Fort Wayne’s geographic location makes it a prime area for trucking activity, especially interstate commerce that may be going across the country and through Chicago. This can be great for the local economy, but it also means a higher risk of truck crashes. The injuries suffered when a car is hit by a truck are more likely to be severe. An experienced Fort Wayne truck crash lawyer can help injured people fight for a fair settlement that will cover medical bills and rehabilitation, along with any pain and suffering they have endured.
McKibben Law, LLC understands how to handle truck crash cases that are often more complex than many people realize. Call our Fort Wayne office today at (260) 777-0844 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
The legal dynamic in truck crashes is often different from what it might be in car crashes. The basic principles of law are still the same–proving negligence on the part of the defendant. But with a truck crash, identifying the appropriate defendant can be more involved than with a standard car crash case.
While it’s possible that the truck driver themselves might be the negligent party, a Fort Wayne truck crash lawyer has to perform due diligence to consider other possibilities.
- Was the cause of the crash something flying off the back of the truck? If so, the potential liability would rest with the person or company that did the packing. In the trucking industry, that’s not necessarily the same as the person or company that operated the rig.
- Did the truck company do appropriate investigation into the qualifications of the driver? Truck drivers have specific licenses they must get. Putting an unlicensed or untrained driver on the road can shift the liability to the company.
- As part of the investigation process, truck companies may call their insurance carrier to ask their advice on the hiring of personnel. An insurance investigator could be responsible for an unqualified driver operating an 18-wheel rig.
- In an industry with as many interlocking relationships as trucking, liability can go anywhere from brokers to suppliers to mechanics. That’s to say nothing of the fact the fault might also lie with a third driver–perhaps one not involved in the crash, but whose negligence forced the truck to move in such a way that the collision occurred.
A plaintiff can have a strong case for negligence but still lose if they file suit against the wrong defendant. That’s why a lawyer with a background specifically in truck crash cases can be important to getting a fair settlement.
McKibben Law, LLC has knowledge of all the regulations, both state and federal, that trucking companies must comply with.
A lot of trucks, particularly ones coming through the middle of the country, are often involved in interstate commerce. That means federal law applies, and your Fort Wayne truck crash attorney must be familiar with the extensive regulations that are a part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act.
This legislation and the agency that implements it, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, set forth regulations that the trucking industry must follow. The regulations are extensive.
A prominent one in truck crash cases is the amount of time a driver was allowed to be on the road. There are limits, both daily and weekly, to how long a truck driver can stay on the road. Violation of these limits can be a big part of establishing negligence on the part of the company.
But proving negligence means the attorney must obtain the necessary records from the company. The discovery process is the vehicle by which that can happen.
In a case where it’s suspected the driver was in violation of how much time could be spent on the road, discovery might seek to yield information that would not only prove this particular point, but would establish why the driver was on the road too long.
Were they given assignments and timetables that could only be reasonably achieved by violating regulations? Is there anything that indicates employer laxity in enforcing the regulations? Were drivers even tacitly encouraged to exceed their driving limits? The answers to questions like these, and many more, are possible to find in the discovery process.
Attorney Jennifer McKibben knows how to handle a truck crash case. Even beyond her legal knowledge, she brings a fighting spirit and is determined to help her clients get justice for what they’ve suffered.