The skilled truck accident attorneys with Penn Kestner & McEwen are ready to help you get every dollar you deserve. We’re not intimidated by giant insurance corporations and trucking companies because we beat them on a regular basis. If you’re ready to take legal action, we’re ready to help.
Indiana Truck Accident Statistics
According to the most recent data from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute:
- In 2020, there were 12,841 truck accidents in Indiana, which resulted in 126 fatalities and 1,617 injuries.
- Most truck accidents (78%) occurred on interstate and state highways.
- The vast majority of truck accident fatalities (79%) were occupants of the other vehicles involved in the accident, while 21% were truck occupants.
Trucking Regulations in Indiana
Indiana has specific commercial trucking operations regulations enforced by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations include:
- Hours of Service. Truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they can drive per day and per week. Drivers must take a minimum of 34 hours off duty after working for 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days.
- Vehicle maintenance. Trucking companies must perform regular maintenance on their vehicles, including inspections, to ensure that they are in safe operating condition.
- Electronic logging devices. Trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds must have an electronic logging device (ELD) to record the truck’s service hours.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can have many causes, some of the most common include:
- Driver fatigue. Truck drivers often work long hours, and fatigue can impair a driver’s ability to react quickly and make safe decisions on the road.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a leading cause of truck accidents. While driving, truck drivers may be distracted by cell phones, navigation systems, or other electronic devices.
- Poor vehicle maintenance. Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles, and if a truck is not properly maintained, it can lead to mechanical failures and accidents.
- Improper loading. Trucks must be loaded properly to maintain stability and ensure the safety of other drivers on the road. Improper loading can cause a truck to tip over or lose control.
- Speeding. Trucks can be difficult to maneuver, and stopping a heavy truck takes longer than a passenger vehicle. When a truck driver is speeding, it increases the chances of an accident.
Common Injuries Associated with Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can result in severe and life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common injuries associated with truck accidents include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBI occurs when an impact on the head causes brain damage. TBI can cause a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, memory loss, and difficulty with coordination and balance.
- Spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury can cause permanent damage to the spinal cord and affect a person’s ability to walk and feel sensations in different parts of the body.
- Broken bones. Truck accidents can cause bones to break or fracture. Commonly broken bones in truck accidents include the pelvis, leg, arm and ribs.
Who’s At Fault for My Truck Accident?
Determining who is at fault for a truck accident can be complex, as there may be multiple parties involved and multiple factors that contributed to the accident. Some of the parties that may be held liable for a truck accident include:
- Truck driver. The truck driver may be liable if they were negligent or reckless in their actions. For example, if the driver was tired, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be liable for the accident.
- Trucking company. The trucking company may be responsible for failing to correctly train or supervise the driver or maintain the truck in safe working condition.
- Manufacturer of the truck or its parts. The manufacturer may face liability if a defect in the design or manufacturing of the vehicle caused the accident.
How Much is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
The value of a truck accident case can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, the severity of the injuries, and the liability of the parties involved. Some of the factors that may affect the value of a truck accident case include the following:
- Medical expenses. The cost of medical treatment for the injuries sustained in the accident, including emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, and medications.
- Lost wages. The amount of income the victim has lost due to the accident, including past and future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering. This type of damages is intended to compensate the victim for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that they have endured as a result of the accident.
Steps to Take After a Semi-Truck Accident
If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, taking specific steps to protect your health and rights is essential. Here are some steps you should take after a semi-truck accident:
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Call the police. Contact the local police and file a report. Make sure to get the contact information and insurance information from the truck driver and any other drivers involved in the accident.
- Take photographs. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles involved and any visible injuries.
Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer?
Having an attorney experienced in truck accident cases is just as important. A skilled attorney can investigate the accident and determine all potentially liable parties. They’ll negotiate with the insurance companies that cover those at-fault parties to help you obtain a full and fair settlement.
Contact Penn Kestner & McEwen to Discuss Your Indiana Truck Accident Case
Schedule a free case evaluation with Penn Kestner & McEwen by using our online contact form or calling (800) 732-3070. We’ll listen to the details of your case and then tell you how we may be of assistance.