With an estimated 4,840 truck fleets in the United States, the chances of encountering these squads of commercial vehicles are likely, according to the Bureau of Transportation (BTS). People in the United States depend on cargo trucks and other large truck fleets for the delivery of everyday goods. The trucking industry is only growing. The country’s system of commercial vehicle use and regulation is so massive that it can go unchecked at times.
A 2017 National Transportation Library (NTL) report says that despite regulations from the federal government, thousands of truck drivers operate like business as usual, despite having safety violations. For victims of cargo truck accidents, small violations can have severe consequences. If you have been in such an accident, you do not carry the weight of recovering from it alone.
You can contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for advice on how to handle your case. Speak with a member of our team now and request more information about working with a Bartlett cargo truck accident lawyer at (800) 223-5115.
Commercial Vehicle Accident Information
The trucking industry spans to virtually all the contiguous United States, and Bartlett is a popular stopover destination for trucks on their way to the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Commercial vehicles are permitted on many of the same roads as Bartlett passenger car drivers, with additional on-and-off access to interstate roadways.
Cargo truck drivers can pass through hundreds of miles of Illinois roads in single shifts, carrying large loads of materials that cannot be found in a given place. The most common commodities in the trucking industry with specific regulations include the following, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- Natural materials: Logs, lumber, and large boulders are frequently transported across state highways. These building materials can be finished or unfinished.
- Metal: Metal goods commonly transported include coils, which can be up to 5,000 pounds each.
- Paper: Industrial quantities of paper rolls must be secured from rolling, unraveling, or moving during transport.
- Concrete: Concrete can be liquid, without a fixed shape, or transported inside of another tank or box.
- Cars, trucks, and vans: Vehicles can be grouped together on one cargo load, fully intact or crushed to transport for scrap metal.
- Containers: Enclosed containers can hold a variety of materials and be stacked in multiple rows.
Of course, for accident victims, the exact contents of the cargo truck are not usually important, but they can indicate where a truck driver or commercial entity was negligent with loading and securing the weight of the goods. The FMCSA also mentions the core safety standards that need to be considered when loading a cargo truck, which are:
- Containing the contents of the cargo
- Immobilizing the larger container or overall cargo from any movement during transport
- Understanding the appropriate workload limit for each vehicle’s design
- Best practices for loading and unloading cargo
When cargo vehicles are involved in an accident, it poses a massive risk to themselves, bystanders, and other drivers. Since commercial vehicle drivers must have special training and licensing in Illinois, their full understanding of these necessary safety requirements can be assumed. Accidents happen due to negligence on the part of one or more drivers, leaving these regulations disregarded. Unfortunately, the regulation system makes it simple for drivers to avoid consequences at certain times of the year.
Trucking Companies Can Avoid Regulations
The National Transportation Library’s report that was mentioned previously is a good example of the load regulations for the trucking industry overall. Surprisingly, the report mentions potential areas of negligence that could leave companies liable in the event of an accident. For example, 46,431 regulation violations were issued, but that is only part of the story.
The report also mentions that at the very beginning of the year, when trucking companies must renew permits and agree to the terms of carrier regulations, “states communicate to the law enforcement community not to enforce the IFTA requirements.”
While this benefits some commercial vehicle drivers from unnecessary citations, it also puts cargo truck accident victims at risk. In particular, the report mentions this cultural practice through the first few months of the year, which is something that a Bartlett cargo truck accident lawyer might consider when organizing a case for an accident victim.
To begin organizing your case, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a Cargo Truck Accidents Lawyer serving Bartlett, call (800) 794-0444
Protecting Victims’ Rights After an Accident
For cargo accident victims, the best way to work toward recovery is to prove a case of driver negligence. Commercial vehicle drivers must uphold high safety standards plus the standard duty of care for other road users. The only difference is that the consequences of an accident with one of these big trucks can be way more intense.
In Illinois, car insurance follows a comparative negligence rule, so more than one person can be at fault for an accident. If you were partially responsible for the accident, you might be limited in the total amount of compensation you can seek to claim.
However, as an at-fault insurance state, Illinois permits accident victims from collecting damages for injuries and losses from the start, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI). There are some particular nuances to keep in mind when you want to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver.
There is a minimum amount of insurance that all drivers in Illinois must carry, which usually is much higher for commercial vehicles and business owners. The process for filing a claim must be completed within weeks of the accident, so if you face a wrongfully denied or delayed insurance claim, a lawyer could advise you on your legal options.
Bartlett Cargo Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Work with a Cargo Truck Accident Lawyer
Cargo truck accident victims who want to file a personal injury lawsuit have only a certain time to do it. Per 735 ILCS 5/13-202, they have up to two years from the date of the accident for bodily injuries or up to five years for property damage, per 735 ILCS 5/13-205.
Cargo truck accident victims also could accept a settlement offer from the liable parties and their representatives within these time frames.
Accident victims might want to have an attorney review a settlement offer before accepting it. Insurance companies could offer a settlement that does not adequately meet the victims’ needs. If the offer is rejected, negotiations between the victims’ attorney and the opposing side could continue for a certain time.
If these talks do not produce a fair settlement, then an attorney could file a lawsuit on behalf of the accident victims if the statutes of limitations have not expired.
In either case, working with a lawyer can bring a legal perspective to your case and help you determine the best way to a full recovery.
For more information on your legal options, contact the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, and request to work with a Bartlett cargo truck accident lawyer at (800) 223-5115.