A bus or truck loaded with cargo is significantly larger than a typical passenger car and outweighs one by several tons. As such, the impact of a collision with a bus or truck is usually more catastrophic. Most people lucky enough to survive a bus or truck accident often end up with severe personal injuries, mental trauma, and medical bills. While you could sue the driver or their company to get compensation, it is no easy task to face by yourself.
An Elgin bus truck accident lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you with filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Call the team at (800) 794-0444 if you have any concerns about your case.
How Bus and Truck Accidents Can Happen
Bus or truck accidents usually occur because of the driver or their employer’s error in judgment. A driver that texts or eats while driving will lose their focus on the road. Even just a few seconds of looking away from the road could send them careening into oncoming traffic.
Drivers must meet deadlines as well, which might compel them to break traffic rules to reach their destinations faster. However, their recklessness puts other law-abiding motorists in danger.
Driving for long hours at a time can also take its physical and mental toll on bus and truck operators. Although they are required to take breaks, there is still a chance they might fall asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, some drivers consume alcohol or take hard drugs to stave off boredom or sleepiness, but these can affect their thinking and make them drive more carelessly.
Bus or truck crashes also happen when they are carrying too many passengers or haul cargo that is too large or heavy, causing the vehicle to tip over. The excess weight could also make it difficult for these vehicles to traverse hilly roads or poor road conditions safely.
The bus or trucking company might also forgo maintenance or repairs to save time or money. However, ignoring vital parts like the brakes can have devastating results — a driver that cannot brake properly is highly susceptible to crashing.
Understanding How a Lawyer Can Help After a Bus or Truck Accident
Ensuring Compliance with Bus and Truck Safety Rules
Buses and trucks can potentially cause deadlier accidents due to their size, thus creating a need for laws explicitly targeting them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) was established to regulate truckers, bus drivers, and their employers.
The FMCSA prohibits drivers from drinking and using drugs while on the job. Their employer must provide training and tests to ensure that their drivers are physically and mentally fit to carry out their work. Companies should also keep the vehicles in good condition so that they are safe to drive. They must log each completed repair, inspection, or maintenance and keep the records for at least 12 months. The FMCSA penalizes drivers and employers if they disregard the rules.
Although the FMCSA creates federal rules, states can also modify them as they see fit. As such, the Illinois Vehicle Code has its own set of motor carrier safety regulations with provisions regarding overloading, special vehicle permits, and driver work hours.
It is part of a bus truck accident attorney’s job to study local bus and trucking regulations. This is information that can be valuable to your claim.
Determining Liable Parties From the Accident
Figuring out who to file your suit against can get confusing since there are many possible factors behind the accident. While drivers are accountable for their actions on the road, their employers may also play a part in the accident through their negligence. For example, if a bus was poorly maintained or a truck was overloaded, the fault lies with the bus and trucking companies, respectively. They did not ensure that their vehicles were safe for passengers and other motorists on the road.
The truck or bus company might try to deny their involvement in the accident, complicating things further. For instance, if investigators found a defect on the vehicle, the owners could say that it was the manufacturer’s fault, not their lack of repairs. There is also the chance that an entirely different party is responsible. In some cases, accidents happen because the contractor did not place enough work signs on a roadway under construction. It will make them liable for any accidents that might occur because drivers are unaware of the hazard ahead.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm if you need assistance from a bus truck accident attorney in filing against the right parties. They will assist you in getting compensation for hospital bills, lost job earnings, and car repairs.
Help You to Meet Strict Filing Deadlines
Bus and truck accidents can become property damage, personal injury, or even wrongful death claims as they can severely damage you, your loved one, and your vehicle.
Illinois’ statute of limitations gives you two years to submit your accident claim if it involves a personal injury. If only your car or another property sustained damages in the incident, you have five years to file the lawsuit. However, if the vehicle is government-owned, you must submit it within a year as required in Chapter 745, Article VIII of the statutes. If you are struggling to comply with this, an attorney can help ensure your suit gets filed on time.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accidents lawyer serving Elgin, call (800) 794-0444
Contact Our Law Firm Today to Learn About Your Legal Options
Truck and bus accidents can have harsh consequences for you and your loved ones. Filing a lawsuit will help you find closure and justice but dealing with employers and insurance policies may be too much to handle on your own. Fortunately, our Elgin bus truck accident lawyer can do the research and representation on your behalf so you can have a less stressful time in court.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has over 30 years of experience in handling personal injury cases all over the United States, including in Illinois. We are available for free case consultations 24/7, so feel free to message us online or call the office at (800) 794-0444.