Commercial trucks are significantly larger and heavier than cars and require longer braking distances, and traffic accidents involving these trucks can result in severe vehicle damage, serious injuries, and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck, our attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected and fight for full compensation for your injuries and losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Trucking accidents are commonly categorized as “head-on,” “intersection,” “left-turn,” and “rear-end” accidents, and a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found some surprising statistics: in a study of over 120,000 accidents involving large trucks which resulted in a serious injury or death, a whopping 87% of those accidents were caused by driver-negligence. This can be further broken down into distraction, speeding, driver fatigue, intoxication, and other forms of negligence. About 10% of the accidents resulted from maintenance problems and/or vehicle defects, such as worn-out tires or faulty braking systems, and the remaining 3% resulted from poor weather conditions and other environmental factors.
Trucking companies occasionally attempt to avoid following certain regulations to avoid paying additional expenses, such as for the repair and maintenance of vehicles or by limiting drivers’ hours to limit their wages. Here are some of the most common factors in semi truck accidents:
Overworking – Trucking companies continue to enforce stricter deadlines which are difficult for drivers to meet, resulting in fatigue and the temptation to falsify driver logs to compensate for much-needed rest.
Lack of maintenance – Trucking companies must properly maintain their vehicles to ensure that engines, tires, hydraulics, and braking systems are functioning properly.
Lack of equipment inspections – Truck drivers must also regularly check their vehicles for serviceable problems, especially before embarking on long drives.
Defective design/manufacture – Some trucks or pieces of trucking equipment are defectively designed or manufactured in the first place, which can result in a serious malfunction on the road and a potential accident.
Truck accident cases in Illinois depend on proving the other party’s “negligence,” meaning that the other party failed to act reasonably or deliberately acted unreasonably in a way that posed a risk to others and resulted in injuries and/or losses. There are four components of negligence: first, the defendant owed a “duty of care” to you, the plaintiff; second, the defendant breached that duty of care; third, this breach directly resulted in your injuries; and fourth, your injuries resulted in economic and/or non-economic damages.
Truck drivers are commonly burdened with strict demands and deadlines by the corporate trucking companies, and many truck drivers end up speeding or even struggling with fatigue just to ensure that deadlines are met, which significantly increases the risk of an accident on the road. However, in some cases, legal liability for an accident can fall on the truck company in addition to (or even instead of) the truck driver, such as when the truck was not properly maintained or inspected or the driver was not adequately trained to handle the responsibility. Liability typically begins with the company’s owner and may extend to managers, supervisors, dispatchers, or further down the chain of command.
While trucking companies are legally obligated to ensure that each commercial vehicle is properly inspected and maintained at all times, even the truck’s manufacturer may be legally liable for a truck accident caused directly by defective design of equipment, such as faulty braking systems, tires, or axles. While corporate trucking companies certainly have the insurance coverage – and a lot of it, at that – to settle personal injury claims, the insurers also ensure their profits by paying out as little as possible or nothing at all for such claims, and that’s where we come in: our experienced personal injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident to hold the at-fault parties accountable for their negligence and ensure that you are fully compensated for the damages you’ve sustained.
If the insurance company offers you a settlement soon after the accident, remember: do not accept it. While the offer may seem high on paper, it will not actually fully compensate you for your losses and expenses, and once you accept this initial offer, the claim is closed and you are barred from ever earning further compensation for the same accident.
Whether the driver or truck company was liable for your accident, our attorneys will work with the insurance companies to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable and you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses. Remember that under Illinois law, there is a statute of limitations (a time-limit to file your case), and in Illinois the statute is two (2) years from the date of the accident.
We at Agruss Law Firm are proud to serve our fellow citizens in personal injury cases, especially when you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, and we are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you are fully compensated for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck, contact Agruss Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will file your claim and take care of the insurance company, the bills, and the lost income. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, our personal injury lawyers are not paid attorney fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.