Experienced Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers

Request a Free Consultation

Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers

When truck drivers or trucking companies act negligently, they endanger other drivers on the road, often leading to crashes that can cause significant harm. Due to their large size and significant weight, semi-truck accidents are especially dangerous to victims.

Regardless of the severity of the crash, these accidents are often life-altering from an emotional, physical, and financial perspective. If you or a loved one have been injured in a commercial truck accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

The experienced attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are here in Indianapolis and available to help you with your truck accident case.

Indianapolis Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles are common on interstate highways and in rural areas around Indiana. Unfortunately, Indiana is also on the list of top 10 states with the highest average of fatal large truck or bus crashes.

18-Wheeler Crashes vs. Car Crashes

Truck accidents are different from other automobile accidents in several fundamental ways:

  • Size and weight: Due to the extreme weight and size differences between semi-trucks and passenger cars, collisions result in the smaller vehicle bearing the brunt of the impact.
  • Stopping distance: The time and distance tractor-trailers need to come to a complete stop is much greater than that of smaller passenger vehicles.
  • Dangerous cargo: Some commercial trucks carry flammable or hazardous materials. Additionally, cargo that is not properly secured can fall off the trailer and cause accidents.
  • Trucking company expectations: The policies of some trucking companies require drivers to be on the road for extended periods of time, which can lead to driver fatigue.

These differences can all contribute to the severity of semi-truck accidents.

How Our Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help After a Semi- Truck Crash

After a truck accident, you may feel overwhelmed—medical bills, car repairs, calls from insurance agents, and low settlement offers can all pile up until it seems impossible to fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

But remember, you are not alone: The Indianapolis truck accident attorneys at WKW can help you understand your rights, navigate the claims process, and build a successful truck accident case so that you can focus on your recovery.

Contact an experienced Indiana truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. At WKW, we assist victims who have been injured or have lost a loved one. Our team can help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law and determine if you are eligible to seek compensation for your injuries. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

Insurance companies and their agents operate within matter-of-fact terms. While they may be—or at least sound like they are—sympathetic to your accident and injuries, it is their responsibility to identify and pay the minimum necessary costs associated with your accident. So be careful what you share with anyone and remember that any communication about your accident may be used against you later.

Instead of taking on the stress of these arguments, let our Indiana truck accident lawyers deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. If you get a call from a lawyer or insurance agent from the trucking company, direct them to your attorney.

The trucking company’s insurance agency starts working on their defense immediately after an accident occurs. That’s why it is imperative you find a qualified attorney right away to give you the best chance at a full and fair settlement.

Investigating the Crash to Determine Fault

Commercial vehicle accident investigations tend to be more complicated than crashes solely involving passenger cars. Many parties can be held responsible, including the truck driver, the employer of the truck driver, the owner of the truck or trailer, the trucking company, the loading company, the cargo manufacturer, or the truck manufacturer.

To determine who is at fault in a truck accident, the trucking company and its insurance agency will send out a team of investigators to the accident scene. Depending on the severity of the accident, state authorities may also launch an investigation.

Following a truck accident, any evidence should be preserved. Evidence can include things from the scene of the accident such as dash cam video, bystander/witness information, and any photos or videos related to the accident. An early investigation ensures all evidence can be accurately utilized in relation to your case.

Part of your attorney’s job is to investigate the accident, analyze the evidence, determine who is at fault, and build a solid case in your favor.

Representation for Litigation

When possible, we will negotiate a settlement with the liable party. However, if a fair settlement offer cannot be agreed upon, we are prepared to take your case to court. WKW’s significant truck accident trial experience is vital at this stage of your case.

Holding Guilty Parties Accountable for Paying Damages

By their very nature, truck-related accidents are complex. As part of the mix, you have possible driver error and a potentially negligent carrier company that may have cut corners on safety issues. Semi-trucks are also complex vehicles in which mechanical failure can happen. The semi-truck accident law firm of WKW has the experience needed to uncover every potential liable party for maximum compensation.

What Should You Do After a Truck Accident in Indianapolis?

Truck accidents are scary and traumatic. What to do following the accident will vary on the circumstances and severity of the crash, but here is a general guide:

Get Yourself and Others to Safety

At the scene of an accident, your first priority should always be ensuring your safety. Get yourself and others out of the way of traffic, which poses additional danger. The only exception to this is if moving someone who is severely injured could worsen their condition. Also move your car off the road if possible. Once you and others involved are safe, you should consider the next steps.

Call the Police and Stay Put

Call the police to come out to the scene and ask them to send an ambulance if there’s a medical emergency. You will want to have an official police report filed on the accident. Stay and cooperate with the officer(s) if you are able, but never admit blame to anyone.

Document the Scene and Collect Contact Information

Document the crash with photos. Include shots of the vehicles, any injuries, road conditions, and the general layout of the area. Consider also taking videos if they’ll be helpful in explaining the circumstances.

Exchange contact information with any other drivers and witnesses, including drivers license and insurance information, and any details on the parent trucking company.

Seek Medical Care for Injuries

Get checked out by a medical professional. Even if you are fortunate to think you feel okay immediately following the accident, you’ll want a medical evaluation on file in case your condition worsens in the future.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

It is appropriate to contact your insurance company with the basic facts of the accident, but don’t admit any fault or claim any blame. You should consider having your lawyer present for the call.

Don’t Give Statements or Accept Insurance Settlements

It is optimal to only communicate with your truck accident lawyer following the crash. They will know what to convey—and what not to convey—to insurance adjustors and other parties regarding details of the accident. Now is not the time to be shouting around town—or online—about what happened. Anything you say or do now could be held against you later.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis

Truck accident cases can quickly become complicated. There are many factors at play, and determining liability is difficult because there may be several parties at fault. The trucking company’s insurance agency will immediately start investigating the accident, so don’t delay in securing legal counsel.

It’s in your best interest to be represented by a law firm with the experience and resources you need to build a strong case so that you can secure full and fair compensation for your injuries. Three of our attorneys have been named Indiana Super Lawyers, two of whom have been included in the Top 10 Indiana Super Lawyers list.

WKW partners Bruce Kehoe and Bill Winingham have also been recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” for Indianapolis in Best Lawyers. It is this standard of excellence and dedication that we will bring to your truck accident case.

To maximize compensation following an accident, keep track of lost wages and expenses, avoid social media posts, follow your doctors’ orders and seek medical treatment, hire a good attorney, and don’t talk to the insurance companies without direction or guidance.

What Types of Injuries Can Truck Accidents Cause?

All types of truck accidents—whether caused by distracted driving, equipment malfunctions, or improper loading—can lead to serious injury, property damage, and even death.

There are several ways you can be injured in a truck accident. Injuries such as the following are common:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spine injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Severe burns
  • Internal bleeding
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Loss of limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Some of these injuries may not be obvious immediately after the accident. They could show up days, weeks, or even months later. It’s important that all victims involved in a truck accident visit a doctor as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not they have visible injuries.

What Causes Truck Accidents to Happen in Indianapolis?

Semi-truck accidents are often caused by human error, but outside influences can also lead to a crash. The following factors are common causes of truck accidents:

  • Distracted drivingTexting, talking on the phone, eating, grooming, or other such behaviors behind the wheel can lead to serious accidents.
  • Impaired driving: Drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are a danger to everyone on the road.
  • Fatigue: Truck drivers often have exhausting schedules, potentially exacerbated by tough-to-meet delivery standards put in place by trucking companies.
  • Improper training: Trucking companies and independent contractors alike must ensure that their drivers are adequately trained and experienced before they operate a commercial truck.
  • Equipment malfunctions: Semi-trucks should be regularly maintained to make sure they are safe to hit the road. Any malfunctioning parts could cause an accident.
  • Improper loading: Tractor-trailers haul a lot of cargo, and an improperly secured load can throw a trailer off balance, leading to a crash. Sometimes, the cargo itself is dangerous (toxic liquids, flammable materials, etc.).
  • Road conditions: Poorly maintained roads and inadequate signage make navigating a trucking route difficult.
  • Weather conditions: Rain, snow, sleet, fog, wind, or other adverse weather can make it more challenging for drivers to see or stop.

Truck accidents can be caused by any of these factors, or even a combination of several. Your Indiana truck accident lawyer will know to look at every possible cause and hold the appropriate parties responsible. Also, knowing the most common causes of truck accidents can help keep you and your family safe while driving on the highway.

Laws for Semi Truck Drivers

The U.S. commercial trucking industry plays a significant role in our economy. Given the sheer size of these trucks, and their large numbers sharing the road with cars, federal oversight is necessary to increase safety for everyone. Federal trucking rules are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The FMCSA regulates many issues related to trucking, including driver qualification and licensing, enforcement of safety protocols, and hiring practices.

Carriers are required to meet and enforce standards on the following:

  • Hiring
  • Employee records preservation
  • Supervision of employee and personnel file upkeep
  • Employee or contractor retention
  • Training of employees
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Weight and size restrictions
  • Financial responsibility
  • Post-accident testing for drivers

Federal regulations also have requirements in place for truck drivers that carriers oversee. These include:

  • Completing daily hours of service logs
  • Inspecting v
  • ehicles before and after each shift, including a report
  • Following traffic safety rules
  • Loading cargo safely and securely
  • Avoiding the use of a cell phone (and other electronics) while driving
  • Passing a medical/fitness test
  • Complying with hours of service rules that regulate number of hours driven per shift and per week

Unfortunately, human error still frequently plays a role in trucking accidents.

Indiana State Truck Laws

Given its location at the crossroads of America, the state of Indiana has a significant amount of semi-truck traffic on its roads. In addition to federal regulations, Indiana has restrictions on the size and weight allowed per 18 wheeler.

Indiana law also states that semi drivers must use the far-right lane on an interstate highway. If there are three or more lanes available, the driver may use the right two lanes, only entering the far left lane if necessary to pass another vehicle, when entering or exiting the highway, or to avoid a road hazard.

Federal Truck Driving Regulations

Additional federal regulations apply to tankers or any trucks carrying flammable materials, as this poses an additional potential hazard to other road users. This includes a special endorsement on a commercial drivers license and a hazmat permit.

Box Truck Crashes in Indianapolis

Box trucks are what you commonly see around town making deliveries. They are larger than a van but smaller than a semi-truck. With home and business deliveries now commonplace, this has led to more of these trucks on roads in Indianapolis and its suburbs.

Increased use of these trucks, especially in populated areas such as downtown or in the suburbs can lead to a catastrophe. If you or a loved one have been involved in a box truck accident, the Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at WKW are here to help.

Why Are Box Trucks Dangerous?

Although smaller than semi-trucks, box trucks can still pose a danger on our roads. For one thing, they’re way more common in urban areas than semi-trucks. This means that they’re navigating tighter roads and in areas where you have people on bicycles and children playing outside. Intersections are the most dangerous places for vehicle/pedestrian crashes, and box trucks obviously come across more intersections in a city then a semi on the highway.

Also, not all box trucks require a commercial driving license. Take a rental moving truck as an example. There is no training or requirements to rent a moving van, so you end up with inexperienced drivers behind the wheel who may not understand the box truck’s significant blind spots or the potential to overturn based on cargo loads.

Who Is Liable for Your Injuries?

Though some clearly are, not all truck accidents are caused by driver error. In fact, the liable party may not be anyone you’ve ever met or a company you’ve ever heard of. Perhaps the truck was loaded improperly or was over the recommended weight. What if a part failed in the braking system? These sorts of examples are exactly why you want an experienced truck accident attorney on your side to investigate every possible angle and hold all negligent parties accountable.

Possible Damages From an Indianapolis Truck Accident

If you are seeking compensation as a truck crash victim in Indiana and your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to collect damages from the liable party.

Damages you could secure include the following:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income or wages
  • Property damage, such as car repair or replacement
  • Car rental and towing costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lower quality of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental anguish

Some types of compensation—called special damages—are economic in nature and are therefore relatively easy to calculate. Other costs, such as pain and suffering, are called general damages and are typically more difficult to quantify.

An experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyer can help you determine how much compensation you could receive.

Cost of an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer

Don’t let the fear of not being able to afford a truck accident lawyer stop you from getting the help and guidance you need—and the compensation you deserve. Most truck accident lawyers work on what’s known as a contingency basis, meaning that there’s no up-front, out-of-pocket cost to you.

Instead, when you are awarded your settlement, the lawyers receive a percentage of the money awarded. So not only does this help alleviate financial burden on the victim, but it also aligns the interests of both the client and lawyer to seek the maximum settlement.

How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in Indiana?

Each state has a limit on when a lawsuit can be filed, knows as the statute of limitations. Indiana Statute 34-11-2-4 states a two-year statute of limitations on truck accidents, meaning you have two years to file a claim. This time period starts the day of the accident.

Given the complexity and severity of truck accidents, we recommend you contact a truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis as soon as possible following the accident.

What Is the Stopping Distance for Trucks?

The FMCSA calculates the stopping distance of semi-trucks vs. cars as follows: normal vehicles going 65 MPH will need about 300 feet to stop. Commercials trucks driving at 65 MPH will need 600 feet to stop.

What Standards Are Set in Place to Avoid Drowsy Driving?

To avoid drivers becoming too drowsy to be on the road, the FMCSA regulates the number of hours a truck driver may drive per day. Truck drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours per day and a maximum of 60 hours in a seven-day week.

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Truck Accident Claim?

It is impossible to predict exactly how long it will take to settle a truck accident claim. The individual circumstances of each accident are the ultimate determining factors of the length of time in which it will take to reach a settlement.

Reach Out to WKW for a Reliable Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer

With over 30 years of practice, the truck accident attorneys at WKW will investigate and analyze every part of your case and guide you to a successful outcome. Whether your case is negotiated at settlement or brought to trial, WKW is ready for any challenge.

In the event of a tragic trucking accident in Indianapolis, let the legal team at WKW work toward the best possible outcome for your case. Call 317.920.6400 today or fill out our online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Contact Us

Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

Located In Indianapolis
Back to Top