops, or at least slacks off.
Largely for economic reasons, many truckers ignore this higher duty. Most truckers have schedules to keep and very narrow profit margins. So, they normally stay behind the wheel as long as possible and try to reach their destinations as soon as possible.
Evidence in Truck Crash Claims
Legal duty is an important component of a negligence claim. But it is not as important as evidence. That’s because victim/plaintiffs have the burden of proof in negligence claims. They must establish a lack of care by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). In addition to witness statements, police accident reports, and medical bills, evidence in truck crash claims includes:
- Event Data Recorder: Much like black box flight recorders, EDRs measure and store operational data like vehicle speed and steering angle. Data such as this could be critical in your claim for damages, especially if it comes from a reliable computer.
- Safety Maintenance System: Many truckers have drivers’ licenses, and driving records, in several states. The SMS database is like a multistate driving record. It includes data like crash history, vehicle maintenance history, and other important information that otherwise would be difficult to access.
- Electronic Logging Device: ELDs are often critical in drowsy driver claims. ELDs provide conclusive proof of HOS (Hours of Service) compliance. So, a Muncie truck accident lawyer knows exactly how long a trucker had been behind the wheel prior to a crash.
All this evidence is often like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. They are only jumbled facts until an attorney, often with the help of an accident reconstructionist or other professional, puts the pieces together and creates a clear picture for the jury to see.
Connect with an Experienced Lawyer
Personal injury victims have important rights. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Muncie, contact the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers. We routinely handle matters in Delaware County and nearby jurisdictions.