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Gary Truck Accident Lawyer

Gary, Indiana – Truck Accident Lawyer - Truck Accident Attorney – Serious Injury – Death Cases

Truck crashWhen you are involved in a collision with a truck, it is not a fair fight for the person who is operating a car or motorcycle.  Due to the truck’s speed, size and weight, there will be massive damage done to whatever and whoever that truck strikes.  In 2020, there were nearly 200 fatal crashed involving semi-trucks in the State of Indiana.  Further, the number of semi-trucks in our state is only increasing along with the number of truck drivers and semi-trucks who should simply not be on our roads due to the fact they act unsafe for a variety of reasons including: the bad driving record of drivers and/or companies; lack of maintenance and/or overused of the semi-trucks; the lack of training/experience of the drivers by the companies; distracted driving by the drivers due to cell phones and other electronics in the cabs; drivers driving excessive speeds and making unsafe lane maneuvers; and so on.

Another issue for someone injured or killed in a truck collision is that getting fair compensation is very difficult without a skilled attorney like the Gladish Law Group on your side.  Trucking companies and their insurance companies have attorneys “on call” that go to accident scenes morning, noon and night to ensure they protect trucking companies from your personal claim by speaking with their truck driver and any potential witnesses.  The reason behind this tactic is to control access to evidence that may hurt the trucking company and their insurance company while attempting to ensure that the injured party does not get access the information and evidence necessary to prove their personal injury or wrongful death claim.

The basis of our system of justice is intended to compensate victims for their losses due to the negligent conduct of others which in this case would be truck drivers and truck companies.  In order to have a case and collect money, the plaintiff/injured party must prove by a preponderous of evidence that they are entitled to make a recovery.  It is important to note that all operators of motor vehicles have a general duty to use ordinary care to avoid injuries to other motorists.  Further, a motorist is charged with the duty of exercising ordinary care to observe dangers and obstructions and is chargeable with notice of obstructions that a person of ordinary prudence would reasonably be expected to observe.

Truck Driver’s Duty of Care to the motoring public in Gary, Indiana:

There are certain jury instructions that the trial court judge will give to the jury as it relates to the obligations of a truck driver and the trucking companies when they are operating on the roads in the State of Indiana.  These jury instructions provide attorneys the necessary information on standards of conduct while presenting our client’s case to a jury. The trial court judge will instruct the jury that, “every motor vehicle driver must use ordinary care that a person would use under the same or similar circumstances. Drivers who do not use reasonable care are negligent.” The trial court judge will also instruct the jury as to truck driver’s duty of maintaining a proper lookout while operating their commercial motor vehicle which is that, “every driver must maintain a proper lookout to see or hear what should be seen or heard through the exercise of reasonable care.

Injuries and Damages from Truck Accident cases – Gary, Indiana:

The Gladish Law Group is focused on maximizing the money our clients receive for truck accident claims.  Knowing the medicine and what are expected results for certain injuries including what are the long-term health problems associate with such injuries is key to maximizing any monetary recovery.  If you have a disc in jury, closed head injury, broken bones, whip lash injury to your neck, cervicogenic headaches, radiculopathy, nerve trauma/injury and so on, the Gladish Law Group knows how to present these claims so that the insurance company fully understands that damage you have sustained and your need for monetary compensation.

In Indiana, the elements of damages available in a wrongful death case can include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses: The plaintiff may be entitled to recover the reasonable expenses incurred for the deceased person’s funeral and burial.
  • Medical expenses: The plaintiff may be able to recover the reasonable medical expenses incurred by the deceased person before death as a result of the injury or illness that led to their death.
  • Lost income and benefits: The plaintiff may be able to recover the amount of income and benefits the deceased person would have earned had they lived. This includes future earnings, as well as any pension, retirement, or other benefits that the deceased person would have received.
  • Loss of companionship and consortium: The plaintiff may be able to recover damages for the loss of the deceased person’s companionship, love, and affection.

It’s worth noting that damages awarded in a wrongful death case may vary depending on the circumstances of the case, including the relationship between the deceased person and the plaintiff, the defendant’s conduct, and the amount of economic and non-economic damages suffered by the plaintiff. It’s best to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney like the Gladish Law Group for guidance on the specifics of your case.

Indiana also recognizes that a proper element of damage is the impairment of earning capacity which means the impairment of ability to engage in one’s vocation as distinguished from loss of earnings. The concept of impaired earning capacity involves more than mere proof of permanent injury and pain. There must be evidence of probative value which relates the injury to an inability to engage in one’s vocation. Like other damage issues this issue may be proven by both expert and non-expert testimony. The gist of the concept is the adverse effect on vocation. The basic measure of damages for impairment of lost earning capacity is the difference between the amount which the plaintiff was capable of earning before the injury and the amount which he is capable of earning thereafter.

Truck Accidents – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act – Gary, Indiana:

When dealing with truck collision, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration applies rules and enforces certain regulations which are in place to protect the public from the potential dangers that commercial trucking and trucking companies present to our society.  The Gladish Law Group ensures that the truck driver and the trucking company are thoroughly examined on these requirements.  It has been shown time and time again that most truck drivers and their employees do not know and/or follow these requirements.

Examples of the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules are as follows:

Knowing the trucking regulations and trucking industry practices are necessary knowledge for an attorney to effectively handle a serious trucking collision and ensure the monetary recovery for our clients is maximized.  Without an effective knowledge of these trucking regulations as well as having experience in handling trucking litigation, attorneys that attempt to practice in this area are doing their clients a disservice.

In general, an employer of an independent contractor is not liable for physical harm and damage caused to another by an act or omission of that independent contractor. However, an interstate motor carrier can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of an independent contractor pursuant to the FMCSR under certain circumstances. Indeed, the FMCSR “were initially prompted by concerns that certified carriers were evading federal safety requirements by using equipment leased from owner-operators who were exempt from the limitations placed upon certified carriers.”

The history of the regulations of motor carriers reveals that after the commencement of regulation in 1935, because of stringent and comprehensive rules regulating the conduct, operation, financial ability, and insurance coverage of the motor truck industry, a substantial number of carriers possessing ICC certificates began to use equipment owned and driven by truckers who had no such ICC operating authority. This use was accomplished by a variety of leases, trip leases, and by other arrangements under which owner-operator truckers carried on the operations of the carriers with operating authority. In contracting with such persons the carriers took care to constitute the lessors as independent contractors which enabled them to avoid the commission’s safety, financial, and insurance regulations that had been prescribed for equipment and drivers in order to protect the public. Many of the owner-operators without authority were itinerant truckers known as “gypsies,” fly-by-night truckers with poor, unsafe equipment who had little financial ability. They may or may not have had adequate insurance. The hard core of the problem was the trip lease and its attendant evils which permitted an indifferent carrier to evade its safety and financial responsibility. The practice of leasing made it difficult in accident cases to fix responsibility, and certified carriers could thus escape the consequences of the regulations and responsibility for accidents by employing irresponsible persons as independent contractors who were not financially accountable and who had no insurance or were under-insured. Thousands of unregulated trucks were on the road.

The FMCSR eliminate the distinction between independent contractors and employees so that an attempt by motor carriers to avoid liability simply by labeling a driver as an independent contractor is unavailing. The FMCSR promote public safety by insuring that motor carriers with operating authority are unable to delegate or evade responsibility by means of a contractual device.  Thus, a DOT-authorized motor carrier will be held liable for the negligence of its “employee” as that term is defined in 49 C.F.R. § 390.5 as “employee means any individual, other than an employer, who is employed by an employer and who in the course of his or her employment directly affects commercial motor vehicle safety.” Such term includes a driver of a commercial motor vehicle (including an independent contractor while in the course of operating a commercial motor vehicle), a mechanic, and a freight handler.

Truck Accidents – Expert Witnesses – Gary, Indiana:

Finally, Gladish Law Group employs high level experts who focus on trucking collision cases. One of the important experts is a “Human Factors” expert, since they have scientific knowledge relating to relating what a driver expects while driving; what a driver’s perception and reaction times are for dangers in the roadway; how distractions effect a driver; as well as other areas. It is also important to employee experts in trucking who can discuss and review the actions of the defendants based upon the facts and background actions of the defendants in areas like maintenance of the truck and training of the driver.

Another important expert can be an accident reconstructionist who help the jury see how the collision happened with a scientific review of the evidence found on scene including: skid marks, gouge marks in the pavement, physical damage to vehicles and video evidence.  After completing their scientific review of the evidence, these experts use computer programs to layout the scene and use computer-generated modeling to show the jury how the collision occurred which is powerful evidence.  During the examination of the accident reconstructionist, the jury can really understand how the collision occurred through video and/or digital diagrams presented through a power point format allowing for the highlighting of important segments of the collision demonstrating the fault of defendants in causing the underlying collision.  This evidence then sets the stage for presentation of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages through medical witnesses and economists. The Gladish Law Group takes pride in keeping our clients up-to-date as to all steps taken in securing expert testimony which shows the negligence of defendants as well as the damages sustained by the plaintiff.

How a Gary Truck Accident Attorney Can Help with Your Truck Accident Injury Claim:

If you, or a loved one, has suffered an injury or death due to the negligence of a truck driver and that driver’s company, it is important that you seek the advice of a qualified lawyer who understands the law and possesses the skill to ensure that you get justice you deserve for your loss. Do not waste your one and only opportunity to receive just compensation for your injury case by hiring the wrong lawyer. Get a lawyer that is experienced, highly rated and certified to represent you and/or your family. Get Gladish.

About Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana City Hall
Gary, Indiana City Hall Ceiling Above Staircase

The City of Gary is located in Northwest Indiana at the bottom of Lake Michigan with several large highways allowing for a large volume of commercial semi-tractor trailer traffic.  These heavy volume highways include: Interstate 80/94; the Indiana Toll Road and Interstate 65.  The City of Gary has a land mass which is greater than 50 miles in total.  The City of Gary has a population in excess 80,000 with a balanced mixture of both heavy industrial as well as residential properties which helps to produce a heavy volume of truck traffic.

Based upon this heavy volume of truck traffic, the City of Gary has made an effort to reduce the number of trucks traveling on its residential roads by signage which does not allow for truck traffic as well as increasing fees for violations on this use limitations of Gary’s roads.  Further, the City of Gary manages truck activity and routing through the City of Gary with a coordinated efforts of the Traffic Department and the Public Works Division as well as restricting the operation of through-trucks from sensitive residential streets through coordination with the Traffic Department.

Pursuant to ordinance Sec. 40-295, the City of Gary restricts the parking of commercial vehicles as follows:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person owning or operating a commercial vehicle to park, permit, or allow to be parked any such vehicle in any of the alleys of the city. Commercial vehicles for which there has been issued a truck or trailer license, and which license is attached to the truck or trailer, may park any such vehicle in any alley for the purpose of loading or unloading not to exceed one hour. Any such vehicle so parked shall not straddle the center of any such alley or completely block it but shall at all times leave the alley free for the passage of other vehicles.

(b) Except as otherwise prohibited or restricted under this article, or as prohibited or restricted by order of the board of public works and safety and the traffic engineer, it shall be lawful for the owner or operator of any vehicle to place or park it upon any of the streets of the city at all times. However, it shall be unlawful for the owner or operator of any truck of a greater capacity than the manufacturer’s rated capacity of 2½ tons, or any truck or vehicle having more than four wheels, or any trailer, tractor, or semitrailer to place, park, or permit its placing or parking upon any of the streets or alleys of the city for a period longer than two hours. No such vehicle shall be parked on any of the streets or alleys in the city between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

(c) It shall hereafter be unlawful for any person, owner or driver to park or cause to be parked any bus, truck, truck tractor, semitrailer, or trailer that exceeds 3/4 tons capacity of standard design, upon any street or alley in an area zoned for residential, semi-commercial, and commercial use, except for expeditious delivery or pickup of materials.

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to park a commercial vehicle in congested districts for the purpose of loading and unloading between the hours of 6:00 a.m. through 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. through 5:30 p.m. However, the provisions of this division shall not apply to subsection (a) of this section.