We see them every day as we travel down the roads, streets, and highways of America: semi-trucks. They seem impossibly huge as they hurtle towards their destinations.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident with a semi-truck, trailer truck, big rig, or another large shipping vehicle on the road, call Stracci Law Group today and take the first step to get the money you deserve with the leading truck wreck law firm in Crown Point, IN.
They are the arteries of our country’s food supply and a necessary part of almost every American company and industry.
But, as with all things that human beings are involved in, there are sometimes errors, whether intentional or unintentional. A collision with one of these vehicles can result in very serious injury or death that would be far less likely with something smaller. It makes trucking accidents one of the most harrowing possibilities when traveling.
Most Common Causes of Truck Wrecks in Northwest Indiana
The reality on the road is that big rigs present some of the greatest risks to other drivers on the road for a number of reasons. Dangers involving commercial trucks include:
- Tired, overworked drivers
- Mechanical failure/Poor mechanical maintenance
- Traffic congestion
- Distracted driving, such as being on a cell phone or adjusting the radio
- Elevated speed
- Improper checking of mirrors
- Poor road conditions
- Inclement weather
- Drinking/drug use
- And many others while on a big truck…
Stracci Law Group is familiar with the sorts of accidents that large trucks can cause. We know the right questions to ask and the right way to get the recovery that you deserve.
Stracci Law Group brings decades of experience to the negotiating table and courtrooms. Cases caused by the negligence of semi-truck or 18-wheel drivers, tractor-trailers, small and large vehicles, or farm equipment. If you are injured in an accident involving one of these types of transportation, please call today. We’ll schedule an appointment with one of our skilled attorneys to discuss your case and seek maximum recovery for your injuries to make sure your bills are paid and you are compensated for your pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
Lake County Different Truck Accidents We Handle
All personal injury and wrongful death cases, including those caused by the negligent conduct of a semi-truck driver, are essentially filed to establish two main things; first, who is responsible for the accident, and second, how much should be awarded to the injured party.
Semi-truck accidents are often more complicated than typical “fender bender” cases because of the addition of multiple variables. For example, the size of the vehicle involved greatly increases the likelihood of more serious injuries, but most people are unaware that modern semi-trucks are required to be equipped with a sophisticated “black box” that can give detailed information about what the truck was doing prior to the accident, identify mechanical issues, and keep track of things like the status of wheel integrity, weight of the hauled items, and number of hours the truck has been in continuous operation.
The insurance companies for the trucking industry would prefer you not be aware of this when you’re involved in an accident with one of their insured vehicles because the less you know, the more desperate you’ll be to quickly and cheaply resolve your case.
We won’t let that happen. We’ll make the truck company preserve the data, provide it to us, and have experts review it for a comprehensive look at why the crash took place. We’ll do this to ensure that you get the maximum possible recovery for your personal injury or wrongful death case.
These are the types of accidents that can happen when a semi-truck with a trailer is involved:
When a semi-truck approaches a turn at too high a speed, the truck's top-heavy nature can cause the trailer, or the truck itself, to capsize and cause enormous damage to vehicles underneath or behind it.
When a truck applies its brakes improperly, this can cause the trailer to “swing out” from behind the semi and create an angled path, which can enter into nearby lanes and push cars off of the road or strike them with incredible force, causing damage and injury.
As with cars, if a semi-driver is following a vehicle too closely and needs to make an emergency maneuver, sometimes the additional weight makes stopping impossible. These collisions are especially dangerous, as the size of a semi versus a smaller vehicle can cause high levels of damage and can expose drivers to extreme injury or death.
“Under carriage” collision
Also called “under ride” accidents, this happens when a semi shifts lanes and traps a smaller vehicle under the trailer it is hauling. This type of collision is very often serious, and injuries from being trapped underneath a trailer are some of the most serious. This often happens when the driver of a smaller vehicle is passing a semi with a large, heavy load.
If a truck tire blows out on a congested road like the I-80, the consequences can be dire. The driver will have much more trouble controlling their rig and run the risk of hitting other vehicles or rolling over.
If a trailer becomes detached from the truck, or the items within fall out or off the truck, on a crowded road like I-80 or I-65, the situation can quickly turn dangerous. An I-65 accident like this may cause a pileup.
As with any vehicle on the road, a driver’s behavior can be unpredictable if they are not paying attention to their path and other drivers. Stracci Law Group is prepared to help you with any sort of accident involving a semi-truck or big rig.
Types of Big Rigs Most Commonly Causing Road Collisions
Tractor trailers are a type of 18-wheeler that have a cab designed to pull an enclosed trailer with cargo; their blind spots are notoriously large.
A semi-truck with an open flatbed trailer rather than an enclosed box, this truck is most commonly used for oddly shaped cargo— anything from vehicles to construction materials.
Garbage, Dump, and Utility Trucks
With limited visibility, huge blind spots, and frequent stops, garbage and utility trucks pose a danger as they carry heavy loads of trash and other materials.
Because they often carry hazardous substances like toxic liquids and gasoline that can ignite, a collision with a tanker truck can spell real disaster.
Mail delivery truck drivers have to multitask, checking addresses, house numbers, and the road at the same time. It’s not uncommon for them to accidentally strike pedestrians and cars in neighborhoods.
The result of a collision is often dependent on the type of truck. Each truck comes with its own hazards, from a tanker with dangerous materials to a flatbed truck with heavy construction materials.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
There is nothing at all “common” about trucking accidents (except, perhaps, for how frighteningly often they occur), nor the injuries which result from them. However, certain injuries in semi-truck accidents occur more frequently due to the nature of the impact and the dangers that arise when a larger, heavier vehicle strikes a smaller vehicle. Some examples would be:
- Sprained joints
- Bone breaks
- Cuts (also called “lacerations”)
- Bruising (also called “contusions”)
- Back, neck, or spine injuries, including displaced discs, cracked vertebrae, or whiplash
- Muscle pain or strains
- Organ or torso damage
- Internal bleeding
- Skull crack
- Psychological injuries, like depression, anxiety, or fear of driving
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Death or catastrophic, systemic injury
Who Is Responsible for Indiana Trucking Accidents?
One may assume that only the driver can be held responsible for a trucking accident, but this is a common misconception. In reality, there are a number of parties that are responsible for a truck, and therefore several parties who may be held liable in the event of an accident, for example:
- Truck driver: One of the most commonly liable parties because they are in direct control of their vehicle, truck drivers are the first to be considered in a truck accident claim.
- Trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for the training and oversight of their drivers, and can therefore be held accountable for some accidents.
- Truck manufacturer: If the truck was defective in such a way that it leads to an accident, the manufacturer can be held responsible.
- Cargo company: If improper loading was the cause of the accident, then the cargo company which loaded the truck may be held liable.
- Truck owner: If the owner of the truck does not keep it in proper working condition, they may be held responsible.
- Large truck parts manufacturer: Every truck is made up of many different parts, and if one of these crucial parts fails to function properly, the manufacturer may be at fault.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Trucking Injury Lawsuit?
Truck accidents can impact victims greatly. From economic damages like medical expenses and lost earnings to noneconomic damages like pain and decreased quality of life.
You may receive compensation for some or all of the following:
- Medical bills: Any treatments, surgery, medications, rehab, or physical therapy required as a result of the truck accident. This also includes future medical expenses, as serious injuries like spinal cord injuries can continue to affect you for years to come.
- Lost income: Lost wages are calculated using your income statements.
- Loss of future income: Many aren’t able to return to work immediately after a truck accident, and our dedicated attorneys will fight to ensure these are included in your damages.
- Pain and suffering: Any mental or emotional distress caused by the truck accident, whether that be due to physical injury or post-traumatic stress.
- Loss of consortium: Marriage is often negatively affected by an accident, and these damages cover loss of love, companionship, care, affection, sexual relations, and more.
- Decline in quality of life: After a bad trucking accident, your quality of life may decrease due to your injuries, and we’ll help you receive just compensation for this decline.
How Our Crown Point Truck Accident Law Firm Can Help?
Make no mistake about it: Semi-truck accidents can be catastrophic to a person or their family, not only physically but financially and emotionally. The insurance companies that represent semi-truck drivers and the companies that employ them will stop at nothing to give you a rock-bottom resolution to your case and to delay matters as long as possible so as to earn interest on the money they intend to pay you. They know that when one of their drivers has injured you, the clock is working against you. Bills continue to pile up, your credit score drops, and if you do not have some kind of paycheck insurance yourself, you could be out of work and unable to provide for yourself or your family for days, weeks, months, or years. Perhaps never again. And if you have lost a family member to a trucking accident, those same insurance companies are banking on your grief and mental fatigue to drag down your will to fight for a higher judgment.
You can level the playing field by hiring Stracci Law Group. We tell our clients that when you hire us, you are also paying us to do any worrying for you. We’ll answer the difficult questions, stop the phone calls, help you find the doctors you need, and get as much of the burden off of you as possible. Our attorneys are trained, experienced, and available when you need them. We believe in honestly assessing your case and telling you upfront what we think we can recover for you, based on the facts of the case and our decades of experience. We understand how the process works, but we also understand that you are a person with feelings and a desire to be heard. You can count on us to be aggressive with the insurance companies and honest, direct, and still compassionate with you. Keep in mind that recoveries for personal injury and wrongful death cases are typically almost three times higher than the recoveries for unrepresented parties. And the recoveries we go after are the best we can get for you. . . not for our office.
Why Choose Stracci Law Group For a Truck Accident Claim?
At Stracci Law Group, we want to deliver the best possible representation we can -- and we will make every effort to accommodate you and your specific needs. Being injured in an accident is a low point in anyone’s life. However, you can count on us to do everything in our power to get you through this difficult time. You can expect that we will be compassionate and available whenever you need us. At the same time, our truck wreck attorney will be relentlessly pursuing your recovery with the insurance companies to see that you get the highest possible compensation for your injuries.