The lawyers at Hankey Marks & Crider are committed to helping people who have been hurt in a truck accident, whether they were a driver, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or passenger. Big rig trucks can cause life-altering accidents that, due to their sheer size, often prove to be fatal. Our firm has a combined experience of almost eight decades fighting truck companies and their insurance companies who don’t want to accept responsibility or pay the victims that they hurt. We are not afraid to stand up against the major trucking companies that seek to use their huge resources to keep money out of the pockets of people who need it most after an accident.
You cannot fight large trucking companies on your own. An experienced Indianapolis truck accident attorney can help you understand your rights and pursue an injury claim to get the compensation that you are owed. You should not have to shoulder the burden of costly medical bills, therapy expenses, lost wages, and other costs that you have incurred through no fault of your own. You may be entitled to fair and just compensation that will help you recover, rebuild, and move on with your life. The injury lawyers of Hankey Marks & Crider have helped others in Indianapolis recover the compensation they needed, and we are ready to help you. Contact us at (317) 634-8565, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live to schedule your consultation today.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you or a family member was hit by an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, you have every right to hire legal counsel to help you file an injury claim. In today’s complicated legal system, having an attorney represent your interests is essential. Insurance companies don’t play fair. They have large legal teams of their own who deal with claims like these every day. You will likely be unable to get a fair settlement without an experienced attorney on your side. When you call the truck accident attorneys at Hankey Marks & Crider, we will listen to you and explain your rights and your options. Don’t waste another day worrying about your future; we’ll work hard to make sure that you get the compensation you need to put this tragic accident behind you and move on with your life.
Why Choose Hankey Marks & Crider?
Our experience is in fighting for our friends and neighbors in Indiana who have been hurt in a collision with a large commercial vehicle. We the resources you need on your side to win your personal injury case, plus decades of fighting on behalf of clients just like you. There is a reason why so many people in Indianapolis have trusted our firm with their truck accident cases, and we are ready to show you why. Our team has over 75 years of combined experience helping people just like you across the state of Indiana, and our reputation has been built on trust and results. We will not rest until you get the compensation you need to take care of yourself and your family. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation today.
What Kind of Truck Accidents Do We See the Most Of?
While each and every one of the cases we see is unique, we have handled many claims against big trucking companies and their insurance carriers, including:
- Drunk Driving
- Mechanical Defects
- Employer Negligence/Liability
- Truck Driver Error/Negligence
- Rollover Accidents
- “Jackknife” Accidents
- No-zone Accidents
- Fatigued Trucker Accidents
- Drugged Truck Driver Accidents
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by any of the factors above or a different reason altogether, don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with a compassionate, knowledgeable member of our team today.
Liability for Truck Accidents
Deciding who is at fault in truck accidents can be complicated, and in many cases, there can be someone other than the driver who is held responsible, such as:
- The company or individual that owns or leased the truck
- The manufacturer of the vehicle or parts that malfunctioned or were defective and contributed to the accident
- The entity in charge of inspecting and maintaining the truck if maintenance issues caused the accident
- The company responsible for the cargo loading or shipping process
Companies that oversee the operation of commercial trucks hold a copious amount of accountability for their vehicles, and they can often be found liable for an accident. Since many trucking companies require their drivers to travel across multiple states, the trucking industry is regulated on the federal level by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA laws establish safety guidelines, and when trucking companies skirt the regulations, such as by driving beyond the hours of service that are permitted, they can be found negligent for accidents and the injuries people experience from them.
Employers of truck drivers are also legally obligated to take measures that will prevent them from hiring unsuitable drivers. This includes conducting thorough background checks, performing random testing for substance use, and confirming that the proper licensing and training is obtained. In addition, they must review their employees’ driving records on an annual basis to make sure there are not any violations that should be addressed or are no grounds for termination.
Even when a driver commits a wrongful act that causes an accident, the company can also be considered accountable when:
- The driver is an official employee and not an independent contractor.
- The act was unintentional.
- The act took place within the scope of employment duties.
In these cases, a claim can be brought against the trucking company’s insurance carrier. A business policy is likely to have more extensive coverage than a single driver’s, which can provide a higher settlement amount.
At Hankey Marks & Crider, we leave no stone unturned in truck accident claims to build a solid and convincing case. We conduct a thorough investigation of the driver and trucking company records to find out if there is any questionable conduct. We also search out every likely party that can be held accountable to ensure that our clients receive the maximum compensation available.
Types of Trucks Involved in Accidents
As you travel on any roadway, you will encounter a wide assortment of commercial vehicles that perform various duties. We have experience with accidents that involve all kinds of trucks. Following are some examples of these vehicles and the risks they present:
- Delivery trucks: Along with package delivery services, numerous other industries use delivery trucks. They are found everywhere, and their drivers tend to be on tight schedules. Sometimes this can push them to compromise safe driving habits.
- Flatbed trucks: These trucks leave their loads exposed on their flat, open trailers. Accidents can be caused by improperly loaded or secured cargo coming loose.
- Garbage trucks: These sizeable, heavy trucks have large blind spots and limited views of the ground. They can be especially dangerous because they make frequent stops and starts and have weekly routes in residential neighborhoods where children are.
- Tanker trucks: These vehicles transport liquids and gases, including hazardous and flammable materials. A large tanker is challenging to maneuver and prone to rollovers.
- Tow trucks: Because they transport other vehicles, tow trucks carry a great deal of weight. Danger can arise if the cars loaded on them shift in transit and fall off.
- Tractor-trailers: Also known as semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers are designed to haul cargo, which can be very weighty. They have wide blind spots, require a longer stopping distance, and are prone to jackknifing and rolling over.
Compensation We Fight for in Truck Accident Claims
Truck accidents often result in very serious injuries. With those injuries comes suffering and expenses, for which victims deserve to be compensated. This compensation is referred to as damages, and they include funds for:
- Medical bills: Some injuries heal quickly, but others require a long recovery or last a lifetime. A truck accident claim can include compensation for all expenses related to medical treatment from the time of the accident to what will be required in the future. This includes bills for hospital stays, medication, therapy, rehabilitation, and medical equipment.
- Property damage: It is likely that your passenger vehicle will be severely damaged, if not totaled, from colliding with a massive truck. You can be reimbursed for the damage done to your property, as well as transportation costs while your car is being repaired.
- Lost income and earning capacity: Many injuries sustained in a truck accident will make it impossible for you to go to work. You may also be disabled to the point where you will never be able to return to your previous employment at the same level or even at all. Recovering current and future lost wages is an option for victims of truck accidents.
- Pain and suffering: Along with the physical injuries, trauma from a truck accident can cause a great deal of emotional pain that may last for an extended period of time following the incident. Many victims experience anxiety, depression, and other forms of mental anguish that affect their ability to enjoy life the way they did before the accident, and there is compensation available for this suffering.
- Loss of consortium: This refers to the loss of the benefit of normal relations between spouses or partners that is caused by injuries. A truck accident can affect not just the victim but their entire family as well.
- Punitive damages: If a personal injury case goes to trial, punitive damages can be awarded in rare cases when the responsible party’s negligence is particularly reckless, such as drunk driving. A judge can order that additional damages be paid to the plaintiff by the defendant as a form of punishment and to set an example to deter others from acting the same way in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following an accident, it’s important that you get answers to your questions as quickly as possible, so we’ve included a few common questions that we receive. Many of these questions must be answered broadly because every case is unique, so if you don’t see your question below, or it is insufficiently answered for your case, contact us at (317) 634-8565 to set up an appointment to discuss your circumstances.
How much money can I be awarded?
This is nearly impossible to answer without knowing all of the details of your case. When you seek money for your injuries, there are many damages you may seek compensation for. This includes your medical bills, both present, and future, determined by whether you need follow-ups, therapy, or even future complications that may lead to additional injury. One other damage we could seek is from time lost from work. This either includes the hours of work you missed from the accident and hospital time alone, adding time if you need to recover, and adding even more damages if you may never be able to return to your job. Pain and suffering are two non-material damages that you may be able to seek as well. It’d be best to discuss your specific situation with an attorney.
When should I contact your firm?
Immediately after you have received medical attention and are able to contact us. Call us and we will get to work on your behalf. Don’t sign anything or give any official statements to any insurance companies until you have spoken with us. You need both a consultant and a spokesperson when the time is right. Insurance companies are famous for using your words against you, and everything that you are talking about will be noted in their files. Call us now so that we can be by your side through the claims process and can handle the phone calls, paperwork, and other tasks while you focus on what is most important: your recovery.
How much does hiring your law firm cost?
There is no money down to hire us in personal injury cases. Unlike civil cases, such as divorces, where it is customary to pay an attorney before the work even gets started, in accident cases, we are paid at the end. Our fees are only collected if we secure compensation for you. If you don’t win, then neither do we.
The injury attorneys of Hankey Marks & Crider are ready to put our resources and experience to work for you. When it comes to truck accident claims, we know what it takes to build a persuasive case on your behalf. We will work with experts to prove that you were not at fault. We will look at the trucking company’s records, hiring practices, and training documents. We will ask for every bit of information that will form the basis of your case. By handling as many cases as we have over the years, we know what to look for and understand the laws that help you. If you don’t call an attorney, then you might not secure the compensation that you are owed. Call us at (317) 634-8565 to get started on your case today.