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proving negligence in a truck accident lawsuit

Each year, semi-truck accidents in Indiana kill over 100 people and lead to thousands of injuries. In many cases, these accidents happen because the truck driver failed to act carefully and disregarded the safety of others. Victims have the right to seek compensation for the truck driver’s negligence when this happens. 

However, proving negligence in a truck accident lawsuit is a significant burden that requires a focused effort and legal knowledge. Gerling Law Injury Attorneys is a top law firm that has achieved countless successful outcomes for accident victims. Call our offices today to take the first step towards justice.

What Is Negligence?

In essence, negligence occurs when someone fails to act with reasonable care and harms another person. Reasonable care is measured by what a hypothetical prudent person would do in the same situation. 

Like all other motorists, truck drivers have a duty of care to others on the road. If they fail to act safely, this carelessness can lead to devastating accidents.

Steps to Proving Negligence in a Truck Accident Lawsuit

Establishing negligence in a truck accident case is not easy. Transportation companies know how to defend their actions and will do all they can to get your case dismissed. Following these steps will help ensure your claim aligns with the required elements of negligence.

  • Identify the liable party. This might seem straightforward, but many parties could be responsible. Possibilities include the truck driver, the trucking company, the loading company, the truck or parts manufacturer, or a third-party mechanic.
  • Establish a duty of care. Truck drivers must obey traffic laws, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and be alert to potential dangers. Likewise, the trucking company has a duty to properly maintain the truck, properly qualify the driver before hiring them, and review safety rules and policies with new drivers.
  • Prove breach of duty. Actions like speeding, driving under the influence, driving too many hours, poor truck maintenance, or any act that falls below expected standards would constitute a breach of the duty of care.
  • Demonstrate causation. You must also show how the accident caused your losses. A detailed investigation will be crucial in finding evidence that shows this link.
  • Show resultant harm. Winning compensation requires meticulous documentation of your losses. These damages can include physical injuries, financial losses, or pain and suffering caused by the accident.

If you were injured in a truck accident due to negligence, the attorneys at Gerling Law can help guide you on the proper steps to take so the negligent parties can be held liable.

What Types of Evidence Can Be Used to Prove Negligence in a Truck Accident Case?

As stated, the law requires you to prove that the other side was negligent. To do so, you’ll need to gather a variety of evidence that paints a clear picture of the accident and the responsible party’s actions. You’ll need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the other side was liable for the crash. 

Here are some key types of evidence you can use:

  • Police reports. The initial police report from the accident scene is a crucial document. It will contain details about the accident, witness statements, and the officer’s observations.
  • Accident scene evidence. Photos and videos of the crash scene can be incredibly valuable. They can capture details like skid marks, road conditions, vehicle damage, and the final resting positions of the vehicles.
  • Witness statements. Statements from anyone who saw the crash can provide crucial insights into what transpired. These witnesses can corroborate your account of events or provide additional details that may be helpful.
  • Truck driver records. The truck driver’s employment records, driving history, and medical history can identify factors contributing to the accident. These can include fatigue, policy violations, or underlying health conditions.
  • Electronic data recorders. Modern trucks often have black boxes that record data like speed, braking, and engine performance. This data can be used to reconstruct the events leading up to the accident and identify driver negligence.
  • Medical records. Your medical records will document the extent of your injuries and the treatment you received. They can be essential evidence that establishes a causal link between the crash and your injuries and proves the value of your medical expenses.

Remember, the more comprehensive your evidence collection, the stronger your case will be.  Our firm’s truck accident attorneys can guide you through this process and collect all relevant information to maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

How Gerling Law Injury Attorneys Can Help Fight for Your Rights

Proving negligence in a truck accident lawsuit is not something you can do on your own. You need a reliable team of attorneys to investigate the crash, evaluate your losses, and hold the right party accountable. Gerling Law has over five decades of experience representing accident victims and fighting for just compensation. 

Free Case Consultation

We offer free consultations for all prospective clients. During this conversation, our firm will listen to your concerns, identify potential negligence, and create an action plan. There’s no obligation to move forward, but we’re confident you’ll trust our firm to represent your best interests.

Managing the Legal Process

We know how stressful filing a lawsuit can be, and we aim to take this weight off of your shoulders. Our firm will handle the complex paperwork, filing deadlines, and communication with all parties involved. You can trust us to manage the day-to-day tasks so you can focus on healing and peace of mind.

Thorough Investigation

Building a strong truck accident case requires strong evidence. Our team will gather and analyze all available information to uncover the cause of the accident and identify the responsible party. And if the other side tries to hide any records, we’re ready to take legal action to compel them to provide all relevant evidence. You can rest assured that we’ll leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice for you.

Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

Truck accident claims often involve complex negotiations with insurance companies. The attorneys at Gerling Law have extensive experience dealing with these companies and their adjusters. We understand their tactics and won’t fall for a lowball settlement. Our team won’t stop until we get just compensation for you. 

You Have Only Two Years to File a Negligence Claim

Indiana has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including truck accidents. Attempting to file a claim after this deadline could prevent you from recovering any compensation. It’s crucial that you speak with Gerling Law shortly after your accident to ensure that you file well in advance of this date.

Speak with an Indiana Truck Accident Attorney

With over 50 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured individuals, Gerling Law has a proven track record of success in securing maximum compensation for our clients. Our dedicated team will guide you through every step of the legal process, ensuring you feel supported and informed throughout your journey towards recovery.

Don’t wait to get the help you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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