Home / Blog / What Are the Most Common Truck Accidents?

Trucks are a common sight on Indiana’s highways and interstates. These large vehicles are a vital part of the economy, moving goods from one place to another to meet the commercial demands of the nation. They can also cause significant property damage and catastrophically injure or kill other drivers.

If you become injured due to a truck driver’s negligence, seek legal advice as soon as possible from the Indianapolis truck crash attorneys at Wagner Reese. The sooner we start building your case, the sooner we can hold the liable parties accountable and help you get the compensation you deserve. 

These are some of the most common truck accident scenarios to be aware of in Indiana.

Jackknife Collisions

A semi-truck or tractor-trailer consists of the trailer and the cab. Under the front portion of a trailer, the truck’s cab connects to the hitch, a pivoting joint that swings as the truck turns. If the trailer swings toward the truck, it folds up like a jackknife.

Drivers who stop too quickly or use their brakes in bad weather are often in danger of skidding, which could cause a jackknife accident. The other cars on the road may collide with a jackknifed truck, causing a multi-vehicle pileup.

Lane Change Accidents

Lane changes are one of the most common causes of truck accidents; 32% of truck crashes involve accidents where the truck leaves its travel lane or the road. A safe lane change can be challenging for truck drivers due to the size of the vehicle and their blind spots.

Lane change accidents can happen when a vehicle is rear-ended by a truck after changing lanes or when a truck merges into another vehicle’s lane and collides with a car in its blind spot.

These accidents may occur due to a driver’s failure to signal or check their blind spots before merging.

Rear-End Collisions

Because of their great size and weight, trucks require more time and distance to stop or avoid road hazards. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers traveling slower than 40 miles per hour should allow at least one second for every ten feet of truck length. This rule allows drivers to maintain a safe distance between themselves and other vehicles on the road.

Approximately 22% of truck crashes involve a collision with another vehicle’s rear-end. The truck driver may cause rear-end collisions when distracted, speeding, or tailgating. When cars abruptly stop, turn quickly into another lane, or use other unexpected actions, it may be difficult for truck drivers to stop or slow down in time because of the weight of their vehicle.

Accidents Involving Improperly Loaded Freight

Failure to secure cargo on a truck can result in an accident. Cargo loaded incorrectly can fall off the truck and onto the road, resulting in hazardous conditions for other drivers. Drivers of nearby vehicles risk an accident and injury if they cannot avoid the truck and its cargo.

What Trucking Companies Do to Fight Claims

Trucking companies hire legal teams to represent them if they are held liable for an accident. Improve your chances of winning compensation by hiring your own legal representation if you are injured in a truck accident.

Truck accident investigations are complex:

Truck accident investigations may take longer to determine fault because of the complexity of the investigation. There are multiple parties involved in a commercial vehicle accident who could be liable for your injuries. These include the trucking company, the truck driver, the company who loaded the vehicle, or the truck owner (if different from the company).

You need to work with a knowledgeable lawyer to help you establish who is responsible for your injuries so you can seek the compensation you deserve.

Truck companies may not offer fair compensation:

If you suffered injuries and needed extensive medical treatment because of a truck accident in Indiana, you can file a claim to get fair compensation. These damages may cover your medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages.

You can receive a settlement offer from the truck driver’s insurance company, but it may only reflect a fraction of what you need to cover your injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help represent your interests when you negotiate with the insurance company for compensation.

The trucking companies employ rapid response teams:

The trucking company and its insurance provider send investigators to the accident scene. Their job is to inspect the site to determine who is to blame, limit their liability, and lowball any settlement you are offered.

Our skilled lawyers at Wagner Reese can help in the accident investigation to determine liability. As part of the investigation, they will examine photographs and videos of the accident, including the weather at the time of the crash, skid marks, and damage to the vehicles. They can also contact eyewitnesses and expert witnesses to provide testimony.

Wagner Reese Helps Trucking Accident Victims Protect Their Rights

If you are involved in any of these scenarios, seek medical attention and contact a lawyer at our law firm immediately. Commercial vehicle accidents are complex because of the multiple laws and parties involved, so you need a skilled attorney in your corner to help establish the other party’s liability.

Contact Wagner Reese today to schedule your free case evaluation.