Indiana Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney

There’s always plenty to do and see when you hit the road in the great State of Indiana. Accidents, however, happen, and accidents involving commercial vehicles are among the most dangerous accidents on our roads. In fact, commercial drivers—because they make their living behind the wheel—are held to far stricter standards and regulations than non-commercial drivers. If you’ve been injured in an Indiana commercial vehicle accident, it’s not something that you should try and tackle on your own. While you get down to the serious business of recovering your health and well-being, allow your skilled commercial vehicle accident attorney to help guide your claim toward just resolution.

Your Commercial Vehicle Claim

Every car accident is upsetting and dangerous. When such an accident involves a negligent commercial driver, it can be more so. After all, commercial drivers are professional drivers who, by all accounts, should know and follow the safety rules of the road. When a commercial driver fails to do so, it can make the ensuing accident that much more complicated. Federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implement guidelines that govern these drivers, and Indiana’s Department of Transportation also has its own restrictions on the books. In other words, drivers of commercial vehicles are heavily regulated, and when they engage in negligent driving that results in accidents, it’s serious.

If you’ve been injured in a commercial vehicle accident that was caused by a negligent commercial driver, you know how difficult that is. Commercial drivers spend much of their time on the road, and when they engage in negligent driving practices, they endanger everyone with whom they share those roads. These accident claims are complicated, but you are not alone. The dedicated legal team at The Law Office of William W. Hurst has the tenacity, experience, and skill to aggressively advocate for your commercial vehicle accident claim’s most positive outcome. Our knowledgeable commercial vehicle accident lawyers care about your claim, and we’re here to help.

Commercial Drivers

Every commercial driver must possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which involves extensive testing and includes a physical examination (to ensure that the driver is healthy enough to safely carry out this dangerous occupation). This licensure falls into three classes that are predicated on the weight of cargo carried, the kind of cargo carried, and the passenger capacity of the commercial vehicle (if applicable):

  • A Class A CDL applies to all commercial truck drivers of tractor-trailers, big rigs, and semi-trucks and to drivers of other large trucks.
  • A Class B CDL applies to those drivers who man commercial trucks that are one step down in size, including smaller trucks, some buses, and some tank vehicles.
  • A Class C CDL applies to those drivers of smaller trucks that transport hazardous materials or that ferry 16 or more passengers (including the driver).

The licensure for commercial drivers is complicated exactly because these drivers take on immense safety responsibilities. When commercial drivers fail to live up to these responsibilities, they are more prone to causing dangerous accidents.

The Company That Hires the Commercial Driver

While the commercial driver is responsible for his or her own safe driving, the company that hires said driver shares overall responsibility. The company is responsible for hiring commercial drivers who are safe, experienced, and well qualified for the position filled. These companies face a battery of regulations that they must adhere to, including background checks, criminal records checks, social security number checks, employment history checks, and much more. Further, it’s the hiring company’s responsibility to continue to check for their drivers’ ongoing health and fitness.

Hours of Service

Not only do commercial drivers face strict regulations related to licensure but they also experience serious restrictions when it comes to hours of service. These restrictions vary according to the kind of licensure held and to the kind of commercial vehicle, but they relate to a maximum number of consecutive hours that can be spent behind the wheel as well as to mandatory rest breaks and to the number of shifts that can be taken on in a specified period. Both the State of Indiana and the federal government take these restrictions seriously, and drivers and the companies that employ them should also do so. While it’s the nature of the commercial driving business to feel the pinch of strict deadlines, it’s never safe to operate outside of these regulatory parameters.

Insurance Companies

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by a negligent commercial driver, you’re going to be hearing from an insurance company or two. The fact is that companies that employ commercial drivers are often loaded to the teeth with heavy-duty insurance policies and the aggressive agents that come with them. When a vehicle in its fleet is involved in an accident, a commercial vehicle company is typically armed and ready to go on the offensive.

You’ve just been injured in an accident, and the last thing you need to do is to take on an insurance agent who is clamoring for an official statement. Keep in mind that these insurance agents are in the business of turning huge profits for their huge insurance companies and that you aren’t obligated to make a statement—in fact, you are advised not to do so. Your skilled commercial vehicle accident lawyer will provide the insurance company with everything it needs to know, and has the experience and knowledge to navigate your claim toward a just settlement or verdict.

If You’ve Been Injured in a Commercial Vehicle Accident, You Need an Experienced Indiana Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney

If a commercial driver has left you injured, the skilled legal team at The Law Office of William W. Hurst in Indianapolis has the experience, determination, and commitment to help guide your claim toward rightful compensation. Our dedicated auto accident attorneys are here to help, so please contact or call us at (317) 636-0808 to schedule a free consultation today.

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