The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that 2006 saw 385,000 large trucks (semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and other types of commercial trucks) involved in crashes. In the same year, fatal trucking accidents claimed 4,995 lives, and injured another 106,000. Behind many of these accidents is some form of negligence.
A FMCSA recent safety study revealed that hundreds of thousands of truck drivers qualified for full federal disability payments also hold valid commercial driver’s licenses. Truck drivers who “suffered seizures, heart attacks, or unconscious spells” while driving big rigs have caused many fatal crashes.
The law defines a large truck as any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 10,000 pounds; a truck accident occurs when a large truck is involved in an event or series of events causing harm (property damage, injury, death). A successful negligence claim against a driver has to prove several points: first, that the truck accident resulted from recklessness; this accident caused harm to the victim; and that the victim is owed compensation from the negligent party for harm caused. Different kinds of evidence can prove this chain of events; police reports, photographs of the crash site, eyewitness testimony, and expert witness testimony are all solid evidence. To determine compensation, insurance companies and jurors use pre-existing formulas (so much awarded for a broken back, lost wages, psychological pain, etc).
The National Highway & Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 24 percent of large-truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2006 had a previous speeding conviction. Breaking traffic laws and causing an accident are negligent acts—this includes speeding, tailgating, improper lane change, failing to yield, etc. Driver error causes the most traffic violations resulting in accidents. Distracted driving, intoxication, fatigue, inattention, aggressive driving, using over-the-counter drugs, inadequate experience, and overloaded or poorly loaded cargo are all kinds of driver error (and all have caused fatalities). Federal laws govern how many hours truckers can drive consecutively, and how much weight they can carry—these laws are not always obeyed.
Another cause of truck accidents is equipment failure; lawsuits have resulted from faulty brakes, fuel lines, accelerators, tires, wheels, hitches, steering mechanisms, chassis, and lighting fixtures. Finally, there have been cases of negligence in road maintenance—poor weather, road construction or debris, flawed road designs, faulty traffic control devices. In these cases, suits are usually filed against the government entity in charge of maintaining the roadway.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Mike Agruss Law, for a free consultation at 312-224-4695. Mike Agruss Law, handles personal injury cases throughout Illinois. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you. This litigation strategy will provide you with the best possible compensation. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple.
Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire our Chicago personal injury law firm–just the opportunity to seek justice. Call us today at 312-224-4695.