Whether you're driving down I-70 from Indianapolis to Columbus, or out west to St. Louis, you will likely see your fair share of big rigs (some of them hauling gasoline or other volatile chemicals) and large delivery vans. In town, you'll likely see garbage trucks, cement mixers, and even more delivery vans. Accidents involving commercial motor vehicles can cause substantial injuries to both people and property, sometimes resulting in fatalities. In some cases, drug or alcohol use may be a factor in the accident.
Understanding the law, as summarized below, will help you understand what to do after a truck accident in Indiana. See FindLaw's articles on Indiana car accident compensation laws and the state's settlement process for more general information.
Indiana Truck Accident Laws at a Glance
|Statute of Limitations||
2 years (§34-11-2-4)
|Minimum Insurance Coverage Required||
( § 9-25-4-5)
|Basis for Liability||
Contributory fault on behalf of plaintiff damages (proportionally) amount of damages awarded for injuries; does not bar recovery (§ 34-51-2-5)
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
First Steps After a Truck Accident in Indiana
If you are in a car or truck accident in Indiana, call the police for an official report if there are injuries or at least $1,000 in property damage. After checking to make sure anyone who needs emergency medical attention is taken care of, move your vehicle to the side of the road, if possible. You'll also want to obtain the following information:
After getting home, you'll want to contact your insurance provider as soon as you can and request a Certificate of Compliance (proof of financial responsibility). You may seek compensation for injuries through your own insurance company, through the other driver's insurance company, or against the at-fault driver. If the driver of a commercial vehicle is at fault, you may file a claim against the employer, but trucking companies are notoriously tough in defending these claims.
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement in Indiana
Indiana's Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division enforces state and federal commercial motor vehicle (CMV) laws. Truck accidents, as well as much of the regulation of CMVs in general, are handled primary through the federal government. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces these regulations and has procedures in place for certain serious accidents.
What to Do After an Indiana Truck Accident: Related Resources
Have a Local Attorney Evaluate Your Truck Accident Case in Indiana
If you've been in an accident involving a truck, such as an 18-wheeler or a delivery van, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention if necessary. You also may have additional questions about how to file a claim against the trucking company. If so, you may want to consider speaking with a skilled car accident attorney in Indiana today.
Contact a qualified attorney.