Due to their sheer size and weight and the immense momentum of a truck, tractor-trailer accidents can have catastrophic results for everyone involved. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident involving a tractor-trailer or another large truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Injury Lawyers of Illinois, our Skokie truck accident lawyers can work thoroughly to protect your rights at every step of the way. We can fight aggressively for you in a settlement negotiation or in the courtroom.Take Legal Action Following a Serious Truck Accident
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes a large truck as a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000+ pounds. Unfortunately, the NHTSA reported that an estimated 4,000 people died and 111,000 people were injured in truck accidents across the country in 2014, which is a typical set of statistics for any given year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, 11 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths in 2016 occurred in large truck crashes. In addition, data from the Illinois Department of Transportation revealed that 3.9 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in Illinois involved trucks in 2014. Specifically, there were 11,585 semi truck crashes in the state that year, including 86 fatal crashes and 1,902 crashes that resulted in injuries.
Commercial trucks are subject to stringent regulations at both the state and federal levels, which are intended to promote safety and reduce the risk of truck accidents on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets forth the federal regulations, while Illinois provides certain additional rules. Truck accidents can have a variety of causes, including but not limited to:
- Driver fatigue;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Distracted driving;
- Making excessively wide turns;
- Failing to brake appropriately;
- Not checking for blind spots properly;
- Violating state or federal rules; or
- Overlooking maintenance of the truck.
When a truck collision leaves you seriously injured, a truck accident attorney in the Skokie area might be able to help you seek damages for your injuries. ‘Damages’ is the legal term for compensation. Examples of typical damages in a truck accident case include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, costs of future care, and any other losses stemming from the accident. If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident case, you may be able to pursue wrongful death damages, such as funeral costs, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and more.
Before any damages can be recovered, however, negligence must be established. Negligence takes place when a person fails to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances, thereby causing an accident and injuries to a victim. To prove negligence, the injured person and their Skokie truck accident attorney must establish that the truck driver owed the injured person a duty of care, the truck driver breached this duty by acting carelessly or failing to take appropriate precautions under the circumstances, and the truck driver’s negligence was a direct cause of the truck accident and the resulting injuries. Truck accident cases are complicated and require detailed investigation, expert witnesses, accident reconstruction, and many other forms of discovery after a lawsuit is filed.
In some cases, you might be able to hold a negligent truck driver’s employer accountable for the truck driver’s negligence through the theory of vicarious liability. For an employer to be vicariously liable, the employee is required to have been working at the time of the accident. For example, a truck driver may be liable for an accident caused by excessive speeding if he or she was making a delivery for the employer at the time of the crash.Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Skokie, Lincolnwood, or the Surrounding Areas
Truck accidents can lead to devastating results. Every driver on the road has a duty to drive safely, and truck drivers are not exceptions. If you or someone close to you was hurt in a car or truck crash caused by someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Our legal professionals are skilled and experienced in handling complex truck accident cases. We proudly serve people throughout the Greater Chicago area, including in Skokie, Lincolnwood, Evanston, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Jefferson Park, and other areas of Cook County. To discuss your case in more detail, call us at (312) 929-3807 or (847) 982-9516, or contact us online.