Determining Fault in Truck Accidents

When you are injured in a truck accident, you will need to prove who – or what – was at fault for the crash in order to recover the full compensation you deserve for your losses. Determining fault in truck accidents can be a challenging and technical task, especially since trucking companies and their insurers will likely try to challenge liability. You want to have an Indiana truck accident attorney helping you with the process as soon as possible after your injuries are stable. 

Investigating Fault

It is helpful to launch a truck crash investigation quickly to reduce the chances that evidence might disappear. These investigations involve many components, such as:

  • Request and review the police report that was filed, as this report might indicate that the truck driver violated a traffic law
  • Take photos of the accident scene and see if there is any video footage of the accident available from nearby surveillance cameras or witnesses
  • Request all relevant documentation from the trucking company, including driver logs, data from the truck’s black box and other computer systems, hiring records for the driver, and more
  • Review post-accident drug and alcohol test results from the truck driver
  • Examine vehicle damage
  • Speak with witnesses to the accident

In some cases, we might need to hire accident reconstruction specialists who can give their expert opinions on what caused the crash. They can provide reports and testimony that we can use as proof of fault for the crash.

Common Causes of Truck Crashes

There are many possible causes of truck accidents, which is one reason why it can be so difficult to determine fault. In many cases, the truck driver is the one who makes an error and causes a crash. This can happen in many different ways:

  • Driving while fatigued or violating hours of service restrictions
  • Failing to properly inspect the truck each leg of the trip
  • Not making sure that all cargo is properly loaded and secured
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs)
  • Driving when the truck is overweight
  • Engaging in distracting activities while driving, including (but not limited to) texting or using a handheld device
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Violating any other traffic laws or FMCSA trucking regulations

When a driver makes an error, the trucking company that employs the driver can also be held vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. In addition, trucking companies might be at fault due to negligent hiring or supervision of the driver, inadequate maintenance of the truck, or other negligent acts. When the trucking company is involved, you can expect a battle against a corporate insurance company, which makes having strong proof of fault that much more important. 

Let an Experienced Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer Help You

After a truck accident and injuries, you want the Indiana truck accident attorneys of Tanzillo, Stassin & Babcock on your side. You want to start investigating and protecting your rights as soon as possible, so do not wait to contact us for your case evaluation.