Indiana is a major trucking route as goods move from one side of the country to the other. Volatile and dangerous materials such as gasoline also move through the area presenting unique risks for drivers on the road.
Whether you experience an accident with a garbage truck in your neighborhood or a big rig out on I-70, you should take these important steps to protect yourself and document the truck accident.
Steps to Take After a Large Truck Accident in Indiana
If you’re in an accident with a large truck that includes more than $1,000 in property damage or bodily injury, you need to call the police. And as a general rule, most accidents involving large vehicles will exceed $1,000 in damage, so you should call 911 immediately. Then follow these steps.
- Check to make sure everyone is alright. Medical personnel might need to rush to the scene if someone is in serious distress.
- Move vehicles to the side of the road away from traffic if you’re able.
- Collect the names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident.
- Write down the license plate information, make, and model of vehicles involved in the accident.
- For all commercial vehicles involved, write down the UDOT and Indiana ID number.
- Write down the name of the commercial driver’s employer.
- Ask witnesses for their contact information so you can follow up after the accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene if you can do so safely. Don’t get in the way of emergency responders though, and always do as they ask.
- Once you get home, find an Indiana truck accident attorney and set up a free consultation. Avoid talking to the insurance company until you’ve at least talked to an attorney but preferably once you’ve hired an attorney who can be present for the conversation.
Complexity of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are far more complex than collisions with other vehicles. That’s because the cause of the accident could be due to a variety of reasons. For example, some truck drivers own and operate their rigs while contracting with shippers or carriers making them independent contractors and not employees of the companies they are hauling goods for.
Determining fault in trucking accidents is far more complicated than it is in car accidents. Here’s a look at who might be responsible for paying the damages after an accident with a large truck.
- The driver, if they are an independent contractor and a mistake they made behind the wheel led to the accident.
- The truck driver’s employer.
- The shipper of the goods the truck driver is hauling in the case of goods being loaded improperly or not balanced, which can lead to accidents.
- The mechanic who worked on the truck and missed important maintenance or issues and still deemed it roadworthy.
Locating the at-fault party in these accidents can be complicated and it can feel like you’re being sent away from each insurance company on your way to finding where your claim should go. This is why it is so beneficial to hire an attorney in these cases.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Because of how large trucks are, accidents often involve serious injuries, including:
- Head/brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
This year, Stewart & Stewart proudly celebrates our 40th anniversary of treating clients like family. If you or a loved one has been involved in a large truck accident, you should contact Stewart & Stewart immediately. We’ll investigate the claim to find the liable party to ensure your bills get paid.