Truck Driver kills 4, injures 7 in Indiana
August 21st, 2005 – A truck driver speeding through a highway construction zone in Bristol, Indiana plowed into the rear of a passenger vehicle, killing four and injuring seven more, one critically. Police charged the truck driver with reckless homicide and arrested him. The truck driver sustained no bodily injuries in the crash.
Under federal law, the families of these victims will be able to file civil actions seeking punitive damages against the truck driver and/or his employer for negligence, wrongful death and personal injury.
Bookmark this page and return often to find news stories about recent truck accident cases and litigation in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and elsewhere around the country, gathered from independent online news media throughout the U.S.Truck Accident Lawyers for Virginia, Maryland and DC
At Lewis & Tompkins, we believe that the highways of America belong to the taxpayers, not to the trucking corporations that share them with us. While we extend the use of our roads as a courtesy to commerce, that courtesy should never be construed to mean that money is more important than the safety and lives of other drivers. In our view, the opposite is always true. Casualties on the roadside are never an acceptable “cost of doing business.” In numerous past cases, we’ve convinced juries and arbitrators of this important fact on behalf of our truck accident injury clients, and helped our clients move past the tragedy of truck accidents with a secure financial future.
The attorneys of Lewis & Tompkins represent families whose loved ones have been injured or killed in accidents involving trucks, 18-wheelers, semis, buses and other large vehicles in the District, Virginia and Maryland. As a main artery in the U.S. highway system, the Washington Metro area is a destination point for millions of trucks every year. Millions of additional trucks pass through Northern Virginia, DC and Suburban Maryland via Interstate 95, bound for Baltimore, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and the other urban centers of the northeast.
Drivers in our region know all too well how trying the road systems of I-95, I-395, I-495 and other major highways can be. Long-term road construction currently underway at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the Mixing Bowl, and other key corridors of the region have made conditions even worse. We’ve all faced delays of many hours sitting in traffic, either because of roadwork or the clearing of a car or truck accident. On some level, we all know the frustration, exhaustion and anger that can sometimes take hold on Washington’s roads.
Truck drivers aren’t immune to these psychological pressures. Far from it. In fact, many truck drivers face the added pressure of delivery deadlines based on “how the crow flies,” impossible deadlines that don’t anticipate the traffic snarls that crop up daily in every major city. In time-sensitive deliveries, every minute truck drivers lose on the road can cost them. This is particularly true with independent owner-operators of big rigs, or non-union truck drivers who are forming a growing base of cheaper labor for the trucking industry. IOOs are often paid through incentives based on meeting their delivery deadlines.
Add to the pressure of deadlines the effects of fatigue, sleep deprivation and other conditions that develop after 10 or more hours behind the wheel of a vehicle weighing 10,000 lbs or more, and it’s clear that truck drivers can pose a serious threat to public safety. In such cases, speeding, reckless driving, driver negligence, running passenger vehicles off the road, driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, and other circumstances of truck accidents result in preventable death and injury.Our Roads Belong to the People, not the Trucking Industry
The attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins are working to stop unsafe practices in the truck driving industry, particularly in our region of Northern Virginia, Washington and DC. Many families have turned to us for counsel in the aftermath of a truck accident before, and we’ve always worked with them to obtain the best settlement or verdict the law affords.
Because truck accidents often involve fatalities, brain injuries, paralysis and other serious injuries, and because there are no caps in damages against trucking companies, injured parties of truck accidents have the ability to obtain very large verdicts in cases where a truck driver and/or trucking company was negligent.
Litigating truck accident cases is never a simple matter, however. The auto/liability insurance industry obtains more than 55 per cent of its revenue in premiums paid by commercial ground lines. The trucking industry pays top dollar for insurance, and when an injury claim occurs, the insurance industry will spend millions on legal defense, hiring the most experienced defense attorneys in the country to clear their clients of liability.
Such resistance must be answered in kind. At Lewis and Tompkins, our attorneys have the resources, success, experience and confidence to take on large corporations and win in complex settlements and lawsuits. We bolster our legal skills with top research, the use of high end technology, and an established network of expert witnesses. All of these factors are essential in prosecuting a successful truck accident injury case. If you need assistance with a truck accident injury claim, contact Lewis & Tompkins today.New Hours-Of-Service Standards Remain Largely Unchanged
The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which sets minimum standards of safety for truck drivers that the trucking industry must enforce. In July, 2005, the FMCSA announced new hours of service standards for the trucking industry. But in truth, these standards have changed very little since the last regulation updates in 2003. Drivers are still permitted to drive for up to 14 hours without rest for consecutive days, a major cause of truck driver fatigue.
With more trucks registered in the U.S. than ever before, and with millions more on the way through the NAFTA and CAFTA trade agreements, shouldn’t the minimum safety of standards for truckers become more stringent? Or is this just one of many examples of the pro-business policies and looser regulations of a conservative White House and Congress work to protect their allies in business?With Fuel Prices Rising, Overloading and Improper Loading a Growing Problem on Trucks
The trucking industry has federal regulations it must follow in terms of proper weight, loading and labeling of the cargo each truck contains. With fuel prices reaching inflationary levels, the trucking industry is facing major shortfalls in profit. To stop the bleeding that rising fuel costs creates, many trucking companies are now overloading trucks and other vehicles to make the most of every trip. Weight violations are in place to ensure that trucks can slow down in time to avoid collisions in emergency stop situations. While weigh stations do their best to regulate truck weight on our highways, in the end it is up to the trucking industry to do a better job of policing itself and ensuring maximum safety to other drivers on our roads.