Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyers You Can Trust
We investigate crashes caused by tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks
Commercial truck accidents caused by truck drivers in Lafayette, Indiana, can be complicated cases. There may be more than one at-fault party. The trucking company the truck driver works for might not cooperate after the accident. Serious injuries and fatalities are common. That’s why it’s critical that you fully understand your rights and the legal options available to you after a tractor-trailer accident or a crash caused by large commercial truck.
At Vaughan & Vaughan we know what’s at stake. That’s why our Lafayette lawyers want to meet with you. Founded in 1913, our law firm has a long history of helping people hurt in serious accidents in Tippecanoe County and throughout Indiana. As a result, we understand how the legal system works. We’re familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to commercial truck accidents, including Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Commercial truck accidents in particular can be complex cases. Trucking companies often have exclusive access to important accident data, including Hours of Service (HOS) logs and data from the truck’s event data recorder (EDR), also known as a black box or electronic control module (ECM). We can demand access to such information as part of our investigation, along with hiring records, truck inspection reports and more. We leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the truth.
Why do truck accidents happen?
Accidents caused by big rigs, delivery trucks and other large commercial vehicles often occur because of driver error, poor truck maintenance or negligence on the part of the trucking company. Examples include:
- Distracted truck drivers not paying attention behind the wheel, whether it’s looking up directions, talking to a dispatcher or eating while driving. The result is often the same – a serious truck accident with severe injuries.
- Texting truck drivers, even though texting while driving is against the law nationwide for all drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Speeding truck drivers who don’t leave enough space between their truck and other vehicles on the road, especially on busy highways like I-65 or limited access roads like Sagamore Parkway South.
- Tired truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, especially if they skip mandatory breaks as required under the Hours of Service regulations as stipulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Poorly maintained trucks including accidents caused by defective brakes, tire blowouts and brake lights that don’t work, often resulting in underride accidents, rollovers or jackknife accidents.
These are just a few examples of some of the most common crashes caused by commercial truck drivers. Whatever the circumstances of your accident, an experienced attorney working for you can investigate your collision and gather evidence in support of your injury claim.
Who investigates truck accidents?
Commercial truck accidents in Lafayette, Indiana, are often initially investigated by one or more of the following local, state and federal agencies:
- Local police officers affiliated with the Lafayette Police Department, particularly in cases involving accidents in the city limits.
- Indiana State Police troopers, especially if your accident happened on I-65 or another highway.
- Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), especially in cases involving serious injuries or fatalities.
After they have completed their investigation, an official Indiana accident report will be created for your crash. But before their investigation is finished, several companies will also likely start investigating your accident. Such companies include your insurance company, the truck driver’s insurance company, the trucking company the driver works for and its insurance company.
With all these parties investigating your crash, you might think you don’t need someone else involved in the investigation. But the reality is none of them – including your own insurance company – are concerned with how much money you receive for medical bills, lost income and other accident-related expenses. This is why it’s critical that you have an experienced lawyer working for you and investigating your crash. That way, your accident will get the attention it rightfully deserves.
Who can I sue after my accident?
Indiana has a fault-based system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. This means the at-fault party is responsible for compensating all injury victims. What many people might not realize is there can often be more than one at-fault party when it comes to commercial truck accidents. As a result, you might be able to file a lawsuit or take legal action against one or more of the following people and companies:
- The truck driver who caused your crash.
- The trucking company the driver works for.
- The owner of the truck’s trailer if a tractor-trailer caused your accident.
- The owner of the truck’s cab if it’s a different company.
- The company that loaded the truck, especially if the truck was improperly loaded and the contents of the truck shifted and caused a rollover or jackknife accident.
- The company responsible for maintaining the truck, especially if your accident occurred due to a tire blowout or defective brakes.
- The truck manufacturer, especially if a mechanical defect caused your crash.
This process might seem straightforward. But the reality is the at-fault party rarely admits wrongdoing. Instead, they often hire a lawyer to defend their actions and try to blame you for causing the collision.
Hiring an experienced lawyer can help you take a stand after your accident. They know the important deadlines that often apply to commercial truck accidents. One deadline is the two year time limit to file a lawsuit in Indiana. Another deadline is how much time trucking companies are required to keep HOS logs and black box data from the truck. That deadline is often only a few months. Don’t miss your opportunity for justice. Hire a skilled attorney right away after your crash.
Take back control after your accident. Contact our Lafayette law firm.
The stakes are high after your truck accident. Your accident claim might be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more. Insurance companies and trucking companies know this. That’s why they might make a settlement offer soon after your accident.
Such a settlement offer might seem tempting. But the reality is such offers often only cover short-term expenses, like vehicle repairs and emergency medical care at Franciscan Health Lafayette East Emergency Room or another hospital. Instead, you should be compensated for all your expenses, both now and in the future.
Vaughan & Vaughan can help you demand the money you deserve. We have decades of experience investigating serious accidents and negotiating with insurance companies. Many agree to cooperate with us once they see we’re serious about your case. If not, we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit on your behalf or take other legal action.
Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first after your truck accident. Contact us and schedule a free consultation at our law firm’s Lafayette office. We’re conveniently located on Main Street near Columbia Street and the Wabash River.