Truck accidents are a frequent occurrence on Indiana roads and highways. In one recent year, the state saw nearly 15,000 accidents involving large trucks, according to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. How do these accidents happen? The truck accident lawyers of Truitt Law Offices are here to discuss the most common causes of truck accidents in the Hoosier State and how fault is determined in injury claims.
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What Are The Most Common Causes of Indiana Truck Accidents?
In Indiana, some of the most common causes of truck accidents are related to truck driver error. This may take the form of ignoring traffic lights or signs, not preparing the truck or cargo for travel, or driving recklessly.
Some of the common causes of truck crashes our attorneys see are:
- Impaired driving – Truck drivers sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs to help cope with the stress of long days on the road or stimulants to stay awake.
- Fatigued driving – Truck drivers can spend many hours a day on duty and behind the wheel. While regulations limit their hours, drivers still risk becoming drowsy behind the wheel, especially when they exceed the legal hours-of-service limits.
- Reckless driving – Drivers often must meet tight delivery schedules. They sometimes resort to reckless driving behaviors like tailgating or swerving through traffic to meet their deadlines.
- Distracted driving – Commercial semi trucks are much more complicated than regular passenger vehicles. Truck drivers can also become bored during long hours on the road and may become distracted by smartphones, radio shows, sights along the road, or daydreaming.
- Inexperienced truck drivers – When a truck driver lacks training and experience, they are much more likely to make a mistake behind the wheel of a commercial truck, especially in an emergency.
- Speeding – Trucks require longer distances to slow down compared to passenger vehicles. These distances become even longer in bad weather or road conditions. Truck drivers should drive slower in bad conditions to safely avoid an accident.
- Not checking blind spots – Modern tractor trailer trucks are equipped with blind-spot mirrors and monitoring sensors to help truck drivers know when other vehicles are in their truck’s blind spots. Not checking blind spots can lead to accidents when truck drivers make lane changes or turns.
What Are The Different Types of Truck Accidents in Indiana?
Common examples of commercial truck accidents in Indiana include the following:
- Jackknife accidents
- Wide turn accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Underride accidents
- Cargo accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone collisions
- Rollover collisions
No matter the type of truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact the truck accident attorneys at the law firm of Truitt Law Offices today to see how we can help.
Who Determines Fault in an Indiana Truck Accident?
After a truck accident, multiple parties may be at fault for causing the crash. First, a determination of fault may be made by police officers who respond to the scene and draft the police accident report. With enough evidence, the officer may provide their opinion on who’s responsible for the accident.
The trucking company may also conduct an internal investigation into a crash involving one of its vehicles. The insurers of the trucking company and the insurance company of other drivers involved will need to determine fault for the accident. This will help inform settlement negotiations if injured victims file claims for compensation. Insurance companies and attorneys may hire experts to prepare an accident reconstruction report identifying the parties at fault for the crash.
However, only a jury or judge can decide fault if a truck accident ends up in a lawsuit. While determining fault by the police or accident reconstruction experts can have value, only the court’s judgment can be legally binding.
However, truck accidents are more complicated than car accidents, as there are usually several parties that could be at fault. It can be difficult to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company (or companies) while recovering from your injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer can review your case and help determine fault so you can demand the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
In a truck accident claim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for expenses and losses that you suffered because of the crash. At Truitt Law Offices, we will pursue a financial recovery for you that includes money for:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses, including emergency care, surgery, physical therapy, and prescriptions
- Costs of long-term care to help with permanent disabilities
- Loss of wages or income if you miss work during your recovery become permanently disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- Repair bills for your car or the value of your vehicle if it was totaled in the accident
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Indiana?
In the state of Indiana, as in many other states, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within a certain period of time. This is known as the statute of limitations. As a general rule, you have two years from the date of your truck accident in which to file a personal injury lawsuit claim.
If you are filing a wrongful death claim due to the loss of a loved one in a crash, you would have two years from the date of the death. Exceptions can apply to these rules that extend or shorten the time in which to take legal action.
While two years may seem like a long time, that time can pass quickly. Your truck accident lawyer at Truitt Law Offices will need time to be able to properly investigate the accident, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and more. So, if you are contemplating a personal injury lawsuit, do not delay in contacting our law firm.
Contact Our Indiana Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Time is limited to take action after a truck accident. Contact Truitt Law Offices to speak with one of our experienced Indiana truck accident lawyers about your case. We have the skills and resources to take on the trucking company or their insurer, so let us stand up and fight for you.