18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers in Illinois
Truck accidents are a serious problem in the United States. Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in commercial truck accidents. These collisions can result in serious injuries and even death due to the large size and weight of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, you may be unsure about what to do next. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and pursue compensation for your injuries.
At Vito & Dollenmaier Law, we can help you determine the best steps to take following a truck accident. Our attorneys will work with you to gather evidence and build a strong case against the trucking company or the driver who was responsible for the accident. We can help you file insurance claims and negotiate settlements that will fully compensate you for the injuries and damages you have suffered, and if necessary, we can pursue a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. By aggressively advocating for you and responding quickly and effectively to your needs, we can make sure the legal aspects of your case will be handled correctly so that you can focus on your recovery.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Schaumburg
Truck accidents are unfortunately all too common on our roads today. Many of these accidents are caused by truck driver negligence, and other parties may also be liable for failing to take the proper measures to protect people’s safety. Our attorneys can investigate the circumstances surrounding a commercial truck accident to determine who was responsible. We can assist with cases involving:
- Hours of service violations and driver fatigue – Federal regulations limit the number of hours that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel during a shift. Unfortunately, many truck drivers violate these regulations in order to meet deadlines and earn more money. In some cases, they may be encouraged to bend or break the rules by trucking companies that are looking to deliver goods more quickly. This can lead to truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel or making poor decisions that can result in serious accidents.
- Speeding and other traffic violations – Speeding is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Trucks that are traveling at high speeds will take longer to stop, and drivers who exceed speed limits are more likely to lose control on the road. Truck drivers may also commit other traffic violations, such as failing to signal when changing lanes or making illegal turns, and this may lead them to collide with other vehicles and cause serious injuries.
- Poorly maintained trucks – Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining vehicles and ensuring that they are safe. In some cases, trucking companies may cut corners to save money, or they may fail to properly inspect and repair vehicles. This can lead to issues such as brake failure, tire blowouts, or other mechanical problems that can cause an accident.
- Inadequate training – Truck drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to operate 18-wheeler trucks or other commercial vehicles. In some cases, trucking companies may employ drivers who do not have the proper training or experience to operate a truck safely. This can lead to truck drivers making mistakes on the road that can lead to accidents.
- Intoxicated or drunk driving – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, truck drivers may consume alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel, and this can impair their ability to drive safely.
- Overloaded trucks or improperly secured cargo – Trucking companies are responsible for loading trucks and making sure that the cargo is properly secured. If a truck is overloaded, or if cargo is not tied down or secured in place, this can lead to the truck being unstable on the road, making it more likely to roll over or cause the driver to lose control. Unsecured cargo may also fall from a truck, leading to collisions with other vehicles.
As your Schaumburg Truck accident lawyers, it’s our responsibility to prove negligence in your case. Common causes of truck accidents may also include:
- Distracted driving
- Road conditions
- Traveling too close for a safe stopping distance
We’ll work on your behalf to determine the cause of the accident and hold the responsible parties accountable.
The Illinois Department of Transportation shows the following regarding truck accident statistics from 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2022:
- 2,506 accidents consisting of all vehicle types
- 1 single-unit truck with trailer accident
- 3 tractors without semi-trailer accidents
- 30 tractors with semi-trailer accidents
The Schaumburg Truck accident lawyers at Vito & Dollenmaier Law have the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue damages from every negligent party, including truck drivers, trucking companies and other third parties.
Truck Accident Injuries
Large trucks account for 5% of all vehicles on the road and 9% of fatalities involving a vehicle. Drivers involved in these accidents may sustain multiple injuries, including but not limited to:
- Broken Bones / Soft Tissue Injuries: Impact from collisions can cause broken bones or soft tissue damage.
- Head injuries: Brain injuries can cause confusion, cognitive issues, loss of motor function, or worse. You may experience a brain injury even if you don’t have direct trauma to your head. Rapid deceleration may be enough to cause a head injury. In severe cases, you may experience a life-changing traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Lacerations: Objects and debris from the accident, such as broken glass, can cause significant lacerations. Minor cuts are common, but severe lacerations can lead to infection or scarring.
- Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries: Whiplash occurs due to severe jolting of the neck forward or backward. In severe cases, spinal cord injuries (SCI) of multiple degrees can occur. SCI can lead to paralysis and is life-altering.
- Scarring: Lacerations and scarring can occur. Broken glass, road rash or cuts can lead to scarring.
- Seatbelt Injuries: Your seatbelt can save your life, but it can also cause injuries. Whiplash, abrasions, abdominal or rib injuries, and others are common. We strongly advise you to continue wearing your seatbelt.
Truck accidents can also result in disfigurement, amputation, or internal injuries, too.
If you’re involved in a car accident with an 18-wheeler, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Applicable Illinois Accident Laws
Truckers must adhere to the rules and regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA requires:
- Adequate rest breaks
- Physical ability to perform duties
- Commercial driver’s license
- Proper endorsements
- Prepare record of duty status (RODS) – for some drivers
State law requires:
- Filing a lawsuit within two years of the accident to be within the statute of limitations.
- Comparative negligence of the plaintiff to be less than 50%.
How Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents
Truck accidents differ from car accidents in a number of ways. Trucks weigh more than passenger vehicles, and that extra weight generates more force on impact.
The sheer size of a commercial truck can crush a vehicle when they collide.
Often, the injuries and damage are more severe.
Due to the catastrophic nature of truck accidents, it is crucial to find Schaumburg Truck accident lawyers who are experienced and can help you understand your rights.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
The claims process for a semi-truck accident is similar to other motor vehicle accidents. However, the damages are often more catastrophic, and these cases usually involve commercial entities.
While every case is unique, the claims process typically follows the steps below:
Initial Consultation and Investigation
During the initial consultation, your lawyer will discuss the circumstances of your claim and answer any questions that you may have about the process. You may discuss:
- Who was involved in the accident
- The injuries you sustained
- The medical treatment you received for your injuries
- Any future treatment you may require
- The next steps needed in pursuing your claim and obtaining compensation
After the initial consultation, your lawyer will conduct an investigation into the facts of your case, including obtaining accident reports, identifying all potential parties involved, and ordering medical records and bills associated with your treatment.
Throughout all stages of the process, you should be focused on recovery and obtaining your doctor-recommended treatments.
Your lawyer will then prepare a Demand Package that tells the story of the incident, including how it occurred, theory of liability and a demand for settlement.
Evidence will be included, such as police reports, medical bills, documentation of lost wages, and pictures of injuries and property damage.
The insurance carrier will review the Demand Package, and, in many cases, respond with an offer for settlement. Your lawyer will notify you of the offer and discuss your options based on their knowledge and experience.
Ultimately, it is your decision whether to accept the offer, make a counter-demand or file a lawsuit.
If your lawyer is able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier that you agree to, a settlement agreement will be prepared that outlines the terms of the settlement.
If you cannot come to a settlement agreement, then the next step would be to file a lawsuit in court.
Do I Have a Case?
If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, you may be wondering whether you have a case and how much your case is worth.
Because every case is different, it’s difficult to know whether you have a case without knowing the facts. Consulting with a lawyer is your best course of action.
A lawyer will review the facts of your case and help determine whether you have a valid claim and discuss the potential value of your case.
Schaumburg Truck accident lawyers can help you pursue a number of damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life
What Is My Case Worth?
Several factors will be taken into account when determining your case’s value, including:
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Whether you will require lifelong care
- How much time you missed from work
Calculating a case’s value is complex and requires the knowledge of an experienced lawyer. Finding the right lawyer is key.
How To Choose the Best Semi-truck Accident Lawyer for Me
Semi-truck accidents can be traumatic and catastrophic. The injuries they cause can have lifelong consequences and even lead to permanent disability.
A lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries, but it is crucial to hire the right legal professional.
Here are some important things to consider when choosing Schaumburg Truck accident lawyers:
- Knowledge and experience: Choose a lawyer who has experience with semi-truck accident cases. A lawyer with the right knowledge and experience will know how to argue your case and fight to secure a fair settlement.
- Reputation: Does the lawyer have a reputation for success? Do clients have a good experience? Research reviews and ask for referrals to get an idea of what it would be like to work with the firm.
- Accessibility: Will your lawyeres be able to give your case the right amount of attention and answer your questions? It’s important to feel heard and receive the individualized attention you deserve from your lawyer.
How the Schaumburg Truck Accident Lawyers at Vito & Dollenmaier Law Can Help
At Vito & Dollenmaier Law, we are committed to our clients and helping them achieve the best possible outcomes for their cases. We handle semi-truck accident claims with care and will give your case the individual attention it deserves.
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, you need a lawyer who will advocate for your rights and ease your burden so that you can focus on healing and recovery.
Contact the lawyers at Vito & Dollenmaier Law today to schedule a free consultation.