Published in Personal Injury by Raeanna Spahn on December 7, 2023.

Accidents involving large trucks pose a significant traffic safety problem throughout the country. However, the Indiana University Public Policy Institute notes that traffic fatality rates have risen recently. In addition to the immediate physical, psychological, and financial consequences of a large truck accident, Indiana accidents often come with various long-term collateral consequences. Together these repercussions can leave truck accident victims and their families in a tenuous financial position that can threaten their health, safety, and livelihood.

Our clients often ask us, What is the average settlement for truck accidents in Indiana? In reality, these cases are uniquely fact-specific, and settlement amounts depend on various factors. Thus, an average settlement amount is hard to determine because every accident presents very different circumstances. An experienced personal injury attorney can present damages in an effective and strategic manner to maximize compensation. The Indiana truck accident attorneys at Eskew Law have the skills, training, and experience to handle complex personal injury cases on behalf of victims and their loved ones.

Is There an Average Settlement for Truck Accidents in Indiana?

Given the various factors that go into truck accident claims, there is no average truck accident settlement amount in Indiana. However, truck company lawyers and insurance adjusters look at the same factors that juries consider when making settlement offers. These factors can impact the amount of damages an Indiana truck accident victim can reasonably expect to recover. 

The Extent of Your Injuries

The type and severity of a truck accident victim’s injuries are primary factors in determining the value of a case. Generally, Indiana law permits truck accident victims to pursue economic, noneconomic, and in rare cases, punitive damages. Compensatory damages may cover the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Establishing the existence or likelihood of long-term medical complications or permanent disability can increase damages for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and future medical bills.

During settlement negotiations, insurance companies use the amount of money a victim has spent on assessing and treating their injuries and how much time they have lost from work in evaluating how much the case is worth. The more complicated part of valuing a case comes into play when incorporating pain and suffering damages into a settlement offer. Given the subjective nature of pain tolerance and experience, establishing the type of injury is crucial to securing more significant damages. 

Settlements are typically larger if they involve “hard injuries” that can be detected and confirmed through a medical examination. Head injuries and spinal injuries are likely to have the highest value, but any injury that causes significant pain, a long recovery time, or long-term impairment can result in a high settlement. Thus, it is important that truck accident victims work with their attorneys to gather evidence of the severity of their injuries. 

The Strength of Your Evidence

Before a person or entity can be liable for a victim’s injuries, the victim must establish a causal link between the at-fault party’s negligence and the victim’s injuries. In the context of a truck accident, it is important to establish the actual cause of the accident, such as:

  • Accident scene photographs,
  • Police reports,
  • Medical records, and
  • Witness testimony.

Truck accidents may involve additional evidence relating to federal or state safety regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the State of Indiana maintain regulations governing the following:

  • Obtaining a commercial driver’s license,
  • Detailed logging of hours of service,
  • Drug and alcohol policies,
  • Distracted driving, 
  • Cargo securement, 
  • Transporting hazardous materials, and
  • Truck maintenance. 

Evidence that a trucking company, driver, or other related party violated these regulations can serve as crucial evidence and increase the value of a case.

Determining Fault in Truck Accidents

After establishing causation, the victim and their lawyer can work to identify the at-fault party. Some common liable parties in a truck accident case might include the following:

  • Truck driver,
  • Truck driver employer,
  • Manufacturer,
  • Maintenance company,
  • Cargo company, or
  • Another third party.

Identifying the at-fault party in ordinary motor vehicle accidents is often less complicated than in truck accident cases. There are more people and entities that may have caused or contributed to the accident. Parsing out the at-fault parties may impact the viability of a victim’s claims and how much they can recover. 

Multiple liable parties

Indiana follows the pure several liability theory. This means if more than one party contributed to the accident, each party can be held responsible only for their share of fault. An attorney can help you identify all potentially liable parties to ensure that you receive compensation from all parties who contributed to your accident.

Vicarious liability

Indiana’s vicarious liability laws allow truck accident victims to sue the driver’s employer. However, the victim must establish the following:

  • The truck driver was an employee,
  • The negligent conduct or accident occurred during the ordinary course of the driver’s employment, and
  • The driver’s actions were not intentional.

Vicarious liability is important because the driver’s employer is likely to have more money to pay you if your damages exceed insurance policy limits. They may also have additional insurance to compensate you, such as an umbrella policy.

Comparative Negligence

Indiana follows the modified comparative fault model. Under this system, a victim cannot recover compensation if they are more than 50% at fault for the accident. And if the victim’s share of fault is 50% or less, the value of their claim will be reduced proportionate to their share of fault. If the at-fault party can show that you were partially at fault for the accident, that can reduce the value of your claim or even prevent you from recovering compensation at all. A lawyer can help you refute the other side’s comparative fault arguments.

Insurance Limits

Indiana is an at-fault state. Thus, the injured party is responsible for pursuing compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Further, as a practical matter, the following Indiana trucking insurance requirements may impact recovery:

  • For-hire companies transporting non-hazardous materials in vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 10,000 pounds must have $300,00 in minimum liability coverage;
  • For for-hire companies transporting non-hazardous materials in vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more must have $750,000 minimum liability coverage; and
  • For companies transporting hazardous materials, the coverage amounts range from $1 million to $5 million. 

In some cases, a truck accident claimant may be able to make a claim under more than one policy if there are multiple parties.

If the amount of your damages exceeds the amount of available insurance coverage, that can impact the ultimate value of your claim. Luckily, that is less likely to happen in truck accidents than other types of accidents because of the much higher insurance limits trucking companies are required to carry. Additionally, trucking companies often have other assets and insurance policies from which to pay a settlement if the value of your claim is greater than the insurance limits.


Retaining an experienced accident attorney at the award-winning Indianapolis law firm Eskew Law can lead to more favorable outcomes for accident victims. In many cases, having an experienced lawyer improves one’s chances of a reasonable settlement offer. Insurance companies are less likely to use nefarious tactics to pressure injury victims into accepting lowball offers when a lawyer represents the victim. Additionally, insurance companies are more willing to negotiate when they know your lawyer will take the case to trial if they do not agree to a reasonable settlement.

The attorneys at Eskew Law are well-versed in the various steps to negotiating with large trucking companies and insurance companies. We understand the tactics that come into play during truck settlement negotiations. We know how to deal with unreasonable parties and employ effective counteroffer strategies.

And unlike some firms that avoid trial at all costs, the attorneys at Eskew Law prioritize our clients’ interests. As a result, insurance companies know that our lawyers are willing to go to court and litigate on behalf of our clients.

Unlock the Power of Legal Excellence with Eskew Law – Contact Now

While the average settlement for truck accidents in Indiana varies, one thing is for sure: it is important to identify the full extent of your damages to ensure fair compensation. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Indiana, it’s important that you understand all your rights and what you can do to enforce them. At Eskew Law, we have decades of combined legal experience. We understand the challenges you’re facing in the aftermath of an accident and how to effectively guide you through the recovery process to ensure you are fairly compensated for what you’ve been through. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call us today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

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Raeanna Spahn

Raeanna is a skilled attorney focusing her practice in personal injury civil litigation. She has the experience and knowledge to understand and navigate complex civil litigation, including matters arising out of automobile and trucking collisions, premises liability accidents, dog bites, Section 1983 civil rights violations, and medical malpractice actions. Raeanna has tried numerous jury and bench trials and her litigation experience extends to both state and federal court. Her past prosecutorial and civil defense experience is invaluable, as it helps her understand and analyze matters from various perspectives and effectively strategize next steps throughout the litigation process.