Commercial 18-wheelers refer to large tractor-trailers with enormous power to move freight and cargo, and this power can also cause major damage to smaller vehicles and devastating injuries to accident victims. According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,889 fatal crashes and 116,000 injury crashes involved large trucks in 2017.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or died in an accident involving an 18-wheeler in Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The truck accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullin Law Firm can help take the burden off you by handling all legal matters involved in obtaining fair compensation.
Our Naperville 18-wheeler accident lawyers will investigate the accident, examine the facts, interview witnesses, file appropriate papers in a timely manner, negotiate with insurance companies and their lawyers, and represent you in court if a trial is necessary. You pay nothing out of pocket and nothing upfront, so contact us at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation today.
Responsibility for 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
Truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons, such as driver error, faulty or poorly maintained trucks, or poor road or weather conditions. Multiple parties may share responsibility for the accident, including the truck driver, the owner, or company the driver works for, maintenance and repair workers, the manufacturer of the truck and its parts, or even the company or municipality that failed to maintain roads properly.
Unhealthy demands of trucking companies often force their drivers into unsafe driving conditions, according to a study published in the June 2015 edition of Safety and Health at Work. If these demands result in driver fatigue and negatively affect their ability to drive safely, both the driver and their employer should be held liable in a crash.
Unsafe behaviors which may cause accidents, include:
- Distracted or aggressive driving.
- Using drugs or alcohol.
- Driving more hours than legally permissible.
- Driving while fatigued.
- Failure to adapt to inclement weather or hazardous road conditions.
- Overloading the truck.
Causes of truck accidents which may be the fault of trucking companies include:
- Failure to inspect or delayed inspection of vehicles.
- Failure to maintain the vehicle, repair problems, or secure cargo.
- Improper driver training, education, supervision, or certification.
- Pressure on drivers to drive extra hours and violate safety laws.
In addition, improperly designed trucks may cause accidents. Examples include defective tires, brakes, steering columns, or couplings, or larger than necessary blind spots.
How to Prove Liability
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issues commercial vehicle registration, including oversize and overweight permits to ensure the safety of truckers and motorists. In addition, both federal and local safety regulations exist for drivers of large commercial motor vehicles. Truck drivers must also operate in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
Part of making a case will involve investigating whether the truck driver violated any of these regulations, such as:
- The number of hours the driver could work legally.
- The driver’s license and driving record.
- The driver’s alcohol and drug use history.
- The truck and trailer’s maintenance schedule.
- The level of training the driver received.
If truck drivers, maintenance workers, or owners fail to abide by these standards, you may be able to hold them liable for causing a crash. To prove another party liable, our Naperville 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers may demonstrate the following factors:
- The driver or other liable party owed you a duty of reasonable care.
- The party broke this duty.
- This breach of duty caused the accident.
- You suffered injuries and damages as a result.
Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will gather evidence to prove liability. We may interview witnesses and examining police reports, medical records, trip logs, and vehicle repair and maintenance records. Contact our Naperville 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers today at (800) 794-0444.
For a free legal consultation with a 18-wheeler truck accidents lawyer serving Naperville, call (800) 794-0444
Relevant Illinois Accident Laws
Several Illinois laws may affect your lawsuit, include:
- Statute of limitations: Illinois has a time limit of two years for victims to file a personal injury claim unless special circumstances exist, and five years if you are only claiming property damage.
- Comparative negligence: Illinois considers comparative fault in accident cases. This protects your right to bring a lawsuit even if you were partially at fault.
Your personal injury lawyer can help you explore the options that may be available to you.
Naperville 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Potential Awards in a Settlement
Depending on the facts of the case, compensation may include the following monetary damages:
- Current and future medical expenses, including doctor, hospital, rehabilitation, and prescription costs, and costs of emergency transportation.
- Damage to your vehicle or replacement costs.
- Current and future lost wages and earning capacity.
You may also receive compensation for non-monetary damages such as pain and suffering, a decrease in quality of life, or disability. In situations where the truck accident caused the death of a close family member, surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim to cover funeral expenses, grief and sorrow, and loss of companionship and future income.
Contact a Naperville 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer
Trucking accident cases often involve multiple parties involved and get complicated quickly. If you or a loved one experienced an accident with an 18-wheeler, you can seek legal support.
The Naperville 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm want to help. Call us today at (800) 794-0444 for a free case review.