Truck accidents may comprise just a small percentage of the total motor vehicle crashes in Illinois, but statistics indicate that they are among the deadliest. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IL DOT), large trucks, semis, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles make up around 3 percent of the total crashes in the state every year. However, trucks are involved in more than 12 percent of all fatal collisions. Plus, thousands of individuals are injured in the 12,500 truck accidents across the state annually. Victims and their families suffer devastating losses, so it is reassuring to know that you have legal remedies if you were involved in a truck accident.
Still, the legal process for recovering compensation is more complicated compared to other motor vehicle crashes. To avoid putting your rights at risk, it is wise to retain skilled legal representation. You can rely on the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC to tackle the challenges and obtain the monetary damages you deserve. Please contact our firm to schedule a no-cost case evaluation with a Chicago truck accidents lawyer who can provide personalized advice. An overview about the laws is also helpful.
Common Causes of Truck Crashes in Illinois
There are many specific reasons these incidents happen, but truck collisions are generally caused by negligence. The term has a special meaning in the practice of law, since it requires a victim to prove certain essential elements. You need evidence showing that the truck accident occurred because the operator failed to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. Some examples of negligence include:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Failure to yield; and
- Texting, talking on the phone, and other forms of distracted driving.
In addition, there are some forms of negligence that are unique to truck accidents. These vehicles are massive and haul enormous loads, potentially including hazardous substances. Taking turns too quickly, failing to properly load cargo, not inspecting the semi and tractor, and other carelessness increases the possibility of a crash. Truck operators are also required to follow federal regulations, such as those limiting Hours of Service (HOS) to avoid fatigued driving. Noncompliance with these rules could be evidence of negligence.
Important Facts About Truck Accident Claims
They are considered a type of motor vehicle collision, so some aspects of a truck crash claim may seem familiar. However, there are additional legal issues and facts to note because of how they affect your interests. For instance:
Illinois’ statute of limitations applies to truck accident cases. You have two years to file a lawsuit in court, and you will be barred from recovering compensation if you miss the deadline.
Truck operators are required to carry insurance policies in amounts much higher than motorists, starting at a minimum of $750,000. The risk is therefore higher for the insurer. The company will assign your claim to its most experienced employee, who has been trained in ways to deny your claim or payout a lowball amount.
There are numerous individuals and entities involved with putting a commercial vehicle on the road, so you may need to pursue multiple parties for a truck accident case. Besides the driver and insurer, liability may extend to an employer, owner of the rig, shipping company, maintenance company, and others.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses
The legal process starts by filing a claim with the trucker’s insurance company, followed by attempts to negotiate settlement. The Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC will fight for your rights during settlement discussions and will not accept an offer that does not fully reimburse you for your losses. If the insurer refuses to pay, we have the trial advocacy skills to take your case to court.
It is the goal of our Chicago truck accidents lawyers to ensure you receive top compensation allowed under Illinois law, including:
- Costs of surgery, hospitalization, emergency care, physical therapy, and other medical treatment;
- Lost wages, if you were unable to work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Losses that impact your personal relationships and quality of life.
A Chicago Truck Accidents Attorney Will Support Your Legal Needs
As you can see, the legal process for Illinois truck collision claims can be complex. At the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC, our team is prepared for challenges and willing to fight for your rights. Please call 312.445.4908 or contact us here to set up a free consultation. After we review your circumstances, we can discuss next steps.