Semi-Truck Accidents

Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer

In Indiana, there are more than 16,000 commercial truck accidents every year. These catastrophic crashes cause Hoosiers to lose their lives and suffer severe catastrophic injuries.

Most of these semi-truck-related deaths and injuries happen to others on the road, not commercial

vehicle drivers. Truckers have more protection than other commercial vehicles drivers, riders in a passenger vehicle, and pedestrians who receive the full force of the large truck accident impact.


Many accidents involving large trucks or other commercial vehicles are due to negligence. Victims who hire an experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyer can receive significant compensation for injuries, suffering, and when they’ve lost the ability to participate in daily activities.

An investigation by the Indianapolis Star found that in a year with 16,910 serious large trucks and commercial vehicle crashes, only 18 of the resulting deaths were semi-truck drivers. The remaining 134 deaths involving large trucks were other motorists and non-motorists.

Indianapolis | Crossen Truck Accident Lawyers

Severe truck accidents or bus accidents often come with a long recovery period, lost days of work, expensive medical bills, partial or total car damage, and a complete disruption of a person’s lifestyle and relationships.

Protect your rights after a trucking collision. If you or a loved one have been impacted by one of the numerous Indiana truck accident cases, don’t wait.

Reach out to the skilled Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at Crossen Law Firm today. With decades of legal experience, we have what it takes to handle these unique cases.

Why Are Semi-Trucks So Dangerous?

Tractor trailers are everywhere on Hoosier roads. Commonly referred to as 18-wheelers, semi-trailers, or big rigs, these large trucks can transport a wide array of goods all across our nation. Unfortunately, their large size makes them incredibly lethal when they’re driven negligently, improperly loaded, or poorly maintained.truck accident

Semi-trucks weigh 35,000-80,000 pounds and are capable of inflicting serious injury in an accident involving a passenger vehicle.

Unfortunately, trucker negligence leading to accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles is all too common. Our Indy news stations are constantly broadcasting stories about reckless truckers who injure innocent drivers on I-465, I-70, I-69, I-65, and hundreds of other local roads.

Many of these trucking accidents involve issues like trucking companies failing to maintain trucking equipment, distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, and truckers who are just outright bad truck drivers and probably shouldn’t be on the road. An experienced attorney can help you identify the cause of your accident and seek reasonable compensation.

Common Causes Of Indianapolis Truck Accidents by Commercial Vehicle Operators

There are many reasons why serious and fatal truck accidents happen in Indiana. Some boil down to simple mistakes, some are beyond anyone’s control, and others are fairly blatant examples of negligence. Here are some of the top causes and contributors that lead to a truck accident.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is on the rise across the U.S. as well as right here in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s a persistent problem among all drivers, not just truckers. All it takes is a momentary distraction and the driver’s eyes are dangerously focused elsewhere than on the road.

While it’s common to associate distracted driving with smartphones, texting, and in-car technology, any non-driving activity holds the potential for distracted driving. This includes eating, putting on makeup, listening to music, talking with friends, or even interacting with a pet.

In the time it takes to glance at a smartphone or look down at a map, a trucker can kill someone on the road. Research shows that in five seconds of inattention, a vehicle moving at 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field and slam into another vehicle before the driver even notices.

Drowsy Driving

A sleepy box truck driver is a dangerous truck driver. Since tired driving and driver fatigue are major contributors to truck accidents, commercial trucks, and truck drivers are heavily regulated in terms of the length of time they can be on the road.

A set of federal rules known as the Hours of Service Regulations ensure drivers track hours in a truck driver’s log so they’re well rested and not overworked.

Unfortunately, as an experienced truck accident lawyer firm, we still see commercial truck accident cases caused by drowsy drivers.

Drunk and Drugged Driving

The good news is that drunk driving recently hit its lowest point since 1982 when the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration began tracking it. The bad news is that 28 people still die every day in U.S. drunk driving accidents.

drunk driving

Most truckers submit to drug tests before employment and are tested for alcohol and drugs after an accident.

The Department of Transportation requires a urinalysis to satisfy federal regulations, but unfortunately, regulations don’t stop tractor-trailer drivers from operating while under the influence.


Exceeding the speed limit is a pervasive problem, especially among truck drivers who face intense pressure to hit deadlines. If they reach a destination late they might lose their jobs, so they sometimes resort to speeding to arrive on time. Risky maneuvers like tailgating and brake-checking by tractor-trailer drivers are even more dangerous at high speeds.

Indiana’s roadways are full of dangerous situations where speeding truckers and other drivers are at risk of high-velocity collisions.

Improper Merges and Lane Changes

Look at the federal crash reports for large trucks and you’ll see a high number of crashes attributed to improper lane changes. This includes improper merges, movements in traffic, and switches from one lane to another. These driving errors can cause sideswipes and other dangerous road collisions.

When a big truck is involved, there’s a high risk of violent multi-vehicle crashes that involve skids, rollovers, and crushing impacts.

Blind Spotsblind spot

Did you know truckers have more than 50 feet of blind spots around their vehicles? It’s difficult for truckers to see 20 feet in front of their front bumper, 30 feet behind their tailgate, and within 1 to 2 lanes to the immediate rear of the cab where the driver sits.

Some of these areas are partially viewable through large side-view mirrors, but for truckers, there’s always a risk of hitting someone riding in their blind spot.

Stay out of truckers’ blind spots as much as possible to reduce your chances of being the next truck accident case.

Equipment Failures

Truckers are required to keep their large trucks in good working order and report any equipment failures or breakdowns. They’re also at the mercy of big trucking companies that may or may not do what it takes to keep their trucks safe for the road. Equipment failures are surprisingly common.

Four of the top semi truck equipment failures involve brakes, tires, electrical system components, and “reefer breakdowns” involving refrigerated semi-trailer failures. These types of failures are mostly preventable with routine maintenance and emergency repairs as needed.

Gathering evidence to show the trucker or company failed to meet federal safety standards and properly maintain the vehicle.

Road Debris and Potholes

Truckers can’t do much about the poor conditions of Indiana’s roadways, but they’re still expected to drive safely. Sometimes a road hazard contributes to a truck accident and an organization responsible for road maintenance may have some fault.

As an injured victim, you can gather evidence that road conditions contributed to your accident and pursue compensation from a state or federal entity in addition to the trucking company.

An Indianapolis truck accident related to road hazards can be tough to handle, so make sure you have the help of a qualified Indiana truck accident attorney.

Poorly-Marked and Lit Roadways

Driving confusion is a lesser-known cause of trucking company accidents that shouldn’t be ignored. When roadways are poorly marked or poorly lit, it’s difficult to see and stay on the roadway. Sometimes trucking company drivers will miss road signs, worn road markings, lack of proper lighting, and other roadway issues.

Truckers who travel long distances and don’t necessarily know the local roads are susceptible to driving errors.

Visibility and Weather Issues

Weather is a common contributor to road accidents. When the roadway becomes icy, snowy, flooded, or foggy, it’s much easier for accidents to happen. Big trucks are heavier than other vehicles, which helps keep them on the road, but weight alone can’t overcome the dangers of bad weather.

The pressure put on trucks to deliver their payloads quickly makes not driving in bad weather unlikely and a Crossen truck accident lawyer can help you identify the accident cause.

Construction Zones and Closures

In construction zones, there are often abrupt stops and clusters of slow-moving traffic. This creates an additional risk of accidents for vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Construction zones create added risks for truck driver errors. Areas with construction tend to create congestion, debris, confusing situations, and impatience, boosting the risk of accidents.

All it takes is a moment of trucker inattention and they could slam into a long line of stopped traffic in a construction zone.

Bad Truck Driving


Sometimes trucking accidents happen because a trucker is just a bad driver. They might be poorly trained, brand new to driving a big rig, unlicensed, improperly licensed with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), or full of road rage that they take out on other drivers. A trucker’s bad driving often falls into the category the legal system calls negligence.

If your truck accident lawyer can prove the trucker’s negligence, you may have the basis of a valuable truck accident case that covers your numerous losses.

Semi-Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents

Large truck accidents differ from regular car accidents in several ways. First of all, they usually involve a large, heavy truck or tractor-trailer that strikes other vehicles with enormous force. This means they cause more vehicle damage, more roadway damage, and more serious injuries than other vehicles.

Severe injuries that can happen in very large truck accidents or bus and truck accidents, can include brain injuries, spinal damage, broken bones, organ damage, severe burns, lost limbs, and permanent disabilities. Death is always a possibility in a serious truck accident.

Also, these truck accidents are more likely than other types to cause partial or total vehicle loss. A small car can be completely crushed in a jackknife truck accident, for example, where a truck’s normal profile shifts to a sharp, bent angle and hits another vehicle with tremendous force.

This brings up another reason why truck accidents differ from other accidents: They’re more expensive. They bring higher medical expenses, vehicle repair/replacement costs, and bigger insurance payouts.

Trucking accidents also catch the attention of state and federal agencies that oversee the trucking company and highway safety. Regulations for the trucking industry are very strict. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks and penalizes truckers and trucking companies that fail to follow the rules.

Steps To Take After a Tractor Trailer Accident

If you follow certain steps after a semi-truck accident, you can stay safe and improve your odds of securing an insurance payout and winning a lawsuit. Here are some important things to do and not do.

  1. First, get to safety and move your vehicle to the side of the road if possible. Don’t stand in the roadway where you could be hit by other vehicles. Remain at the scene of the accident and call 911 to report any injuries or concerns like drunk driving.
  2. Accept medical attention and follow the orders of medical professionals. If you decline medical help at the scene of the accident, it will be very difficult to make a successful personal injury claim later.
  3. Exchange driver information with the trucker but don’t talk too much about the accident or say it was your fault. Make sure you get the trucker’s name, phone number, employer name and contact info, and insurance company name.
  4. Start collecting evidence. Don’t miss your opportunity to take photos, videos, and witness statements. Look around to see if there are any cameras at nearby businesses or traffic cameras along the roadway. Take photos of skid marks, vehicle damage, and debris from the vehicles.
  5. Answer basic questions from the police officer but don’t volunteer additional specific details. Work with the police to get a copy of the police report. In the meantime, don’t share anything about your accident for the public to see on social media or anywhere else.
  6. Don’t talk to the insurance company or accept a fast payout quite yet. Before you talk to the insurance company, you need legal advice about the best moves to protect your rights and maximize your compensation.
  7. Contact a qualified Indiana truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis as soon as possible and give them all of your evidence and other information. Crossen’s legal team will start a separate investigation into your truck collision that gets to the bottom of what happened and how to get the best shot at valuable compensation.

Who Is Responsible for a Semi-Truck Accident Claim?

truck accident

After an accident that involves a big rig, the trucker or trucking company sometimes tries to blame the other driver. They may point out that the trucker had a long history of safe driving and try to shift the blame to anyone but themselves. They might even ignore their failures to maintain the truck’s brakes, lights, or safety equipment. But, truck driver behavior is the #1 factor in most road accidents.

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) found that in 94% of accidents involving commercial vehicles, a driver’s behavior was a contributor.

The ICJI found that the primary factors in severe accidents included unsafe lane movement, improper passing and turning, tailgating, unsafe backing up, failing to yield to other drivers, and driving too fast for the local weather conditions. Simply put, drivers make mistakes.

Commercial vehicle companies have million-dollar insurance policies because they anticipate the costs of truck accident cases. They know commercial vehicle accidents are just a part of doing business. When a truck accident happens and someone is injured by a trucker, the insurance policy is supposed to step in and cover the damages.

What Damages Are Possible After Indianapolis Truck Accidents?truck accidents

Every accident, victim, and trucking company is unique. There’s no way to determine how much you may receive without a free initial consultation with an accident lawyer about your specific circumstances.

A Crossen Personal Injury Lawyer will listen to the story of your Indianapolis truck accident, explain the legal process, and discuss options for establishing truck driver negligence, the truck company’s liability for poorly maintained equipment, or failed upkeep of the roadway where the accident occurred.

In Indiana, victims can typically pursue these types of damages:

  • Medical bills
  • The cost of future treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Vehicle damages/replacement
  • Property damage

Medical bills typically comprise a large percentage of an injured victim’s damages. You’ll need to provide medical records, bills showing amounts you owe, and doctor’s opinions on the extent of your ongoing treatment.

Also, you’ll need pay stubs and employer information demonstrating your lost wages and diminished earning capacity. With input from your employer and possibly an expert witness, you might be able to show that you missed out on opportunities for promotions or will lose a lifetime of higher earnings due to the car accident.

Vehicle and property damage also requires proof like car repair bills, estimates, and receipts. If you had valuable property inside your vehicle at the time of the accident, there’s a possibility you can receive compensation for it as part of your case.

How Does an Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorney Determine if the Truck Driver Is Liable?

In these cases, the first place most people point the blame for a truck collision is at the other tractor-trailer driver. Many crashes are caused by tractor-trailers due to driver negligence.

There are several forms of truck driver fatigue and truck driver negligence, including:

  • Speeding
  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Ignoring traffic signals and signs
  • Tailgating
  • Driving while distracted
  • DUI
  • Breaking company trucking rules
  • Violating state or federal trucking laws
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Driving with road rage
  • Ignoring current weather conditions

While it is important to realize that in a truck accident case where the driver could be at fault, liability for a truck accident could fall on several other parties as well.

Our legal team also pursues compensation from:

  • Trucking companies
  • Large truck and truck part manufacturers
  • Cargo Companies

Are There Any Commercial Truck Regulations to Prevent Trucking Accidents?

Commercial trucks and the truckers who drive them are heavily regulated, more so than other motorists on the road. The main reason they are required to follow such strict rules is the fact that commercial trucks are incredibly dangerous in the event of an accident. One notable set of rules truck drivers are required to follow is called the hours of service regulations. Since tired driving is a big cause of accidents, these rules were established as a way to ensure drivers are well-rested and not overworked.

Safety regulations for commercial truck drivers state:

  • Truckers can work up to 14 hours in a day, but since they are required to take rest and meal breaks during this period, they are only able to drive for 11 hours in one day.
  • Drivers must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours before returning to work.
  • Truckers must also take days off work at regular intervals. Drivers must take a break after working up to 60 or 70 hours in a 7 or 8-day period.

Do I Need an Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer?

In short, yes. After your commercial vehicle accident, hiring an experienced law firm with expert truck accident lawyers could be the most important thing you ever do. A good truck accident attorney knows if you miss your shot at securing fair compensation, the two-year statute of limitations will pass and you’ll never be able to pursue compensation again.

Indianapolis truck accident attorneys from our firm can help you recover the compensation and justice you deserve after an accident. Trucking companies are backed by top-tier Indianapolis truck accident attorneys aimed at protecting their company and keeping you from recovering the compensation you deserve.

Crossen Law Firm Truck Accident Attorneys Know What to Dotruck accident

We know how to put together a compelling case that shows the trucker was speeding, falling asleep at the wheel, ignoring traffic signs, tailgating, drunk, road raging, ignoring weather conditions, or breaking federal rules.

Our trucking accident attorneys know the games trucking companies and their insurance carriers play to avoid paying your truck accident claim.

And we know how to stay one step ahead of them, presenting an evidence-packed case that’s very hard for them to deny. Plus, a Crossen Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer can pursue multiple pathways to compensation from large truck owners/operators, trucking companies, truck part manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, shipping and cargo companies, government entities, and more. With the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, truck accident victims like you have plenty of options for compensation after an Indiana truck accident.

Crossen Law Firm- Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorney

lawyer Turn to Crossen Law Firm’s Indianapolis truck accident attorneys for bold, assertive legal representation. Our truck accident lawyers will fight for maximum compensation for your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Our Indianapolis semi-truck accident lawyers have extensive experience investigating semi-truck accidents and placing the blame where it belongs. We’re here to passionately pursue the compensation you deserve.

Call 317-401-8626 today or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation with the seasoned Indiana truck accident attorneys at Crossen Law Firm.


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