Tractor-trailer truck accidents can be catastrophic for all involved, particularly car occupants, pedestrians, and cyclists. According to figures from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), large truck crashes caused 4,136 fatalities in 2018. Most of those that died were occupants of passenger vehicles, followed by pedestrians and other road users.
Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, are particularly susceptible to crashes with catastrophic outcomes due to:
- Their size and weight
- Needing a long distance to come to a complete stop
- Having extensive blind spots
- Requiring frequent maintenance
- Hauling hazardous cargo
- Being cumbersome and slow to maneuver
If you or a loved one got hurt in a tractor-trailer truck accident, consider hiring an Arlington Heights tractor-trailer truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. You may have options for recovering compensation, especially if the accident was not your fault. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now for help with your case at (800) 223-5115.
Causes of Tractor-Trailer Truck Accidents
There can be a variety of causes for these types of accidents, as well as potentially several negligent parties. Driver-related causes of truck accidents can include:
- Distracted driving
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving intoxicated
- Driving generally recklessly
Vehicle defects can also cause accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), faulty brakes and tires can be a factor in truck accidents.
Responsible Parties for Your Tractor-Trailer Truck Accident
It is natural to think that the truck driver is the one responsible for your crash. However, tractor-trailer truck accidents may not be easy to understand and litigate since multiple parties could potentially be held accountable for your damages. Those responsible can include the following parties:
- The driver
- The trucking company
- The company maintaining and repairing the trucks
- The truck manufacturer
- A company owning and/or loading the cargo
The trucking company usually has the overall responsibility for any drivers and vehicles. This means that the company has to ensure that drivers are well qualified and trained for the job and that the tractor-trailers are roadworthy. The company could be responsible for your accident if they:
- Practiced negligent hiring
- Failed to train drivers
- Failed to maintain trucks adequately
- Failed to observe state and federal rules and regulations.
You will want to explore all avenues for pursuing compensation, and there may be several responsible parties in your case.
Consider consulting an Arlington Heights tractor-trailer truck accident lawyer to find out about your legal options. Reach out to Pintas & Mullins today for more information.
Proving Negligence in a Tractor-Trailer Truck Accident
Proving negligence in a tractor-trailer truck accident can be challenging. Not only could there be several negligent parties, but they may also fight against your claim. Moreover, a large trucking company or a truck manufacturer could have extensive resources to fight any legal action.
Having a tractor-trailer truck accident lawyer can be advantageous for establishing fault and negligence. It is important to note that without proving negligence, you will not have a case and will not be able to recover damages.
As you will be the one initiating legal action, also called the plaintiff, it is on you to prove your case and the negligence from any at-fault parties. You will have to prove the following elements of a personal injury claim:
- The defendant was obliged to give you a duty of care
- They breached the duty of care
- The breach caused your accident and injuries
- You have damages
Your knowledge of the accident and opinion will not suffice to prove your claim. The court will want to see conclusive evidence. Such evidence can include:
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Traffic camera footage
- Police reports
- Medical reports stating your injuries
Your Arlington Heights tractor-trailer truck accident lawyer can advise you and gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim.
For a free legal consultation with a Tractor-Trailer Accidents Lawyer serving Arlington Heights, call (800) 223-5115
Compensation You Could Receive
First of all, you will need to act swiftly if you intend to recover compensation. You generally only have two years to file a personal injury claim, according to the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) §735. If you wait too long to file your claim, you may be unable to recover any damages.
If you have suffered serious and life-altering injuries in a tractor-trailer truck accident, you may be struggling with medical bills, as well as lost income. However, if you file legal action against the liable party or parties, you could potentially recover compensation that could include:
- Hospitalization and other medical costs
- Lost income and future lost income
- Physical pain and anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
If your loved one died in a tractor-trailer truck accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit and may be able to recover burial expenses, amounts for loss of companionship, and other damages. You have a time limit of one year to file a wrongful death claim, under ILCS §13-209. An Arlington Heights tractor-trailer truck accident lawyer can help you with your claim.
Arlington Heights Tractor-Trailer Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 223-5115
We Can Fight for You
An Arlington Heights tractor-trailer truck lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you handle your case and will do the work so you can heal fully from your injuries. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to help you in various ways, including:
- Gathering evidence
- Collecting witness statements
- Building your case against the negligent party
- Negotiating with insurances
- Representing you in court
Tractor-trailer truck accident cases can be challenging. However, we are not afraid of tough cases, and we can fight for your rights to justice and compensation. Call us today and speak to one of our team members to learn more about taking legal action at (800) 223-5115.