Lake County, Indiana – Truck Accident Lawyer - Truck Accident Attorney – Serious Injury – Death Cases
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.
So, what does a plaintiff have to show to make a monetary recovery in a truck accident case? To sustain an action for negligence, a plaintiff must establish:
1.) a duty owed by the defendant to conform her conduct to a standard of care arising from her relationship with the plaintiff;
2.) a breach of that duty; and
3.) an injury proximately caused by the breach of that duty.
This is a basic outline of what is necessary to make a recovery of money in a truck accident case. It is important to note that the Gladish Law Group knows how to maximize recoveries for our clients in truck accident claims.
Truck Driver’s Duty of Care to the motoring public in Lake County, Indiana:
There are certain instructions that are provided to a jury as it relates to the obligations of a truck driver on the roads in the State of Indiana. These instructions provide us guidance when advising our clients. The Court instruct juries 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 Court will also instruct as to the obligations to maintain a proper lookout while driving your 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 – Lake County, 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.
When looking to see whether a damage award is excessive or inadequate, the Indiana Courts consider only the evidence that supports the award together with the reasonable inferences therefrom. If there is any evidence to support the amount of the award, even if it is conflicting, the Indiana Courts will not reverse such an award. It is important to note that a jury determination of damages is entitled to great deference when challenged on appeal. However, this discretion is not limitless. The Indiana Courts will set aside an award of compensatory damages as impermissibly excessive where it is apparent from a review of the evidence that the amount of the damages is so great it cannot be explained upon any basis other than passion, partiality, prejudice, corruption, or some other improper element. To warrant reversal, the award must appear to be so outrageous as to impress the Court at first blush with its enormity. Still, the jury’s damage award will not be deemed the result of improper considerations if the size of the award can be explained on any reasonable ground. Further, when the evidence concerning the injury and damages is conflicting, the jury is in the best position to assess the damages and the jury’s verdict cannot be said to be based upon prejudice, passion, partiality, corruption, or on the consideration of some improper element.
The Indiana Courts allow for several elements to be consider in awarding damages for injuries sustained by a plaintiff. These elements include:
- The nature and extent of their injuries, and the effect of the injury their ability to function as a whole person;
- Whether the injuries are temporary or permanent;
- The physical pain and mental suffering experienced and reasonably certain to be experienced in the future as a result of the injuries;
- Plaintiff’s age at the time they receive permanent injuries which allows for damages over the plaintiff’s life expectancy;
- The reasonable expense of necessary medical care, treatment and services rendered in the past and any reasonable medical expenses reasonably expected in the future; and
- 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.
Finally, it is important to note that a personal injury award is not excessive where (1) the award was not based upon jury prejudice, partiality, or corruption, (2) the jury has not misunderstood or misapplied the evidence, (3) the award was not based upon consideration of an improper element such as liability insurance, and (4) the award was within the parameters of the evidence. Under such circumstances, the Indiana Courts will not substitute our judgment for that of the jury as to reasonable compensation for a plaintiff.
Truck Accidents – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act – Lake County, Indiana:
When dealing with accidents involving semi-tractor trailers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set forth rules and regulations which were put in place to ensure that commercial truck and bus drivers comply with certain safety regulations. A review of the practices of the operator of the tractor/trailer as it relates to these Federal regulations can be very important in demonstrating that the truck driver acted in a negligent fashion on the day in question. The Court give instructions on the violation of statutory duty.
Examples of the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules are as follows:
People who are injured in truck collisions offer suffer severe injuries or death at a higher rate than a simple car on car accident. This deadly fact is why the federal government regulates the trucking industry which can be dangerous even under the best of road conditions. Truck drivers and trucking companies sometimes allow bad drivers as well as poorly maintained trucks onto our roads and highway without concern for the safety of the motoring public.
Part 395 relating to “hours-of-service regulation” which requires the driver of a large, heavy truck, with a lot of responsibility and concern for safety. The hours-of-service regulation has been put in place to keep tired/fatigued drivers off the public highways with limits relating to when and how long a truck driver may operate their truck. These requirements also ensure that truck drivers stay awake as well as alert while driving their trucks. The hours-of-service regulations focus on when and how long you are allowed to drive by placing specific limits on the amount of time you drive your truck and how many total hours you can work before you are no longer permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle. You must follow 3 maximum duty limits at all times. They are the 14-hour “driving window” limit, 11-hour driving limit, and 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day duty limits.
During the 14-consecutive-hour period explained above, you are only allowed to drive your truck for up to 11 total hours. A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period; however, driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. Once you have driven a total of 11 hours, you have reached the driving limit and must be off duty for another 10 consecutive hours (or equivalent) before driving your truck again.
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.
Truck Accidents – Expert Witnesses – Lake County, Indiana:
Finally, Attorney Gladish will employ the services of experts in trucking accident cases. Human Factor experts are important relating to expectation; perception/reaction; distraction; and other areas. Trucking experts are important to discuss and review the actions of the driver in relation to the facts and circumstances of the case. Accident Reconstructionist experts are necessary to present to the jury how an accident occurred based upon physical evidence at the scene including: skid marks, speed estimates, gouges in the pavement, and damage to the vehicles. Employing computer technology and laser measuring devices to map the scene, a computer-generated scene can demonstrate to a jury the Plaintiff’s version of how the accident occurred based upon expert testimony. A jury can view the scene through digital diagrams presented in a power point format which will highlight key segments of the accident to show how the defendant was at fault for causing the underlying accident, thereby causing injuries and damages to the plaintiff. Attorney Gladish takes great pride in ensuring that a client is up-to-date as to all steps taken by him to present the claim relating to both negligence as well as the damages sustained by a client.
How a Lake County 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 Lake County, Indiana
The Lake County is located in Northwest Indiana and was incorporated as 1837. Lake County has a population of over 500,000 residents and is the second most populous county in the State of Indiana. Lake County is viewed as part of the Metro-Chicago market due to its close proximity to the City of Chicago. Lake County has a balanced mixture of businesses, restaurants, shopping and residential properties, but is also well known for its industrial base that includes many steel mills and other heavy industries.
The City of Crown Point is the county seat where most of the Lake County civil courts are located as well as all of the Lake County criminal court and Lake County jail. Lake County is run by 3 elected commissioners who are charged with serving as the executive and administrative authority for Lake County. The Commissioners control, maintain and supervise Lake County’s property; conducts audits as well as authorizing the payment of claims; the Commissioners receive bids and authorizes contracts; supervise the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in the county; they appoint certain officials; and serve on the Lake County Board of Finance.
The Lake County Council is a 7-member elected board that acts as the financial power of the Lake County as well as serving as a check on the power of the Board of County Commissioners. The Lake County Counsel also fixes the county tax rate; makes certain appropriations, reappropriates and transferring of funds; adopts annual budgets; incurs indebtedness on behalf of Lake County; sets salaries; levies taxes to provide funds for constructing, repairing and remodeling of the Lake County Jail; and furnishes financial assistance to any community center. The Lake County Government Complex is located at 2293 N. Main Street in Crown Point, Indiana.