When semi-truck rollovers occur, they are extremely dangerous for all parties. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 306 large truck rollover accidents occurred in 2020, with 50% proving fatal.
Victims of semi-truck rollovers can seek compensation for their injuries under Indiana law. Learn more about the frequency of semi-truck flip-over accidents and who is responsible if you are injured in a rollover collision.
What is the Frequency of Semi-Truck Flips
According to the 2020 Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Report (ICJI), the state saw 896 fatalities and 38,913 injuries in vehicle collisions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that 4% of fatal rollover crashes involving semis were the first harmful event, while overturns accounted for 2% of non-fatal collisions with semi-trucks. A 2008 analysis of an NHTSA report found that about 9% of semi accidents are rollover collisions.
Unfortunately, when any type of collision occurs with a semi-truck, the occupants of the other vehicle are often most affected. Nationally, 67.7% of those injured in commercial truck accidents are the occupants of another vehicle.
Causes of Semi-Truck Rollovers
Semi-truck rollovers happen for various reasons, many of which involve negligent behavior on the truck driver’s part. According to the 2008 NHTSA data, 45% of semi-truck rollovers were caused by speed. Other factors such as road conditions, inattention, and improper maneuvers accounted for many rollover crashes.
- Speeding: A semi-truck cannot stop quickly or turn as nimbly as a passenger vehicle. Driving too fast can cause the truck to lose its balance and tip over, even when making gradual turns (like merging onto the highway). The truck driver may be liable for your injuries if you’re involved in a rollover accident with a speeding semi.
- Lack of Maintenance: Semi-trucks must be adequately maintained to function properly. Malfunctioning brakes, worn tires, or similar problems from an unmaintained truck can make it more difficult to slow down or control the vehicle, leading to rollovers. However, it can be challenging to determine who is liable for the truck’s maintenance since many commercial truck drivers don’t own the vehicle. A semi-truck accident attorney can help you investigate the accident to determine whether the driver, trucking company, or mechanic may be liable for your injuries.
- Uneven Weight Distribution: Since semi-trucks often haul cargo, trucking companies must ensure the cargo’s weight is evenly distributed and unlikely to shift. If the weight is concentrated on one side of the shipping container, the truck is at greater risk of tipping when making turns or driving on uneven roads. When trucks flip over due to uneven weight, the party who loaded the cargo can be liable for failing to distribute the weight evenly.
- Inattention: When a driver fails to keep their full attention on the road, their truck can roll over due to speeding or attempts to overcorrect. Inattention includes impairments such as intoxication, sleep deprivation, or distraction, such as using a cell phone. About 10% of all rollover crashes result from inattentive driving. While distracted driving liability often falls on a truck driver, you may also pursue damages from a trucking company that breaks federal or state rules regarding commercial operation drive times.
Rollover Crashes and Liability Law
Determining who is at fault for a semi-truck rollover accident in Indiana is complicated. Unlike cases involving two passenger vehicles, there are often more significant injuries and multiple parties in semi-truck accidents.
The attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you determine faults in your commercial truck rollover case. We will evaluate the circumstances of the collision and hold the driver, their employer, or a third-party manufacturer responsible for any part they played in your accident.
We can help you negotiate with trucking company insurance representatives for a fair settlement or take them to court to seek damages if they refuse to pay. We can also help you navigate Indiana’s modified comparative fault doctrine, which says you can’t win damages if you are more than 50% at fault.
If the truck driver or their insurance company tries to claim you caused the accident, we can use witness testimony and other evidence to refute their claim and get you maximum compensation.
Contact Wagner Reese Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, your injuries could profoundly impact your life. The person responsible should be held accountable. To ensure you get justice and receive the compensation you need to help you recover, contact the Indiana semi-truck accident lawyers with Wagner Reese. Our legal team has won several multi-million dollar cases for victims of trucking accidents across the United States, so you can rest assured that we will fight aggressively to maximize your damages.
Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.