Can I Sue Both Company and Driver After Being Hurt in a Truck Accident?

The consequences of car accidents range on a very broad spectrum, from minor all the way to fatal. But when it comes to truck accidents, the damages tend to be even more extensive given that trucks are larger, heavier, and therefore more lethal than a standard sedan or compact car. Often times, it is the trucking company that would be held liable for an accident caused by one of their drivers; however, there are some cases in which a separate claim can be brought against a negligent trucker driver too.

Continue reading to learn more about the possibility of suing both trucking company and driver after being injured in a serious trucking accident in Indiana.

Truck Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indiana Truck Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Trucking Company Employees vs. Independent Contractors

Most often, the trucking company is responsible for any damages caused by an employed driver while they were on the clock. However, some trucking accident claims can prove to be a bit trickier since not all truck drivers are employed by the trucking company. Some trucking companies outsource truck drivers who own their own truck and operate as independent contractors. In the case that a driver was injured by an independent trucking contractor, appointing liability can pose its challenges due to certain independent contracting laws. For this reason, it is vital to have a seasoned truck accident attorney representing your claim, from start to finish.

Although the negligent actions of employees of a trucking company are the trucking company’s responsibility, independent trucking contractors are responsible for themselves. This means that the trucking company that hired an independent trucker will generally not be held legally liable if the trucker causes an accident that harms another person. In fact, it is quite common for trucking companies and their insurance carrier to point the finger totally on the independent truck driver. On the other hand, if the trucking company lease a truck or placard to a truck driver, they could be found legally liable for the driver’s actions while on the clock.

Another important factor that courts will consider is whether or not the truck driver of a trucking company was acting within their scope of employment. For instance, if an employed truck driver of a trucking company causes an accident while on the clock performing work duties, the company can be held liable for the accident. However, the trucking company might be able to evade liability if the employee acted outside their scope of employment by causing an accident while running a personal errand, potentially. The company could argue that because the employee was acting outside of their scope of employment, they are not accountable.

What You Should Do After a Truck Accident

If you were just injured in a serious car accident as a result of a negligent trucker, you are likely entitled to collecting compensation for your subsequent damages and losses. See our blog, “FAQS About Commercial Truck Accident Claims” to learn more about your options for legal recompense. Contact a licensed truck accident lawyer in Indianapolis for help navigating your personal injury claim, today.

Indiana Truck Accident Attorneys

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with a licensed Indianapolis truck accident attorney who can determine the best strategies for your case. Not only does our law firm offer free consultations, we never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 to get started on your financial recovery, today.  We represent injured persons throughout Indiana and are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

FAQS About Commercial Truck Accident Claims

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries as a result of a recent commercial trucking accident, it is important to begin educating yourself on your rights to compensation. Immediately contact a licensed Indiana truck accident attorney to discuss your accident and begin documenting an impactful case against all negligent parties.

In the meantime, it is helpful to review some of the most common inquiries personal injury law firms receive regarding commercial truck accidents, injuries, and claims. Continue below to do just that, including where to get started on your claim.

Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers

Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

What Makes a Truck “Commercial?”

A commercial truck is different from your average pickup truck on the road. Commercial trucks are those that are used to transport commercial goods. There are various types of commercial trucks that you can see driving down the interstate every day, including delivery trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, freight trucks, dump trucks, tractor-trailers, big-rigs, and even delivery vans and vehicles. The standard weight of a fully-loaded commercial truck can be up to 80,000 pounds or more, making them incredibly deadly and dangerous at high speeds.

What are the Indiana Drug and Alcohol Regulations for Truck Drivers?

Indiana, as well as the rest of the country, maintain strict policies and regulations for commercial truck drivers in terms of drug and alcohol use. See our blog, “State Regulations for Truck Drivers Regarding Drugs and Alcohol” to learn more about our state’s initiative to keep truck drivers sober on and off the road.

Who is Liable for the Truck Accident?

When it comes to commercial truck accidents, many parties may be liable to pay compensation to injured victims. Such parties may include the truck owner, trucking company, owner of the cargo, the automotive parts manufacturer, and the party responsible for the truck’s maintenance.

Is Indiana a “No Fault” State for Car Accidents?

No, Indiana is not a “no fault” state. This means that anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident must use their own or the negligent party’s insurance coverage to collect compensation for economic damages, up to the limit of that policy. Additional compensation can also be available outside of insurance proceeds.

What are 1st and 3rd Party Truck Accident Claims?

As mentioned, Indiana is not a “no fault” state; so following a truck accident, you would make a claim with your own insurance carrier to cover your damages, if the coverage is available. This is called a 1st party claim. However, if you suffered serious damages and losses as a result of being injured by a negligent truck driver or trucking company, you can also seek out compensation for non-economic damages as well, such as pain, suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, and more. This is called a 3rd party claim, and it would be to prove negligence and collect compensation.

Can I Collect Compensation if I was Partially at Fault for the Truck Accident?

Even if you were partially at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation, however, it varies from case to case. In Indiana, we use a modified comparative negligence system, which is also referred to as the “51% fault” system. This means you need to be less than 51% at fault for the accident in order to collect compensation for a personal injury claim. There are many complex factors involved in such claims, so it is necessary to consult with your personal injury lawyer for help understanding your rights to compensation.

How Long Do Truck Accident Victims Have to Make a Claim?

In Indiana, victims of trucking accidents have a 2 year statute of limitations from the date of the incident to make a claim for their damages and losses if the defendant is non-governmental. It is best to seek representation immediately following a collision.

How Do I Make a Truck Accident Claim in Indiana?

Call Our Seasoned Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers RIGHT NOW!

Personal Injury Law Firm 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Law Firm
317-881-2700

Call The Law office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to make a commercial truck accident claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our experienced truck accident lawyers, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek, are ready, willing and able to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. We offer free initial consultations and never collect attorney fees unless we recover for you.

State Regulations for Truck Drivers Regarding Drugs and Alcohol

Truck Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Truck Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

The trucking industry must follow several federal and state protocols and procedures, including licensing, equipment regulations, loading regulations, safety regulations, and much more. Not only do these rules and codes of practice have to be obeyed by all U.S. truckers, they must also be followed by any Canadian or Mexican trucking companies driving on U.S. soil. Truck accidents are all too common, which is why truck safety is so vital to the industry, and why these regulations exist.

One of the most common causes behind truck accidents is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Continue reading to learn what is expected of our country’s truck drivers, and which state regulations relate to drug and alcohol consumption.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

In the United States, anyone driving over the alcohol level of 0.08 is considered an intoxicated driver. In the trucking industry, this alcohol level is much less. The legal limit for an on-duty truck driver is 0.04 or less. Because truckers are performing, “safety-sensitive functions” while on the job, they must be free of drugs and alcohol. This is why truck drivers are tested for drugs and alcohol before they are hired, and further on during periods of their employment.

Truck Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Truck Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

When a new truck driver is in the process of being hired, they are required to take a drug and alcohol test. If they refuse these tests, they cannot be eligible for employment. For those who move forward with the hiring process, they can expect a urinary or blood test, depending on the clinic used and the company’s policy. They must pass both tests by rendering negative results on both drugs and alcohol. Drugs like cocaine and marijuana can stay in a person’s blood and urinary systems for weeks at a time; so a person can take a drug test sober, but still fail if drug-use was in recent weeks. Because alcohol doesn’t stay in your system long, a person who fails an alcohol test is likely to be suspected of consuming alcoholic beverages on the same day of the test. And anyone applying for a driving position while
under the influence of alcohol is not an
appropriate candidate for a truck driver.

State regulations also mandate that when a truck driver is involved in an accident or collision while on-duty, he or she is tested for controlled substances and alcohol once again. If they refuse these tests at the scene of the crime, or sometime following the incident, they are not only subjected to termination, they might also face legal ramifications. Even when accidents are not happening and truckers are not being hired, random drug testing among employees is required in the trucking industry. Each year, trucking and freight companies are legally mandated to randomly test ten percent of their drivers for alcohol use, and 50 percent of their drivers for controlled substances.

If you or someone you loved was recently injured in a truck accident as a result of a negligent truck driver, contact a licensed Indianapolis truck accident lawyer right away. Don’t wait another minute to recover the full and fair compensation you and your family deserve after suffering damages in a truck-related accident.

Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to speak with licensed and experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyers about recovering compensation for your damages following a wreck. Seasoned personal injury attorney, Daniel Craven, retains years of litigation and trial experience. He can settle out of court, or take your case to trial if need be. We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we win your settlement! Call 317-881-2700 for more information about filing a truck accident lawsuit in Indianapolis, IN today.