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Hammond Truck Accident Lawyer

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

Semi Trucks in accident

Getting involved in an accident with a semi-truck is not a fair fight if you are driving a standard motor vehicle.  The speed, size and weight of these trucks results in massive damage being done to whatever and whoever these trucks strike.  In 2020, there were nearly 200 fatal crashed involving trucks in the State of Indiana.  Further, the number of trucks on our roads is only increasing along with the number of truck drivers and semi-trucks which should simply not be on our roads due to the fact they are unsafe due to following: poor driving records of drivers and/or companies; lack of maintenance and/or overused trucks; lack of training/experience; distracted driving; reckless driving due to excessive speeds and 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.

Hammond ordinance § 73.06 looks to control how truck pass another truck in the City Hammond.  It states that, “It shall be unlawful for a truck to pass another moving truck within the city except on signal of a police officer and except on streets with more than 4 traffic lanes.”

Hammond ordinance § 73.07 look to ensure warning devises for disabled trucks are properly displayed.  It states: Whenever any motor truck, truck tractor, semi-trailer, trailer or passenger bus is disabled on the traveled portion of highway or the shoulder thereof within the city, the vehicle shall display the following warning devices on the street or avenue during the time the vehicle is so disabled.

(A) During nighttime a lighted fuse shall be immediately placed on the roadway at the traffic side of the motor vehicle and within the burning period of the fuse 3 lighted flares or 3 electric lanterns shall be placed on the roadway; 1 at a distance of not less than 100 feet in advance of the vehicle and 1 at a distance of not less than 100 feet to the rear of the vehicle each in the center of the lane of traffic occupied by the motor vehicle and 1 at the traffic side of the vehicle.

(B) During daylight hours red flags of red cloth not less than 12 inches square with standards shall be placed in the manner prescribed for flares or electric lanterns. No flag shall be required to be placed at the side of the vehicle. If the disablement continues into the period when lights are required, flares or electric lanterns shall be placed as heretofore prescribed.

Hammond ordinance § 73.09 prohibits dual driving by truck drivers.  It states, “dual driving is prohibited by all trucks and motor vehicles, of gross weight exceeding 5,000 pounds, including its load, on any public street or highway under the jurisdiction of the city. DUAL DRIVING is the act of operating within a lane other than the lane closest to the curb or extreme right side of the paved portion of a street.”

Truck Driver’s Duty of Care to the motoring public in Hammond, 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 – Hammond, 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.

The Indiana Courts allow for several elements of damage to be consider by a jury when awarding damages for injuries and losses sustained by the plaintiff.  These elements of damages include:

  1. The nature and extent of their injuries, and the effect of the injury their ability to function as a whole person;
  2. Whether the injuries are temporary or permanent;
  3. The physical pain and mental suffering experienced and reasonably certain to be experienced in the future as a result of the injuries;
  4. Plaintiff’s age at the time they receive permanent injuries which allows for damages over the plaintiff’s life expectancy;
  5. The reasonable expense of necessary medical care, treatment and services rendered in the past and
  6. Reasonable lost wages in the past and reasonable lost wages expected in the future

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 – Hammond, 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.

The State of Indiana under Indiana Code §8-2.1-24-18 requires compliance with federal motor carrier safety regulations.  This compliance includes, but is not limited to the following:

(a) 49 CFR Parts 40, 375, 380, 382 through 387, 390 through 393, and 395 through 398 are incorporated into Indiana law by reference, and, except as provided in subsections (d), (e), (f), (g), and (j), must be complied with by an interstate and intrastate motor carrier of persons or property throughout Indiana. Intrastate motor carriers subject to compliance reviews under 49 CFR 385 shall be selected according to criteria determined by the superintendent which must include but are not limited to factors such as previous history of violations found in roadside compliance checks and other recorded violations. However, the provisions of 49 CFR 395 that regulate the hours of service of drivers, including requirements for the maintenance of logs, do not apply to a driver of a truck that is registered by the bureau of motor vehicles and used as a farm truck under IC 9-18 (before its expiration) or IC 9-18.1-7 or a vehicle operated in intrastate construction or construction related service, or the restoration of public utility services interrupted by an emergency.

Also, maintenance, inspection, and marking requirements of 49 CFR 173.8 and Part 180 are applicable. In accordance with federal hazardous materials regulations, new or additional non-specification cargo tank motor vehicles may not be placed in service under this subsection.

Another important requirement is that the Indiana State Police has to have inspectors who: (A) has successfully completed a course of instruction approved by the United States Department of Transportation; and (B) maintains an acceptable competency level as established by the state police department for the enforcement of 49 CFR, may, upon demand, inspect the books, accounts, papers, records, memoranda, equipment, and premises of any carrier.

Finally, the State of Indiana allows for certain exemptions during the inspection of vehicles carrying or loaded with a perishable product. However, this exemption does not prohibit a law enforcement officer from stopping these vehicles for an obvious violation that poses an imminent threat of an accident or incident. The exemption is not intended to include refrigerated vehicles loaded with perishables when the refrigeration unit is working.

As for the Federal Motor Carrier Act, it requires interstate motor carriers to have and which provides coverage for claims resulting from the negligent operation of a truck even if the truck is not specifically listed under a trucking company’s insurance policy.  These insurance policies need to include an MCS-90 endorsement which the federal Motor Carrier Act of 1980 requires motor carriers to have. 49 U.S.C. § 31139(b); 49 C.F.R. §§ 387.7(a), 387.9, 387.15. The primary purpose of an MCS-90 endorsement is “to assure that motor carriers maintain an appropriate level of financial responsibility for motor vehicles operated on public highways.” 49 C.F.R. § 387.1 The primary purpose of the MCS-90 is to assure that injured members of the public are able to obtain judgment from negligent authorized interstate carriers.  The endorsement provides coverage for claims resulting from the negligent operation of a commercial vehicle even if the negligently driven vehicle is not specifically listed under the motor carrier’s insurance policy.  The minimum level of financial responsibility for motor carriers of nonhazardous property is $750,000. 49 U.S.C. § 31139(b); 49 C.F.R. § 387.9.

Truck Accidents – Expert Witnesses – Hammond, Indiana:

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 Hammond 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 Hammond, Indiana

Hammond City Hall
Hammond City Hall in the Snow

The City of Hammond is located in Northwest Indiana at the bottom of Lake Michigan with several large highways that produce a large volume of commercial motor vehicle traffic.  These heavy traffic volume highways include: Interstate 80/94; the Indiana Toll Road and Cline Avenue.  The City of Hammond has a land mass which is greater than 22 miles in total.  The City of Hammond has a stable population in excess 80,000 with a balanced mixture of both commercial and residential properties which also leads to the heavy volume of traffic.  Based upon its heavy volume of truck traffic, the City of Hammond has made an effort to reduce the number of trucks traveling on its residential roads by installing signage that does not allow for certain truck traffic as well as increasing fees for violations of this trucking use limitation on Hammond’s roads.

The City of Hammond has passed ordinance § 73.05 to reduce commercial truck parking in the City of Hammond.  This ordinance states:

(A) No person shall park a truck of 5,000 or more pounds or a truck tractor, road tractor, farm tractor, trailer, semi-trailer, tank truck or pole trailer for longer than 2 hours in any 24-hour period of any day on any of the streets in the city. If any other provision of this code or other ordinance of the city prohibits any truck parking or parking by any of the aforesaid vehicles on certain streets then the provision shall prevail notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary.

(B) No person shall park a truck over 12,000 or more pounds or a truck tractor, road tractor, farm tractor, trailer, semi-trailer, tank truck or pole trailer on either side of Martha Street between Grand Boulevard and Nebraska Avenue, on either side of Nebraska Avenue between Martha Street and 169th Street, or on either side of Martha Street between Grand and Nebraska.

(C) (1) The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons, vehicles or other equipment, mentioned herein while actually used or needed for work or services being performed or rendered in the immediate vicinity if no other suitable parking area or place is available within a reasonable distance. (2) This division shall not be interpreted as authorizing the parking of any vehicle or equipment in places where parking is not allowed at any time than is necessary to complete the work or services for which the vehicle or equipment is used or needed.

(D) (1) Any truck of 5,000 or more pounds or a truck tractor, road tractor, farm tractor, trailer, semi-trailer, tank truck or pull trailer shall not be parked on vacant property and any such vehicle found to be parked on vacant property is hereby declared a public nuisance by reason of being a danger to the health and safety of the citizens of Hammond and the vehicle may be impounded or ordered towed by the Police Department. (2) Authority to enter upon such vacant property for the purpose of carrying out the provisions herein is specifically granted to the Police Department and such others as are necessary.

(E) Any truck or other vehicle subject to the provisions of this chapter determined to be illegally parked under this section may be towed pursuant to an order to tow issued by the city’s Police Department.