What Happens When a Truck Driver Causes an Accident?

Oct 24

As the 5th busiest state for commercial freight traffic, Indiana plays an essential role in the distribution system of the United States. Every year, 724 million tons of freight are transported on Indiana highways, with freight flow expected to increase by 60 percent by 2040. As the volume of commercial traffic rises, so does the risk of truck accidents, which can lead to devastating consequences for Indiana motorists.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent truck driver, you can seek compensation for your injuries, lost wages, property damage, and other damages. We understand that motor vehicle accidents, especially those involving trucks, can be frightening, and dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming. Our skilled and reliable Indiana truck accident attorneys at Blackburn Romey can help you navigate the in-depth legal process and fight for a fair settlement. 

Truck drivers can cause auto accidents and may liable for damages caused by the incident. Understanding the steps to take following a trucking accident can be valuable to your claim. 

For more information on how our truck accident lawyers can help you following a truck accident, contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.  


Common Causes of Truck Accidents 

There are several causes of accidents involving commercial trucks, including weather-related incidents and accidents caused by reckless automobile drivers. However, most accidents involving commercial trucks are caused by truck driver-related actions. 

One of the most common causes of truck accidents is driver error, such as speeding, improper lane change, or following vehicles too closely. Additionally, most truck drivers work long shifts without enough breaks, leading to drowsy and distracted driving. It is common for distracted or fatigued truck drivers to fail to observe a traffic situation and cause an accident.

The most common causes of motor vehicle accidents caused by truck drivers are:

  • Speeding
  • Driver Following Other Vehicles Too Closely
  • Distracted Driving
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Unsafe Lane Changing Or Swerving 
  • Improper Passing And Unsafe Turning 
  • Failing To Yield The Right Of Way
  • Vehicle Failures: Brake Failure, Tire Blowouts
  • Poor Weather Conditions: Fog, Heavy Rain, Snow


Who Is Liable in Trucking Accidents?

Trucking accidents can cause severe damage, injuries, and even fatalities. To determine who is liable for causing a trucking accident, there is typically an investigation. Trucking accidents often involve multiple vehicles and external factors that authorities and experts will consider when determining which party is responsible for causing the incident. 

It is not uncommon for multiple parties to share liability for a truck accident. If the investigation confirms the truck driver was at fault or even partially contributed to the accident, you can pursue a claim against them. As the injured party, the plaintiff, there are multiple defendants you may be able to pursue in commercial trucking cases. 

First, our truck accident attorneys consider the truck driver but, if they are an employee of a commercial trucking company, the company could also be a defendant in your case.  

There are additional defendants that can be added to your claim depending on the unique facts of the incident. For instance, if the cargo was loaded improperly, causing the truck to tip over or spill cargo, the shipper or loader of the cargo could also be held liable. 

Ultimately, establishing which party or parties are liable in a truck accident requires a thorough investigation and analysis of all the parties involved, their actions, and their relationship to the accident. 

Our experienced Indiana attorneys will consider multiple parties when investigating potential defendants for your personal injury claim, including: 

  • Independent Truck Driver
  • Trucking Company
  • Company That Owns Trailer (if owned separately from the truck) 
  • Cargo Distribution Company 
  • Truck Manufacturer
  • Other Vehicles Involved (in a multiple vehicle accident) 


Proving Liability in Truck Accident Cases 

Proving liability in truck accident cases is a complex process that requires comprehensive supporting evidence. As the plaintiff, it is your and your attorney’s responsibility to prove that the truck driver’s negligence or recklessness led to the accident and your injuries. 

Proving liability in commercial trucking cases can be difficult because the stakes are higher than in a typical automobile accident. Unlike other motor vehicle accidents, commercial trucks’ significant size and weight mean that the potential for serious damages and injuries is much higher. Therefore, commercial insurance companies often need to payout large sums to cover the extensive damage. As a consequence, commercial insurance companies make it more difficult to settle large claims and tirelessly defend their trucking companies and drivers. 

The steps our Indiana personal injury lawyers take to prove liability in trucking accidents may include: 

  • The process of determining liability in a truck accident case by establishing the cause of the accident.
  • The case identifies the defendant or defendants and their insurance coverages.
  • The plaintiff’s attorneys build the case by gathering evidence, including the police report, photos and videos, witness statements, medical records, expert evaluations, and more. 
  • The plaintiff’s attorneys will work to identify if the truck driver violated any road laws, safety standards, or federal and state regulations and include that information in the case to prove liability.
  • Facts of the case are presented by both parties, and the defendants accept or deny liability. This aspect of the case can often be an ongoing negotiation throughout the case until the final settlement or judgment. 

Ultimately, determining liability in truck accidents requires committed and experienced Indiana attorneys. Our team conducts a thorough investigation and builds a compelling case on your behalf to pursue fair compensation for your damages.


How To Pursue a Truck Accident Case 

If you or someone you know experiences a trucking accident, it is important to understand the next steps to take to protect your well-being and your legal rights. If you were injured in the accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent truck driver or their company. 


Obtain Legal Representation 

To ensure that your rights are protected and seek compensation for your damages, it is important to seek representation from a seasoned attorney. Commercial trucks are required to carry substantial liability insurance policies. To minimize their claims payouts and protect profits, defendant insurance companies will make every attempt to minimize your chances of being compensated for your injuries.  

Without a capable truck accident attorney on your side, the insurance company may try to steamroll and manipulate you into dismissing your claim or settling for an insufficient amount. Our attorneys will provide comprehensive legal assistance with your case to fight for fair compensation. 


Seek Medical Attention

Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, trucking accidents typically cause severe damage and injuries. As such, obtaining a medical evaluation immediately is crucial, even if you think you’re not severely hurt. Seeking medical attention and follow-up care not only impacts your overall health and well-being but also influences the strength of your personal injury claim.


Cooperative with the Investigation 

Following a truck accident, an immediate investigation is essential to determine who is liable for the accident. At Blackburn Romey, our attorneys work diligently to hold the liable party responsible for any damages. 

In some instances, truck drivers may provide incorrect insurance information or falsify driving records in an attempt to avoid consequences. As part of our investigation, we search for available evidence that supports your case. By cooperating with attorneys and providing the necessary documents and information, we can work together to successfully prove liability and build your case. 


Communicate During Negotiations 

Communication with your attorney is essential during the entire legal process. You will need to make decisions on your case and keep your counsel informed regarding your medical treatment and injuries. 

In some cases, we may be able to negotiate a settlement, which may require attending mediation, hearings, or other meetings to discuss your settlement offers. During this time, your active involvement in the case will be crucial. If necessary, you can make the decision, with your attorney’s advice, to escalate the claim and file a lawsuit against the defendant. 


Contact Our Indiana Truck Accident Lawyers

At Blackburn Romey, we understand the severity of truck accidents and the catastrophic injuries they can cause. Our team of dedicated attorneys will take care of your case with the utmost care and attention to detail in our effort to secure the most favorable outcome possible.

We offer a complimentary consultation where we will review your case and provide you with

legal guidance on how to proceed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward seeking financial recovery and moving forward from the accident. 


Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Personal Injury & Wrongful Death is all we do

Get In Touch With Us