Articles Posted in Tractor-Trailer Accidents

In Indiana, 175,821 motor vehicle collisions were reported in 2020. Of those, 8%, or 14,221 involved commercial vehicles. Of those commercial vehicle accidents, 134 were fatal. Accidents with semi trucks or commercial vehicles may lead to more questions than answers for victims. Commercial trucking companies have extensive legal teams ready to prevent you from getting your much-deserved compensation. Accidents often have no easily discernible cause, making it even harder for victims to recover damages.

According to a recent article, two semi-trucks collided head-on after one crossed the center median for unknown reasons. The driver of the semi-truck that crossed the median died on the scene, and the other was taken to the hospital with injuries. The incident combined with several other crashes that day led to massive closures on I-70, bottlenecking roads and diverting drivers.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck crash victims and their loved ones may be left with more questions than answers after an accident. To file a claim, injured drivers and passengers must prove a truck driver acted negligently or breached a duty of care in a way that caused their injuries. This can be difficult when an investigation into the cause of an accident is ongoing and the reason for the accident is not immediately clear. A skilled personal injury attorney with experience in truck accident claims can help understand potential factors that may have caused your accident to evaluate your claim. Attorneys have access to experts that can recreate the accident and determine the cause.

Continue reading

Truck transport remains one of the most popular ways to ship goods throughout the country. Despite newer and faster ways of transport, companies continue to use this method, leading to more and more large trucks on major roadways. This increase has inevitably led to more Indiana trucking accidents. In addition to driver error, mechanical defects account for nearly 30% of all truck accidents. This startling number elucidates the preventability of these accidents.

Many trucks outweigh passenger vehicles at a rate of 20 to 1; as such, an accident with a large truck is likely to result in serious injuries. Motorists rely on companies to properly vet and train their employees, drivers to maintain safe driving habits, and both entities to inspect their vehicles for safety. A failure at any of these junctures can lead to liability for the damages that ensure. In terms of mechanical failures, the most common failures include brake, transmission and tire failures.

Brake Failure

Brakes are one of the most important mechanical components of a truck. A brake failure can cause a driver to lose control of their large vehicles and slam into an object, bystander, or vehicle. These failures may arise from worn brake discs, thinning pads, defective lines, or leaking brake fluids.

Continue reading

When the driver’s negligence or recklessness results in a fatal Indiana car accident, the accident victim’s surviving loved ones may file an Indiana wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims, which are essentially personal injury lawsuits where the injured person has died and is no longer able to bring a claim on their own behalf, can often be a means of recovering compensation following a tragic accident.

According to a recent news report, a tragic car accident left a couple’s six-month-old son dead. Based on reports from local authorities, the child’s mother was rear-ended by a semi-truck at a stoplight, and the boy died from his injuries following the accident. The child’s mother experienced minimal bruising and soreness, and the couple’s two-year-old daughter underwent surgery to repair a broken femur. The daughter also suffered multiple fractures in her skull but is reportedly in stable condition.

Indiana’s wrongful death statute defines the term “wrongful death” as one that was “caused by the wrongful act or omission of another” person or entity. The most common types of injuries that give rise to a wrongful death claim include negligence-based accidents, such as car crashes or personal injuries, medical malpractice, or intentional acts.

When driving, you often share the road with vehicles much larger than the one you’re in. As a result, it’s important to proactively keep an eye out for trucks, buses, and other large commercial vehicles. Often, Indiana truck accidents have significant consequences because truck drivers fail to live up to the expectations the law places upon them. When this occurs, truck drivers and their employers may be liable for an accident victim’s injuries.

In Indiana, truck accidents are common. According to a recent news article, the driver of a pick-up truck was pronounced dead following a head-on collision in Indiana County. The deceased was struck by a tri-axle truck that crossed the center line of the road, causing the two trucks to crash. The pick-up truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and the condition of the four other passengers in his vehicle is unknown.

In Indiana, there are various laws governing truck accidents. For example, the Indiana Department of Transportation has established its own set of trucking regulations that cover requirements such as obtaining permits and oversized loads. There are also federal laws governing commercial trucking in the United States, with standards covering details such as inspections, transportation of hazardous materials, licensing, use of mobile devices while operating a vehicle, and emergency signal equipment. These elements could be important for establishing liability if you are the victim of a truck accident.

We’ve all been there: you’re headed to our next destination, and suddenly an onslaught of traffic comes out of nowhere, followed by a massive slowdown. Although vehicles in traffic tend to move at a slow pace, cars and trucks approaching traffic or surprise slowdowns can often lead to dangerous car accidents. When approaching a major traffic clog on a busy roadway, large vehicles that don’t slow down in time or change lanes suddenly can often lead to catastrophic consequences for both themselves and the drivers around them.

In a recent Indiana news report, a major car accident on a local toll road left a teenager dead and several injured. According to a preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police, a semi-truck was heading eastbound when it hit traffic that had accumulated because of a nearby crash. When the semi-truck driver changed lanes as he slowed down, a vehicle hit the back of the tanker-trailer that he was hauling. The driver and two of the vehicle passengers were all airlifted to a local hospital, and another back seat passenger died from his injuries.

In Indiana, when a driver changes lanes suddenly and an accident occurs, it may initially be unclear who is at fault. However, drivers have a responsibility both to their passengers and to other drivers on the road to adhere to local laws and operate their vehicles with safety and caution. When changing lanes, drivers should assess the situation by checking their mirrors, slowing down or speeding up appropriately, and putting drivers around them on notice by using their turn signal before making their lane change. For drivers of large vehicles, such as semi-trucks, ensuring adequate room to make a lane change is crucial.

Recently, the state’s supreme court issued an opinion stemming from an Indiana tractor-trailer accident. According to the opinion, the plaintiff was traveling from Georgia to Iowa to begin a new job. While he was driving, a tractor-trailer hit the plaintiff’s car, causing the plaintiff to slam his head against his window. The tractor-trailer driver continued to drive after the collision; however, the plaintiff could flag him down and motion him to stop. When police arrived, the plaintiff advised them that he was not hurt and did not need assistance. However, at some point during his trip, he felt something irritate his eye. After arriving in Iowa, he washed out his eye and pulled out a piece of glass. He went to the hospital and was referred to an ophthalmologist who recommended an MRI. The MRI showed a tumor, and the doctor warned him that he should have the tumor removed or risk going blind.

A few months later, the plaintiff sought treatment from a neurosurgeon who told him that he was experiencing a pituitary apoplexy, often triggered by a sudden event caused by bleeding into the tumor. The plaintiff underwent surgery and removed the tumor. Following the surgery, the plaintiff met with an endocrinologist, who diagnosed him with a hormonal imbalance. The doctor advised him to start testosterone injections, but the plaintiff waited a year before beginning treatment.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and his employer, claiming that the accident caused a pre-existing tumor to swell. The parties admitted fault, but disputed damages, arguing that the plaintiff failed to mitigate them. The defendants argued that the plaintiff did not take the medication his doctor prescribed, failed to follow-up with alternative medicine, and did not fill his eyeglasses prescription. The defendant asked the court to provide the jury with a failure to mitigate damages instruction. The plaintiff argued that there was not enough evidence for the instruction.

When someone imagines a car accident, they typically picture an incident involving two people or parties. However, there are often Indiana car crashes involving more than just two parties, vehicles, or people responsible. In light of often complicated circumstances surrounding the events leading up to the accident, it may be difficult to assign fault or figure out who is responsible. Regardless, parties who cause these incidents should be held accountable, and the complexity of having multiple defendants should not deter an accident victim from pursuing a claim following a car crash.

According to a recent news report, a major car accident involving multiple vehicles left four people dead and seven injured after a series of chain-reaction crashes. Evidently, the first crash occurred when two semi-trucks collided at around 4:00 am. An hour later, another truck crashed into the first crash scene, which left a local highway worker seriously injured and two state troopers with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. All three were transported to a local hospital to be treated. At 6:45 am, another accident occurred when a semi-tractor traveling at highway speeds caused crashed into at least seven vehicles. This collision involved two semi-tractor trailers, a dump truck and four passenger vehicles, and resulted in multiple fatalities and injuries. This final accident resulted in the death of the initial semi-tractor driver and three others.

After the second crash, electronic highway signs were set up to alert drivers that crashes had occurred ahead and that they needed to exercise additional caution. However, the subsequent accidents still occurred because of distracted driving by motorists and a lack of awareness of their surroundings. According to local authorities, had nearby bystanders failed to immediately provide assistance to those who were injured, there could have been even more fatalities.

Although, commercial trucks are essential to interstate travel and critical to the economy, they present a significant risk to motorists. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 2743 fatal truck and bus crashes in the United States in 2019. These accidents resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 people. Trucks and buses include vehicles such as 18-wheelers, coal trucks, semi-trucks, and cement trucks. The size of these vehicles, particularly when carrying a heavy load, makes them challenging to control, especially in inclement weather or navigating poorly maintained roadways. Additionally, these vehicles can often cause or contribute to chain-reaction accidents because they take almost twice as long to stop as other passenger vehicles.

Many truck accidents occur in Indiana because the state has long stretches of highways that serve as a significant pass-throughs for long-haul truckers. A majority of fatal Indiana truck accidents occur in Putnam County, Tipton County, and Wayne County, Indiana. Most Indiana truck and bus accidents involve more than one underlying cause; however, they typically involve similar factors. Some common causes of Indiana trucking accidents are the result of defective truck parts, speeding, driver inexperience, driver impairment, fatigue, and distracted driving. Further, many accidents are the result of drivers failing to abide by state traffic laws designed to prevent accidents, such as Indiana’s Move Over Laws.

For example, recently, a Porter County truck accident claimed the life of a 38-year-old man. According to a local news report, the man parked his Dodge Ram on the shoulder of a highway where construction workers were performing maintenance. As he stepped out of his car, a tractor-trailer, hauling 37,000 pounds of pork, drove onto the shoulder and slammed into the man’s car. The collision caused the truck to go down a ditch and slam into trees. The tractor-trailer continued to travel east, crossing through lanes, ultimately slamming into a median wall and bursting into flames. State police, in conjunction with several other agencies, are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.

Individuals who suffer injuries in Indiana trucking accidents often face challenges determining the liable parties. Many people do not know that in addition to the negligent truck driver, there may be other individuals or entities who contributed to the accident and the victim’s injuries. Indiana trucking accident victims should seek damages from all potentially liable parties to ensure that they receive the maximum amount of compensation they deserve.

In commercial trucking accident lawsuits, defendants may include the truck driver, the trucking company, a business that commissioned the delivery, and anyone responsible for the truck’s parts or trailers. Truck drivers may be liable for their negligence in instances where they were speeding, distracted, fatigued, or otherwise operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. Holding the trucking company and other related entities liable requires a thorough understanding of Indiana vicarious liability laws.

Vicarious liability is a type of secondary liability that imposes responsibility on the truck driver’s employer. The employer, frequently referred to as the principal, is liable for the negligence or actions of their employee, the agent. Trucking employers may be responsible if the employee was working under the employer’s direction, the employer possessed the authority to control the employee’s actions, and the employee’s behaviors occurred during the course and scope of employment.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), researches car and trucking accidents, compiles statistics, publishes findings, and provides the public with traffic safety resources. According to these agencies, the country has seen a steady increase in trucking accidents. These accidents can have severe and longstanding injuries for Indiana motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Those that have suffered injuries in an Indiana trucking accident should understand the common causes of trucking accidents and who may be liable for their damages.

According to the FMCSA and NHTSA, most serious truck accidents include similar negligent behavior; however, many accidents have more than one contributing factor. The five most common reasons for truck accidents are driver fatigue, drug and alcohol use, driver error, speeding, and distraction.

Fatigue is the most common cause of Indiana trucking accidents because many truckers drive for many hours with limited rest. Truck drivers often suffer from fatigue because of their employer’s demand for, often unreasonable, fast delivery turnarounds in combination with trending consumer expectations. Many drivers turn to stimulants and other substances to meet these expectations and manage stress. However, the consequences of alcohol and drug use can be disastrous to other motorists. Further, many Indiana trucking companies fail to adequately train their drivers and teach them how to inspect and maintain their trucks. Untrained and inexperienced truck drivers operating large vehicles pose serious dangers to the public. Finally, distracted driving is a common cause of Indiana trucking accidents. These drivers often spend many long hours on the road, and they will often engage in risky behavior to take their mind off of driving and quell their boredom. Some drivers will look at their phones to visit social media or text their friends and family. Even some innocuous behaviors, such as reaching for something, can cause serious accidents.

Contact Information