A Semi-Truck Ran Me off the Road. Are They Liable for My Damages?
Speeding, overtaking, and other forms of aggressive driving are always dangerous. However, these actions are especially dangerous when they’re performed by commercial truck drivers. Semi-trucks are large, heavy, and often fast-moving. Their impact forces are significantly greater than those of standard passenger autos. Accidents involving these vehicles frequently result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), partial or full paralysis, and many other debilitating and disfiguring injuries. Fortunately, fast-acting Indiana drivers are sometimes able to avoid serious physical harm by veering off the road to avoid a collision.
Even a near-miss with a semi-truck can result in considerable damages. Having a near-miss with a semi can be far more than hair-raising. Sudden road departure can cause motorists to collide with traffic signs, other autos, pedestrians, and more. It can also result in serious automotive damage. If you’ve recently been run off the road by a semi-truck, recoup any losses that you’ve sustained as a result. However, seeking compensation on your own is sure to be a challenge.
A Semi-Truck Doesn’t Have to Actually Strike Your Vehicle to Be Liable for Damages
Hold semi-truck drivers responsible for negligent driving even if they don’t actually collide with you. A semi-truck operator who encroaches upon your space and forces you to make quick, evasive driving decisions that:
- Damage your vehicle
- Cause you to collide with other vehicles or obstructions
- Cause you physical harm
Duty of Care Fails Negligent Driving When Vehicles Don’t Physically Collide
When operating these larger vehicles, consider drivers who perform their duties while under the influence, failure to obey the rules of the road, or drive while distracted as negligent. Even if a semi-truck driver was paying attention and moving at a reasonable speed, seek damages for a collision from an ill-maintained truck. For instance, if a semi-truck momentarily loses control due to a tire blowout or an ill-balanced load, submit a claim. In this instance, the fault for failed duty of care falls upon the commercial trucking company rather than the semi-truck driver.
What Happens if the Semi-Truck Driver Flees the Scene?
One of the biggest challenges in seeking damages is being able to collect the driver’s personally-identifying information. When semi-trucks aren’t actually involved in the accidents that they cause, they may not remain on the scene. In instances such as these, it is always best to have the help of a seasoned attorney. Commercial trucking companies keep detailed records of their drivers’ whereabouts. They also use real-time GPS tracking tools and in-vehicle data recording devices. Attorney Matt Boulton can often access the location data pertaining to the semi that forced your vehicle off the road.
Communicating With Commercial Trucking Companies
Few commercial trucking companies are eager to accept responsibility for the accidents that their drivers or vehicles have caused. This remains true even in direct collisions in which semis have actually collided into accident victims. When commercial truckers cause accidents without involvement, proving responsibility creates a special challenge, particularly without cooperation. If you’ve been run off the road by a commercial trucker and have attempted to contact the driver’s employer, you’ll likely find that they:
Talk to Attorney Matt Boulton Today
Schedule your free case consultation with one of Indiana’s most experienced personal injury attorneysFree Case Review
- Aren’t willing to share information about the driver or their vehicle
- Aren’t willing to admit fault
- Refuse to continue discussing the event until you’ve taken legal action
When entities do not readily provide this information, many accident victims lose hope and wind up shouldering the burden of their accident-related expenses themselves. Hiring an attorney and letting your lawyer do the talking will incite action. Commercial trucking companies respond faster when accident victims have reputable legal representation like the Boulton Law Group.
Insurance Concerns With Single-Vehicle Accidents Involving Semi-Trucks
Assigning liability for run-off-road accidents can be incredibly difficult. Worse still, many insurance companies reject claims for these accidents outright. This is frequently the case for run-off-road events involving commercial vehicles. Moreover, many commercial truckers maintain a contractor status. As such, they may have their own insurance policies that are entirely separate from those of the companies they drive for. With multiple insurers and other parties involved, getting a fair settlement for the losses caused by these accidents becomes more challenging.
What to Do When the Semi-Truck Leaves the Scene
We refer to drivers who leave the scene of accidents that they’ve caused as phantom drivers. If the truck driver that ran you off the road goes without accountability for their actions, other motorists could face danger. In fact, many commercial truckers who flee the scene of single-vehicle accidents that they’ve caused actually continue speeding, overtaking, and engaging in other negligent behaviors along the way.
Although you’re guaranteed to be riddled with adrenaline and may even be in shock, it’s important to remember as many details as you possibly can. Try to jot down the:
- Name of the trucking company
- License number of the truck
- Exact location of your accident
- Exact time of the event
It’s also important to collect the names and numbers of any firsthand witnesses who’ve remained behind. These individuals may remember key details that you do not, or they may have noticed details that you’ve overlooked. The more information that you’re able to collect and retain, the easier it will be for your attorney to hold the responsible party accountable.
File an Official Indiana Police Report
As ever, even for a single-vehicle accident, it’s always a good idea to file a police report. Calling the police and filing an official report will create solid evidence that helps bolster your claim. Best of all, when responding officers deem it necessary, local law enforcement may even assist in tracking phantom drivers down.
Seek Medical Attention
Being run off the road by a fast-moving semi-truck can be far preferable to actually colliding with one. However, this does not mean that these events can’t cause physical harm or property damage. Even if you don’t collide with moving or stationary obstructions due to a spontaneous road departure, having to make a sudden stop can result in whiplash, pinched nerves, slipped discs, and other musculoskeletal injuries. Even the sudden tightening of your seat restraint or the deployment of airbags can cause physical harm. Seeking medical treatment ensures that professionals identify, treat, and properly document your injuries.
Attorney Matt Boulton has considerable experience in representing victims of run-off-road accidents. He knows how to obtain location data for drivers who flee the scene of these events, and he’s adept in holding semi-truckers fully accountable for the damages they cause. Contact the Boulton Law Group today and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.