Understanding Indiana’s Semi-Truck Accident Laws | Habig Injury Law

Understanding Indiana’s Semi-Truck Accident Laws

By Published On: June 28, 20241186 words

Semi-truck accidents can be both physically and emotionally catastrophic due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicles and their cargo. Navigating the legal landscape in the aftermath of such an incident can be daunting, stressful, and overwhelming. This blog aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of Indiana’s semi-truck accident laws by covering crucial aspects of this subject, including important laws to be familiar with, liability concerns, common causes, and why you should hire a semi-truck accident lawyer.

What are Important Indiana Semi-Truck Laws I Should Know?

Indiana has several laws pertaining specifically to regulating semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles in the enhancement of road safety. Here are some key points:

  1. Weight and Size Limits: Indiana imposes strict limits on the weight and size of commercial trucks. Trucks cannot exceed 80,000 pounds without a special permit. The width should not exceed 8.5 feet, and the height should not exceed 13.5 feet.
  2. Hours of Service: Truck drivers must adhere to federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, which limit the number of hours they can drive in a day. They must take mandatory rest breaks to prevent fatigue.
  3. Vehicle Maintenance: Semi-trucks must undergo regular maintenance checks. Trucking companies are required to keep detailed maintenance records and ensure their vehicles are in safe operating condition.
  4. Driver Qualifications: Drivers must hold a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and undergo regular medical examinations to ensure they are fit to drive.
  5. Cargo Securement: Indiana law mandates that cargo must be properly secured to prevent shifting during transit, which could cause devastating accidents.

Maintaining an understanding of these critical laws can help determine liability and ensure compliance in the event of an accident.

Are You Able to Sue a Semi-Truck Driver’s Employer After a Truck Accident?

Understanding Indiana’s Semi-Truck Accident Laws | Habig Injury Law

While this ultimately depends on the details of a specific case, generally the answer is yes. In many cases, you can sue a semi-truck driver’s employer after an accident. This is based on the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which holds employers liable for the actions of their employees performed within the scope of their employment. To establish employer liability, you must prove:

  1. Employment Relationship: The driver was an employee of the trucking company at the time of the accident.
  2. Scope of Employment: The driver was performing job-related duties when the accident occurred.

Employers can also be held directly liable if they were negligent in hiring, training, or supervising the driver. Additionally, failure to maintain the truck or enforce safety regulations can result in direct liability for the trucking company.

What if the Semi-Truck’s Cargo Caused the Accident?

If a semi-truck’s cargo caused the accident, several parties could be held liable:

  1. Truck Driver: For failing to properly secure the cargo.
  2. Trucking Company: For not enforcing proper loading and securing procedures.
  3. Cargo Loaders: If a third party was responsible for loading the truck, they could be held liable for improper loading.

Cargo-related accidents can occur due to shifting loads, overloaded trucks, or hazardous materials. It is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the exact cause and identify all liable parties. Be sure to involve law-enforcement from the start for an official investigation and ruling on liability.

What Are Common Semi-Truck Accident Injuries?

Semi-truck accidents often result in severe injuries due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved. Common injuries include:

  1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Caused by a severe blow to the head.
  2. Spinal Cord Injuries: Which can result in paralysis or other long-term disabilities.
  3. Fractures and Broken Bones: Often occur in high-impact collisions.
  4. Internal Injuries: Damage to internal organs can be life-threatening.
  5. Lacerations and Abrasions: Can lead to significant blood loss and infection.
  6. Burns: Especially in accidents involving fuel tank explosions.

These injuries can lead to long-term medical treatment, rehabilitation, and significant financial burdens.

What Are Some Common Truck Driver Mistakes?

Truck drivers are human and can make mistakes that lead to accidents. Common mistakes include:

  1. Fatigue: Ignoring Hours of Service regulations and driving while tired.
  2. Speeding: Driving too fast for road conditions.
  3. Distracted Driving: Using a phone or other distractions while driving.
  4. Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  5. Improper Lane Changes: Failing to check blind spots.
  6. Inadequate Training: Lack of proper training on handling large vehicles.

These mistakes can significantly increase the risk of accidents and highlight the importance of thorough training and adherence to safety regulations.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents?

Several factors contribute to semi-truck accidents, including:

  1. Driver Error: Such as fatigue, distraction, or impairment, as listed above.
  2. Mechanical Failures: Brake failures, tire blowouts, or other mechanical issues.
  3. Poor Weather Conditions: Slippery roads, fog, heavy rain or wind.
  4. Improper Loading: Shifting cargo or overloaded trucks.
  5. Speeding: Driving too fast, especially in adverse conditions.
  6. Aggressive Driving: Tailgating or unsafe lane changes.

Understanding the cause of an accident is crucial for determining liability and securing compensation.

What Are The Most Common Types of Semi-Truck Accidents?

Understanding Indiana’s Semi-Truck Accident Laws | Habig Injury Law

There are several types of semi-truck accidents, each with unique causes and consequences:

  1. Rear-End Collisions: When a truck hits the vehicle in front of it.
  2. Jackknife Accidents: When the trailer swings out from the truck and forms a 90-degree angle.
  3. Rollover Accidents: When a truck tips over, often due to speeding or improper loading.
  4. Underride Accidents: When a smaller vehicle slides under the truck’s trailer.
  5. Tire Blowouts: A tire pops or blows out while in motion, causing the driver to lose control of the truck.
  6. Wide Turn Accidents: When a truck swings wide to make a turn and hits another vehicle.

Each type of accident requires a specific approach to determine fault and pursue compensation.

Why Should I Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer?

Hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Legal Knowledge & Prowess: A personal injury attorney understands the complexities of truck accident laws and regulations.
  2. Investigation: Lawyers have the resources and recourse to conduct a thorough investigation by gathering evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and expert testimony.
  3. Negotiation: An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to secure fair compensation.
  4. Litigation: If necessary, they can take your case to court to fight for your rights.
  5. Stress Reduction: Handling legal matters can be stressful, especially if you are recovering from injury. A lawyer can handle the legal repercussions of an accident on your behalf.

Why Trust Habig Injury Law With Your Semi-Truck Accident Case?

Understanding Indiana’s Semi-Truck Accident Laws | Habig Injury Law

Habig Injury Law is dedicated to helping victims of semi-truck accidents in the Indianapolis area and beyond. Here’s why you should trust us with your case:

  1. Experience: Our team has extensive experience handling semi-truck accident cases.
  2. Personalized Attention: We provide personalized attention to each client, ensuring your case is handled with care.
  3. Comprehensive Legal Support: From investigation to negotiation and litigation, we handle all aspects of your case.
  4. Proven Track Record: We have a proven track record of securing fair compensation for our clients.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-truck accident, contact Habig Injury Law at 317-642-3813 for a free consultation. Let us help you navigate the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve.

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Habig Injury Law offers rides as a concierge service to our clients. If your car has been badly damaged in an accident, we are here to assist you in this difficult time. Please call us at (317) 642-3813 to request a pickup.

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