Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer
Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer
Chicago is known for its busy streets and constant traffic. With all of the semi-trucks and tractor trailers on the road, it’s no wonder that truck accidents are a common occurrence. In fact, according to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 1,023 reported Chicago truck accidents in 2020.
While any type of accident can be dangerous, truck accidents tend to be catastrophic because of the size and weight of these vehicles. A typical tractor-trailer weighs about 80,000 pounds, which is more than 20 times the weight of a passenger car. When these vehicles collide, the results can be devastating.
Were you or a loved one involved in an accident involving a commercial semi-tractor trailer? The Cook County personal injury attorneys at Legal Injury Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, are Chicago truck accident lawyers for victims seeking financial compensation for their damages.
Contact our Chicago truck accident lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information about your personal injuries you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
National Truck Accident Statistics and Facts
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were over 4,000 fatal truck accidents in the United States in 2020. That’s an alarming 11 deaths per day.
While trucks make up only about 8% of all vehicles on the road, they account for nearly one-third of all fatalities in traffic accidents. The main reason for this discrepancy is that trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger cars and take much longer to stop.
- Over 11,000 people are injured in truck accidents every year.
- Nearly 1/3 of all fatal crashes involve a large truck.
- The majority of truck crashes occur on rural roads.
- 70% of accidents involving semi-tractor trailers and delivery trucks are due to driver error.
- Most accidents involving a truck or semi-truck happen during the daytime hours.
- Commercial trucks traveling under the speed limit still cause serious accidents.
- A fully loaded tractor-trailer can take up to 1/2 mile to come to a stop.
- Tractor trailers can often jackknife after a collision resulting in even more severe damage and injuries.
- Many car accidents involving commercial trucks occur at intersections where the driver fails to see the truck coming or misjudges the truck’s speed.
- Commercial trucks carrying hazardous materials can cause even more severe damage in an accident if they leak or explode.
- Pedestrians and cyclists are especially vulnerable to being hit by a semi-truck and suffering severe injury or death.
- Catastrophic truck crashes can cause severe financial hardship for truck accident victims and their families, who often miss work and pay expensive medical bills.
Illinois Truck Accident Statistical Data
Commercial truck accidents can be devastating for everyone involved. They can also be quite common, especially in Illinois. In fact, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 2,844 commercial truck accidents in 2020. These accidents resulted in 902 injuries and 63 fatalities.
The consequences of these Chicago truck accidents can be tragic. In addition to the injuries sustained by drivers and passengers, innocent bystanders may also be killed or seriously injured. Property damage can be extensive, and businesses can suffer significant losses due to a truck crash.
Semi-trucks, also known as tractor trailers or 18-wheelers, are standard on the nation’s roads and highways. Because of their size and weight, a semi-truck can cause significant damage in the event of a crash.
Commercial Truck Regulations
Trucking companies play a significant role in the economy, with their trucks carrying goods across the country and helping businesses move their products to consumers. While trucks are essential for transporting goods, they can also be dangerous when operated improperly.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry and ensures that all trucks on the road are safe. In recent years, the FMCSA has been increasing its focus on semi-truck accidents.
According to the FMCSA, it is prevalent for a semi-truck accident to be caused by driver error, which includes speeding, tailgating, and driving while tired or impaired. Many factors, such as poor road conditions or defective equipment, can contribute to a semi-truck accident.
Some of the FMCSA’s safety regulations include minimum age requirements for commercial truck drivers, limits on the number of hours truckers can work, and requirements for driver training and safety inspections. Commercial truck drivers must also comply with state laws governing driving hours and rest periods to avoid commercial vehicle accidents.
Some regulations include:
- Every commercial driver must obey all hours of service (HOS) rules.
- Truckers must possess a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Commercial vehicles must comply with state weight limits.
- Drivers must obey all traffic laws and state and federal regulations.
- Truckers are prohibited from using handheld phones while driving.
- Commercial drivers are subject to random drug and alcohol testing.
- Commercial vehicles must have a functioning electronic logging device (ELD).
- Drivers must keep records of their driving time and duty status.
- Commercial motor vehicles must have properly functioning brakes, tires, lights, and mirrors.
- Drivers must inspect their vehicles before each trip.
- Truckers must provide timely delivery of goods and services.
- Commercial drivers are subject to detention for violations of FMCSA regulations.
- The trucker and trucking companies are jointly responsible for compliance with FMCSA regulations.
- Commercial vehicle operators and responsible trucking companies must maintain their vehicles in safe operating conditions.
- Truckers are responsible for loading their vehicles safely and adequately.
- The trucking company must ensure that its employees are adequately trained in FMCSA safety regulations.
- Failure to comply with FMCSA regulations can result in significant fines and penalties for the truck company.
What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents?
In addition to the massive size and weight difference, trucks have much longer stopping distances than cars, which means that when a trucker brakes suddenly, there is a greater chance that the vehicle will jackknife or rollover. Because of their large blind spots, truckers may not see smaller cars until it’s too late, which causes serious car accidents.
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers are often pushed to their limits, driving for long hours and through demanding conditions. These situations can lead to driver fatigue, which can be a serious hazard on the road.
- Loose Cargo: When cargo isn’t properly secured, it can shift in the truck and create dangerous driving conditions, leading to severe accidents.
- Truck Driver Error: Any negligent driving in a fatal truck accident will likely be noted in the police report showing who was at fault for causing the truck/car accident.
- Icy Roads: Winter weather can make the roads incredibly dangerous, particularly for a semi-truck. Icy roads can cause a semi-truck accident when the vehicle loses traction and skid off the road.
- Poor Visibility: Trucks can be vast and difficult to see on the road, particularly at night or in bad weather conditions, which can lead to collisions with other vehicles.
- Reckless Driving: Some truckers may take unnecessary risks, such as speeding or weaving in and out of traffic. It can lead to dangerous accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Truck drivers may be more likely to be distracted while driving due to the vehicle size and the amount of work that needs to be done behind the wheel. It can lead to severe accidents.
- Aggressive Driving: In some semi-truck accident cases, other drivers may respond aggressively to trucks on the road, leading to dangerous situations and potential accidents.
- Drunk Driving: Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction time, which can be deadly when behind the wheel of a truck. Drunk drivers pose a serious risk on the road.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: When a truck changes lanes abruptly or without signaling, it can easily cause a collision with another vehicle, causing disastrous car accidents. It is hazardous on busy highways and interstates.
- Incorrectly Loaded Trucks: If a truck is not loaded correctly, it can become dangerously top-heavy and unstable while driving, leading to severe accidents..
- Running Late: When truckers are running late, they may try to make up time by speeding or driving recklessly. It increases their chances of getting into an accident.
- Road Rage: In an accident involving a truck, other drivers may become angry at how slow trucks are going, leading to confrontations and potential accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Bad weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, or ice can make roads slippery and increase the chances of a truck crash.
All these factors can lead to a serious car or trucking accident. These usually result in severe injuries or fatalities. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash with a tractor-trailer, you need to speak with an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney immediately.
Contact a semi-truck accident lawyer from our law offices and get the compensation you deserve for the damages you suffered.
When Truckers Violate Federal and State Regulations
Truck drivers who violate regulations can cause a trucking accident. To prevent these truck accident cases, it is vital for truck drivers to be aware of the regulations and to abide by them.
Truck drivers play an essential role in transporting goods across the country. They are responsible for ensuring that the goods they transport reach their destination safely. However, when truckers or trucking companies fail to comply with safety regulations, they can pose a severe risk to themselves and other road drivers.
In 2019, there were over 3,700 fatalities due to semi-tractor accidents. Many of these accidents could have been avoided if the truckers had followed the safety regulations. Some of the most common violations that lead to accidents include speeding, driving while tired, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Truck drivers who violate safety regulations put themselves at risk and other drivers on the road in danger. Truckers need to be aware of the risks associated with violating regulations and take steps to avoid these risks.
Types of Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks are a common sight on the roads across America. They are often used to carry large loads, and their size can cause significant damage in an accident. Several types of accidents can occur with a semi-truck. Some of the most common accidents include:
- Jackknife accidents: When the large truck trailer swings out around the cab, often crashing into other vehicles or debris on the road.
- Rear-end collisions: These trucking accidents are among the most common crashes involving semi-trucks. They often happen when a car attempts to pass a truck and is struck from behind by the truck, which causes a catastrophic car accident.
- Underride accidents: When a car slides underneath a tractor-trailer, typically causing death or severe injury to the car’s occupants.
- Rollovers: A rollover accident can happen when a trucker loses control of the vehicle due to excessive speed or a blown tire. The large truck can overturn and crash, often causing serious injuries to the drivers and passengers.
- Head-on collisions: Two trucks collide while traveling in opposite directions on the same highway. These trucking accidents are often very severe and can result in fatalities.
- Tire blowouts: These can be caused by several factors, such as improper inflation or overloading of the vehicle. A tire blowing out can often lead to a severe accident.
- Sudden stops: When a truck driver applies the brakes too suddenly, it can cause the truck to jackknife or even roll over. It is often a recipe for disaster on the highway.
- Override accidents: When a larger vehicle hits a smaller vehicle from behind, pushing it up onto the hood or roof of the larger vehicle, which can be deadly for smaller vehicle occupants.
- Truck fires: Fires after an accident can occur for several reasons, such as faulty wiring or an overturned tanker truck spilling its load onto the highway. When these fires ignite, they can quickly become out of control and cause extensive damage to property and the people involved.
- Blind spot accidents: They happen when a truck driver changes lanes without checking his mirrors properly and hits another vehicle in his new lane. These accidents are often caused by carelessness on behalf of the truck driver and can lead to serious injury or death.
While all these accidents can be devastating, jackknife and underride accidents are the most hazardous because they often result in fatalities or serious injuries.
If you are in a semi-truck accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to protect your rights. The semi-truck accident lawyer will guide you through the process of recovering the damages you have suffered.
Trucking Accident Investigations
Trucking accident investigations are complex and require the expertise of investigators familiar with the law and the physics of truck accidents. A trucking accident investigation aims to determine what caused the accident and identify potential defendants who may be responsible.
Investigators often use various methods to determine what caused the accident. They may review the truck driver’s records, interview witnesses, and examine the wreckage of the accident scene. In some personal injury cases, they may also need to consult engineering or traffic safety experts.
The results of a trucking accident investigation can be used to help accident victims recover compensation for their injuries and losses. If you have been injured in an accident, you must speak with an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you understand your rights and guide you through filing a personal injury claim.
What To Do After an Accident
Truck accidents can be severe, often resulting in fatalities or serious injuries. If you are involved in an accident, it is crucial to take the following steps:
- Remain calm and do not panic.
- Check for injuries and provide first aid to the truck accident victims if necessary.
- Call 911 or the police to report the accident.
- Exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident. It includes names, contact information, insurance company information, and driver’s license numbers.
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident, including damage to all vehicles involved.
- Do not leave the accident scene until the police have arrived and cleared you.
- Seek medical attention for any injuries that you may have suffered. Do not wait to see if your injuries will go away on their own – many injuries sustained in truck accidents can take weeks or even months to manifest themselves. See a doctor as soon as possible so that you can get started on treatment and documentation of your injuries.
- Contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer to establish if you have a situation where you can recover damages for your losses.
Truck Accident Liability: Who is Responsible for My Injuries and Damages?
When a trucking accident occurs, there are generally multiple potential defendants who could be held liable for the damages it caused. In some cases, the truck driver may be liable for the crash. If it can be shown that the driver was negligent in operating the truck, they may be responsible for compensating injured victims for their injuries.
In addition to the driver, the trucking company may also be held liable for an accident. The company may be responsible if it shows that they failed to properly train the driver or were negligent in maintaining the truck.
Road maintenance crews, brake manufacturers, tire distributors, and commercial vehicle repair shops might all be responsible for your truck accident injuries.
Finally, the manufacturer of the truck or its components may also be liable if it can be shown that they were defective and contributed to the accident.
If you have been injured in a truck crash, you must speak with a qualified truck accident lawyer to determine who is responsible and how you can seek compensation for your injuries.
The Illinois Statute of Limitations: How Long Do I Have to File My Truck Accident Claim?
When an accident involving a truck occurs, it can be severe and cause significant injuries. If you have been injured in a severe accident, you may wonder how long you have to file a Chicago truck accident lawsuit for compensation.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for personal injury is two years, which means you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit in court or a claim with the defendant’s insurance company. If you do not file a lawsuit within this period, you will likely lose your right to sue.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you must speak with a Chicago truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.
How An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Investigate The Truck Accident
A trucking company will frequently use its accident investigators and personal injury lawyers to safeguard its interests. Just a few hours after the collision, an investigator may already be on the site of the accident, as well as the insurance company. Trucking companies may alter or destroy records to hide illegal activity in extreme circumstances.
A truck accident attorney will review the pre-trip inspection records, business receipts, and logbooks to find any infractions of safety regulations. Trucking businesses aren’t required to retain these log documents on file for very long by law. Before the trucking company can destroy them, your truck accident lawyer will move promptly to obtain and evaluate any records to prove carelessness on the side of the trucker, the trucking company, and any other parties.
The question of liability in a truck accident lawsuit is challenging. To determine who was at fault for the truck accident, your truck accident lawyer will evaluate all of the retrieved evidence, review the accident reports, and speak with eyewitnesses and expert witnesses.
Multiple parties may be liable for the crash, including:
- The truck driver’s employer (he could be an independent contractor).
- The truck driver.
- The trucking company involved in the accident.
- The manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or parts.
- The company that loaded and secured cargo.
- Third parties that performed maintenance.
Calculate The Economic and Non-Economic Truck Accident Damages
Your truck accident claim’s value will depend on a variety of things. Economic and non-economic damages are the two main types of compensation following a trucking accident.
Economic damages constitute actual monetary losses you sustain due to the accident. These may include:
- Present and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages for the time you have missed from work
- Loss of earning capacity if your ability to work is permanently impacted
- Fees your truck accident lawyer may have incurred
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate. Often, the value of these losses is calculated to the severity of your truck accident injuries.
If you were seriously hurt in a trucking accident. In that case, you might be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Our Chicago truck accident attorneys will understand the proof and testimony are required to bolster your claim for non-economic losses.
Negotiate A Fair Settlement or Go to Trial
In a truck crash, attorneys and insurance providers want to ensure that their client pays the least amount of money. To accomplish this, the defense may make a fair settlement offer in the hopes that you will accept it and renounce your right to pursue further legal action.
Truck accident attorneys with experience know how much these claims are worth. Your personal injury lawyer will thoroughly review any settlement proposals to ensure that the amount will be sufficient to pay your losses now and in the future.
Settlements from trucking businesses and other responsible parties are frequently insufficient. If so, your Chicago personal injury attorneys will be able to negotiate a fair payment on your behalf.
Your Chicago truck accident case may go to court if the defendants dispute liability, multiple parties are liable, or you suffered catastrophic injuries. Filing a lawsuit and proceeding to trial may also be necessary if the defendant refuses to agree to a fair settlement.
If a trucking accident caused your injuries or the death of a family member, you shouldn’t take the trucking company and any responsible parties to court by yourself. An experienced trial accident lawyer can adequately present your case in court and strive to increase the value of your verdict at trial.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Truck accident cases are typically worth a lot of money because the damages caused by a truck accident can be significant. For example, a truck crash can cause injuries to the people involved, damage property, and even lead to fatalities.
This means that the injured or lost someone in an accident can often receive a lot of money in a settlement or verdict.
The average truck accident case is worth $1.2 million. It is because trucks are so large and can cause much damage. Getting a Chicago truck accident lawyer is crucial to help you get the money you deserve if you are involved in a truck accident.
Hiring Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers to Resolve a Civil Compensation Case
Were you or a loved one involved in a truck/motor vehicle accident and suffered severe injuries? Do you want to hold the truck driver and trucking company responsible for your injuries, property damage, or the death of a loved one?
The experienced truck accident attorneys at Injury Legal Team can work on your behalf to receive the compensation you deserve for your medical costs, lost wages, and other damages and your personal injury case.
Contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We accept all truck accident claims on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your experienced truck accident attorney resolves your personal injury claim through a negotiated settlement or jury award.