Big rig trucks refer to oversized vehicles consisting of a semi-trailer plus the truck or tractor that pulls it. They have the size, weight, and power necessary to haul cargo, which makes them harder to control, steer, and stop. If involved in a crash, they can do enormous damage to smaller vehicles and their passengers, possibly inflicting devastating injuries to accident victims.
If you or a loved one experienced a crash involving a big rig truck in Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The Naperville big rig truck accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullin Law Firm may help by handling all legal matters involved in obtaining a fair settlement or favorable judgment. Our 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 up front, and fees are only taken from the awards we win for you. Contact us at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation today.
Negligence and Responsibility for Big Rig Truck Accidents in Illinois
Trucking represents a big industry, and big rig truck drivers are under enormous pressure to deliver goods quickly. According to the Federal Highway Administration, a total of about 151 million registered trucks drove across the country in 2017. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports a total of 4,889 accident fatalities involving large trucks for the same year.
Truck accidents often occur when someone acts negligently. Several parties may hold responsibility for the crash, including the driver and the trucking company. Drivers may have violated laws or driven unsafely for reasons such as:
- Driving too fast or aggressively.
- Driving while distracted, such as while texting, eating, or talking on the phone.
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Driving more hours than allowed by law.
- Driving while sick or fatigued.
- Failing to slow down or adapt to stormy weather or hazardous road conditions.
- Overloading the truck.
Owners of trucks and companies may be held responsible for reasons that include:
- Forcing drivers to work extra hours and violate safety laws.
- Failure to properly inspect or maintain vehicles, repair problems, or secure cargo.
- Failure to provide driver training, education, supervision, or certification.
- Hiring unfit drivers and failing to check records before hiring.
Defective parts, such as tires that blow out, faulty brakes that do not stop, or defective steering columns or couplings may also cause an accident, in which case the truck manufacturer or repairman may have acted negligently as well. Cargo companies also act negligently when allowing improperly loaded items that may shift or fall off the truck.
Construction companies, maintenance companies, or municipalities responsible for building or maintaining roads may also bear responsibility. These companies may have allowed poorly designed roads, failed to fix problems, left debris in the road, or failed to create proper detours and barriers or put up warning signs.
Proving Liability for the Accident
Proving liability means showing that another party violated safety law requirements. Drivers of large commercial motor vehicles must meet both federal and state regulations when driving on Illinois interstates and highways and need to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules. Illinois has similar regulations concerning braking requirements, inspection and maintenance of vehicles, and driver drug testing. If drivers, maintenance workers, or owners fail to abide by these standards, the law may hold them liable for causing a crash.
Our attorneys may prove liability by examining logbooks, electronic data recorders, truck maintenance records, or driver employment records to determine if there were violations that led to the accident. For example:
- Trip logs may show that the driver drove more hours than legally allowed.
- The driver’s driving record and alcohol and drug use history may show a pattern of substance abuse.
- The truck and trailer’s maintenance schedule may show inadequate repairs were made.
- Records may show a lack of driver training or supervision.
Our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will seek to demonstrate the liable party owed you a duty of reasonable care and that a breach of this duty of care led to the accident, causing you to suffer injuries and damages as a result.
Contact our Naperville big rig truck accident lawyers to start working on your case today at (800) 794-0444.
For a free legal consultation with a big rig truck accidents lawyer serving Naperville, call (800) 794-0444
Laws That May Affect Your Case
Several Illinois laws may affect your lawsuit, such as:
- Insurance laws: Illinois uses a “fault” system for vehicle accidents. Injured parties have the option of going to their own insurers for compensation, going to the other driver’s insurance company, or going to court to prove another party holds the responsibility.
- Comparative negligence: Illinois considers comparative fault in accident cases. This protects your ability to file a claim even if you were partially responsible for the accident.
- Statute of limitations: Illinois allows two years to file a personal injury claim unless special circumstances exist. It allows five years if you are only claiming property damage.
Naperville Big Rig Truck Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact Our Big Rig Truck Accident Attorneys for Help
If you suffered an accident with a large truck, you do not have to bear the burden alone. The Naperville big rig truck accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm want to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 794-0444 for a free case review.