If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident with a semi-tractor trailer, a financial award in a personal injury or wrongful death claim could cover accident-related expenses. Although an award cannot restore your health or truly compensate you for losing a family member, filing a legal claim against those responsible for the semi-truck accident can help you achieve some measure of justice and closure.
An Arlington Heights semi-truck accident lawyer can investigate your accident and explore your options for legal recourse against all potentially liable parties. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 and discuss your case with a team member. You could obtain compensation for your losses.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reported over 2.7 million truck-tractor registrations in 2017, including over 176,000 in Illinois. On any given day, you might see any of these semi-trucks on our roadways. Given these numbers, it is no surprise that semi-trucks cause hundreds of thousands of accidents nationally each year.
In the Land of Lincoln, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) found that over 12,000 crashes involved semi-tractor trailer trucks in 2018, including 2,075 with injuries and 106 fatal accidents.
Liability in Semi-Truck Accident Claims
Most semi-truck accident claims result when individuals suffer injuries and other losses in wrecks that occur due to the negligence of others. The Illinois Courts define negligence as “the failure to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of something which a reasonably careful person would not, under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence.”
Generally, if someone involved in your accident acted negligently, you could hold them liable for the injuries resulting from the accident. An Arlington Heights semi-truck accident lawyer can assist injury victims in seeking compensation for their claims. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
Negligent Semi-Truck Drivers
One of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents is the truck driver’s negligent acts. All drivers have a duty to drive safely for the benefit of themselves and others. When they fail to drive safely and crash into you, you likely can hold them responsible for any injuries and other losses that result.
For instance, semi-truck drivers may have liability if they cause an accident by:
- Driving while distracted by their cell phones.
- Driving while overly tired, trying to maintain their schedule.
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Committing traffic violations like speeding, failing to signal when turning or passing, or driving recklessly.
Negligent Trucking Companies
Trucking companies routinely own and operate semi-trucks, often making the drivers their employees. When employees negligently cause an accident, Illinois law allows victims to hold the employers liable for their negligence. As a result, trucking companies often are another source of compensation in semi-truck accident claims.
In some cases, negligent behavior by truck companies also makes them liable. For example, truck drivers and trucking companies must follow numerous federal and state regulations about hours of service for drivers, inspections of vehicles, and maintenance of driver logs. If employers fail to monitor their employees properly or ensure that they comply with federal and state regulations, they may have liability for any resulting accidents. They also might have responsibility if they fail to train and supervise inexperienced drivers adequately.
Other Third-Party Liability
Other parties also may face liability in a semi-truck accident claim. For instance, independent owners of semi-trucks and companies that lease semi-trucks may be liable for the acts of negligent truck drivers. Similarly, some truck owners or trucking companies contract with a separate maintenance company to inspect, maintain, and keep their vehicles in a safe condition. If those maintenance companies fail to do so, accident victims could hold them accountable if the crash results from a malfunction.
Another example of potential third party liability is when a semi-truck accident results from a defective truck part or vehicle. Whether they develop and market truck parts or entire trucks, product manufacturers have a legal duty to place products safe for consumers on the market. Manufacturers of defective products might face liability when they:
- Design defective products.
- Make errors in the manufacturing process
- Fail to warn consumers adequately about the hazards associated with the product.
Manufacturers often have strict liability for their products’ safety. In a product liability claim, you could hold them accountable without requiring proof of negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a Semi-Truck Accidents Lawyer serving Arlington Heights, call (800) 794-0444
Compensation in Semi-Truck Accident Claims
The types of compensation available in personal injury and wrongful death claims vary based on the facts surrounding the semi-truck accident, the extent of the losses involved, and any restrictions that state laws impose. However, common types of compensation in semi-truck accident claims may include:
- Medical bills and hospitalization costs
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income from missed work time
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
You could also recover awards for funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and other damages in a wrongful death case.
Arlington Heights Semi-Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Get Legal Advice and Representation in Your Semi-Truck Accident Claim
Semi truck accident claims can quickly become complicated. Due to the extensive federal and state regulation of commercial trucks, investigations following semi-truck accidents are often extensive. They often involve multiple vehicles and injury victims and require accident reconstruction experts, federal safety and compliance records from trucking companies, and other evidence to parse liability among numerous parties.
As a result of these challenges, you might benefit from consulting an Arlington Heights semi-truck accident lawyer for advice and representation. Semi-truck accident claims are time-sensitive. 735 ILCS 5/13-202 sets a two-year time limit on personal injury lawsuits.
Also, Illinois is a contributory fault state—735 ILCS 5/2-1116 bars plaintiffs from recovering damages if the court finds them more than 50 percent at fault. A truck accident lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you file your claim on time and prove the other driver’s fault in the crash. Call us today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with a team member and learn more about how we can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.