$48.5 MILLION

Truck Accident Multimillion-Dollar Settlement.

"M.A.," a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico. Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The McNeely Stephenson firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased.

our client results

Indiana Truck Accident FAQs

How many truck accidents happen on Indiana roads?
What causes most truck accidents?
How are truck accidents different from passenger car accidents?
Are there features other than their weight that make trucks dangerous on the road?
Are drugs and alcohol a problem for truck drivers?
What about truck driver fatigue?
What types of injuries happen in truck wrecks?
Do most large truck fatal accidents happen on interstates?
Why is it a good idea to hire a lawyer after an accident involving a large truck?
What areas of Indiana do you cover?

How many truck accidents happen on Indiana roads?

In 2011, large trucks accounted for 4 percent of the vehicles in Indiana collisions, but when you look at collisions in which a person died, large trucks were involved in 13 percent of the accidents. In that year, there were 143 such fatal accidents in Indiana and 1,931 large truck accidents which caused injuries. Large trucks are defined as those with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 10,000 pounds, including single unit trucks and truck tractors.

What causes most truck accidents?

Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board show that, in general, driver error is the leading cause of large truck accidents, accounting for 31 percent of fatal truck accidents. Indiana State Police figures indicate the following specific causes of 2011 serious injury collisions involving large trucks:

  • Failure to yield the right of way – 20.33%
  • Following too closely – 12.15%
  • Truck veered to left of center – 11.02%
  • Truck ran off the road to the right – 7.34%
  • Disregarded a signal – 7.06%
  • Was traveling at an unsafe speed – 6.78%
  • Was driving too fast for weather conditions – 4.80%
  • Driver was asleep or fatigued – 2.54%

How are truck accidents different from passenger car accidents?

Because of their weight, trucks can inflict much more damage than cars can, both to property and to life and limb. An average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds, but tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000. Normally, in a car accident the driver is the only responsible party; but in truck accidents, victims may look to others – such as the trucking company or the owner of the tractor-trailer – for compensation.

Are there features other than their weight that make trucks dangerous on the road?

Large trucks have large blind spots, sometimes called “no zones,” in the front, rear and sides. If another vehicle happens to be in one of the blind spots when the truck driver executes a turn or changes lanes, it’s at risk of being hit. This could explain the fact that in Indiana in 2011, nearly 5 percent of large trucks were changing lanes prior to a collision, compared to 2 percent for other vehicle types.

Are drugs and alcohol a problem for truck drivers?

Being on the road for long stretches can cause fatigue and boredom. Some truckers do use illegal substances to try to stay alert. The Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety found in a study that 15 percent of tractor-trailer drivers had marijuana in their system; 12 percent had used stimulants; 2 percent had cocaine in their system; but less than 1 percent were under the influence of alcohol.

The Code of Federal Regulations prohibits truck drivers from engaging in certain risky or dangerous behaviors. They are not to use any drug – legal or illegal – that could interfere with their ability to operate a truck safely.

What about truck driver fatigue?

The problem of drowsy (and dangerous) truck drivers prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to revise the hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers. The new HOS rules require a driver to take at least a 30-minute break every 8 consecutive hours. Drivers are allowed to drive 11 hours within a period of 14 consecutive hours, but after 11 hours of driving, the driver must be off duty for 10 consecutive hours before again taking the wheel. On a weekly basis, a truck driver’s total on-duty time is limited to 60 hours in each 7-day period or 70 hours in 8 days, with the new “week” beginning after the driver has 34 consecutive off-duty hours. This is known as the 34-hour restart.

Importantly, the restart period must include at least two off-duty periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

What types of injuries happen in truck wrecks?

Because of their size and weight, trucks can inflict devastating injuries. The Indianapolis truck wreck lawyers of Mike Stephenson’s firm have represented clients who suffered serious injuries in large truck accidents, including the following:

  • Broken arms and legs
  • Internal injuries
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Crushed limbs requiring amputation
  • Paraplegia
  • Traumatic brain injury.

You can read some of their stories here.

Do most large truck fatal accidents happen on interstates?

Actually, nationally, 61 percent of fatalities occurred on major roads other than interstate highways. State routes, urban arteries and rural roads also see a fair share of truck accidents.

Why is it a good idea to hire a lawyer after an accident involving a large truck?

If you or your family member was injured in the accident, you will have many issues to deal with and a number of responsibilities competing for your time and attention. It is likely that the trucking company will have a team of experienced lawyers and insurance adjusters to represent their interests. You deserve equally focused representation. It might not even be clear in the beginning who all the potential responsible parties are. A truck accident lawyer will know how to scrutinize the details of the accident and investigate the circumstances to clarify liability. And insurance companies are notorious for trying to make quick settlements. In the pain and confusion following a large truck accident, your judgment may be clouded. Let an attorney advise you and work toward a full and fair compensation for your family’s catastrophic accident.

What areas of Indiana do you cover?

Although our offices are in Shelbyville, near Indianapolis, our personal injury attorneys serve clients located in towns and cities all across the state of Indiana. In fact, Mike Stephenson has handled litigation in 18 states and is often called upon by attorneys in other states to assist with their Indiana cases.

Mike Stephenson believes justice matters. Phone him at 317-825-5200 or use the firm’s convenient online contact form. You’ll find comfort in the way Mike listens to your story and takes a “client first” approach.

real-life cases

We have won numerous multi-million dollar cases for our clients.

See examples of how we helped clients whose lives were turned upside down by reckless or negligent acts of others. We took on negligent county officials when D.H. flew over his handlebars while riding on a bridge left in disrepair for years. We brought justice to the family of of J.M. and his wife after a defective tire ended their lives. We held a drunk driver and those who served him alcohol accountable when he seriously injured B.K., who also lost three family members in a crash.

Read more examples of how we get justice and compensation for our clients.

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

Moving Your Case Forward

By choosing to talk with McNeely Stephenson, you will benefit from over 30 years of experience, significant investigative and financial resources, and high standards of client care. Let our Truck Accident Lawyers work for you.

With more than three decades of experience, substantial financial resources to commit to your case, and a commitment to the highest standards of client care, you can count on Mike. Contact him today by calling 1-317-825-5200 for a free accident consultation, or use our online contact form. At McNeely Stephenson, we believe justice matters.

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
July 12, 2019 / Truck Accidents
How Many Truck Accidents Happen Annually?

Big rigs are an essential component of the U.S. economy, transporting goods and parts that consumers need. The trucking industry is regulated by a government agency called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), whose job it is to prevent injuries and accidents through safety regulations, technological advancements, and other measures. Carriers and individual drivers are required by law to adhere to FMSCA regulations. When the...

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Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

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The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.

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Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.

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The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.

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The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys. Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson is proud to be included in this national organization of top trial lawyers.

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Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states

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