Truck Accident Laws in Gary, Indiana: All You Need To Know
As a major transportation hub and proximity to Chicago and other metropolitan areas, Gary sees a significant amount of traffic from semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. While most trips occur without incident due to the extensive training and professional conduct of drivers, accidents involving these massive machines can result in uniquely catastrophic harm to everyone involved.
Whether it’s driver fatigue, speeding, or lack of proper maintenance, many factors can contribute to truck accidents. That’s why it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable and experienced truck accident lawyer on your side if you’ve been involved in such an incident.
However, first, we will go over the truck accident laws in Indiana and what you need to establish when filing a claim.
What Are the Fault Laws in Indiana?
In commercial truck accidents, the process of attributing fault and determining liability can be challenging and multifaceted. Various parties could bear partial or shared responsibility for the incident, making civil litigation complicated. Even if the underlying cause of the crash can be traced back to the negligent actions of the truck driver, their employer may still hold indirect liability for their actions.
This is because the trucking company must ensure that all of its drivers are appropriately qualified, adequately trained, and receive adequate rest periods as required under Indiana trucking laws. They may be held accountable for any resulting accidents or injuries if they fail to fulfill these duties.
On top of this, there could be third parties that are not directly involved in the collision but are still liable for their role in the incident. For example, a maintenance company may be responsible for conducting negligent repairs, leading to brake failure and ultimately causing an accident.
A shipping company may be responsible for improperly loading a truck, leading to issues with balance and control that cause a crash. It is crucial to consider all aspects of the event to determine the exact cause and identify all responsible parties.
The number of parties involved in commercial truck accidents and the varied nature of their responsibilities and duties mean that civil litigation following such crashes tends to be highly complex, demanding a thorough and comprehensive investigation to achieve a fair and just outcome.
Could Comparative Fault Effect Recovery?
When filing a civil recovery lawsuit, it is crucial to understand the degree of fault attributed to the injured party. Indiana Code §34-51-2-6 states that individuals who contribute to their own civil damages can receive a reduction in their damage award proportional to their percentage of the total fault. This means that individuals who were partially responsible for their injuries may not receive full compensation for the damages.
Worse, if the plaintiff is found to be more responsible for the accident than all defendants combined, they may be ineligible for any compensation at all. This is why it is crucial to find a truck accident lawyer in Gary. They can help navigate the complexities of comparative fault and contest baseless allegations that may reduce the compensation one may recover.
How To Establish Negligence After a Truck Accident?
In order to successfully obtain a settlement or court award after a truck accident, it is crucial to establish negligence on the part of another party or parties. To do so, multiple components must be proven, including the following:
- Duty of care: It must be demonstrated that the other party owed a duty of care to you. In the context of a truck accident, this typically means that the driver, trucking company, or another party had a responsibility to operate the vehicle safely and minimize the risk of harm to others on the road.
- Breach of duty: It must also be established that the other party breached their duty of care. This could involve several factors, such as excessive speed, failure to maintain the vehicle properly, or ignoring safety regulations that could have prevented the accident.
- Causation: The breach of duty must be directly linked to the accident and any resulting injuries. This could involve showing that the accident would not have occurred if the other party had not been negligent or that your injuries are a direct result of the accident caused by their negligence.
- Damages: Due to the accident, you or a loved one must have suffered damages. This could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or even wrongful death.
It is worth noting that proving negligence can be a complex process, and it may require the assistance of legal experts who can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a case on your behalf.
What Are the Damages You Could Be Awarded Following an Accident?
Regarding truck accident claims, the damages incurred are often substantial due to the gravity of injuries sustained by victims. These injuries could lead to lifelong care, permanent disability, and loss of ability to work. Understanding what damages can be recovered in such claims is important to ensure fair compensation.
Here is a detailed list of the damages that can be recovered in truck accident claims:
- Medical bills: This includes bills for hospitalization, doctor consultations, tests, surgeries, and any other medical expenses incurred due to the accident.
- Emergency transportation costs: The cost of emergency transportation to and from the accident scene and to medical facilities for treatment.
- Lost Wages: This includes compensation for the wages lost due to the inability to work due to the accident.
- The cost of future medical treatment: In cases where the victim requires long-term care, this involves the estimated cost for future medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, and any other related expenses.
- Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident, including long-term effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Costs associated with wrongful death: In situations where the victim dies due to the truck accident, this includes the expenses incurred for burial, funeral services, and other related expenses.
It is important to note that insurance companies could try to devalue your claim. Still, with the help of an experienced lawyer, you can navigate the tricky truck accident laws in Indiana and get fair compensation.
Truck accidents are not uncommon in Gary, Indiana, and they can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. This is why federal and state regulations have been implemented to ensure that drivers and companies abide by safety standards, including regular vehicle maintenance, load securement, and driver training. It is vital for everyone, including truck drivers, carriers, and other motorists, to be aware of these laws and safety measures to prevent future truck accidents and promote a safe environment on our roads.