Champaign Truck Accident Lawyer
Champaign Truck Accident Attorneys
Injuries from a truck accident can be very serious, and they often leave victims permanently disabled. Unfortunately, truck accidents happen all the time on our nation's highways, and those injured must know their rights to compensation to receive help in recovering financially.
Were you injured in a truck accident, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by the truck driver's negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent injured victims harmed in serious truck collisions.
Contact our Champaign truck accident lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Also, speak with a personal injury lawyer about your financial recovery to ensure you recoup funds to pay your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Champaign is at the crossroads of three major interstates where most freight is transported by ground. In addition, thousands of semi-tractor trailers travel through or by Champaign every day.
Illinois is home to a significant transportation network, and its roads are notably more dangerous because of the constant flow of semi-tractors flowing in and out of the state.
Champaign is the Crossroads of Central Illinois & Puts Motorists at Risk for Trucking Accidents
Located in the state's center, much of the commercial truck traffic destined to leave Illinois or inbound from the East and West Coast travels through Champaign. I-57 runs north and south and directs inbound shipments to Chicago, while I-74 and I-72 run east and west.
These three interstates carry traffic toward most destinations in the United States directly or through connections to other key routes. In addition, U.S. Route 45 and U.S. Route 150 also run through Champaign and provide local and regional destinations access.
Two railroad lines run through Champaign, and the city is home to a production facility owned by Kraft Foods. As a result, local products and freight that cannot be shipped via rail are transported by commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, Champaign's motorists have become so used to dealing with dense trucking traffic that many people have become oblivious to how dangerous semi-tractors can be.
Millions of Truck Accidents Each Year
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 4.8 million truck accidents every year in the United States. These accidents resulted in more than 100,000 injuries and 3000 fatalities.
In Illinois alone, the Insurance Research Council found 9,500 large tractor-trailer crashes with injuries and 416 fatalities. According to NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2000-2008, 442 people died from accidents involving commercial vehicles in Champaign County.
Consequences of a Truck Accident
Due to the sheer mass and weight of semi-tractor trailers, truck crashes are often fatal. When a passenger vehicle collides with a heavy commercial or freight truck, there is a much greater chance that people inside will be severely injured or killed because the car simply cannot absorb the momentum created by the truck's impact.
The damage done to cars can be so extensive that victims are often not found until hours after the accident. Compensation for truck crashes is governed by state law, but rules ensure injured motorists receive fair compensation after a crash.
With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, victims can file claims against negligent or reckless drivers to recover lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In severe cases where a loved one was killed, families can file wrongful death claims against trucking companies to compensate them for the loss of their family members.
Injuries from Semi-Truck Wrecks Are Often Severe & Fatal
Semi-trucks are massive vehicles that weigh more than ten times as much as a standard car. Because of this, the force created by an impact with such a vehicle is far greater than that of a normal collision and can easily crush smaller vehicles on impact.
Even if people inside cars are wearing seat belts or are protected by airbags, they can still be severely injured because their bodies will not have time to adjust to the sudden change in momentum.
People who are not wearing their safety belts have a greater chance of being ejected from their vehicles, resulting in fatal injuries, especially if they are struck by other cars or semi-trucks traveling at excessive speeds.
Hitting the steering wheel or dashboard will cause major blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and ribs. In many cases, drivers will experience concussions, internal bleeding, and broken bones.
Even in a car that remains completely undamaged by a collision, passengers can still become seriously injured if the vehicle is hit from behind or by a semi-tractor trailer whose driver slams on their brakes without warning.
When this happens, the impact of the front-end colliding with the back of another car can cause victims to suffer whiplash and hit their heads on the dashboard, windshield, or steering wheel.
According to data compiled by federal transportation agencies and different research centers, between 2000 and 2007, there were more than one million injuries that resulted from accidents involving semi-trucks. In that same period, more than 3,000 fatalities occurred from wrecks involving commercial vehicles.
Why Semi-Truck Collisions Are Often Catastrophic
In addition to the common injuries described above, many people involved in a collision with a large truck die because their bodies do not have time to adjust to the sudden momentum change.
As a truck is traveling down the road, its movements are slow and predictable. When a car is traveling at a normal speed, it will take several seconds for drivers to hit the brakes. If the semi-tractor driver does not see small vehicles in front of them or notices that cars have slowed down, they might not stop in time to avoid a collision.
A fully-loaded semi-tractor trailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, so even if the brakes are applied, there is a strong possibility that it will not be able to come to a complete stop before it collides with another car or truck.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
These trucking accidents can be caused by many factors, including driver fatigue or inexperience, lack of safety precautions such as safety belts and airbags, mechanical issues with the vehicle's brakes or steering wheel, to name a few.
The common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Drunk driving: Driving while impaired on drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving: Talking or texting on a cell phone, putting on make-up, eating and drinking while driving
- Aggressive and reckless drivers: Speeding, tailgating, and weaving through traffic
- Mechanical issues with the trucks: brakes not working properly, steering wheel hitting the side of the road, or blowing a tire
- Construction zone accidents: Involve negligent workers failing to properly warn drivers of road hazards, improper signage, or inadequate lighting
- Overloaded trucks: When truck drivers ignore regulations on the maximum load weight to be carried in their vehicles
- Illegal maneuvers: These maneuvers are made by semi-truck drivers to make up time or get ahead in traffic, include illegal lane changes, passing on the road's shoulder, or crossing double yellow lines to overtake vehicles
Truck drivers are not just limited to driving semi-trucks working for national trucking companies. They might also be required to drive dump trucks for construction sites or box trucks used by moving companies or freight haulers.
These vehicles have wide turning radii that require more space on the roads when turning corners or backing in and out of loading docks. If you are hit by a large truck, your injuries will be more severe simply because the truck takes up so much space.
9 Tips to Recover from An Injury After a Truck Accident
So, what should you do if you are involved in a collision with a semi-truck? There are several important things to remember when trying to seek compensation for your injuries after a collision with a semi-truck.
1. Get Medical Attention Immediately
As soon as you can after being hit by a semi-truck, seek medical attention. If possible, call an ambulance so that trained medics can check your vitals and assess the extent of your injuries on site.
Even the most minor injuries can seem more severe than they are once you have had time to collect yourself after a truck accident. Therefore, make sure that you seek medical attention even if your injuries do not seem serious.
2. Report the Collision
Take pictures of the area where the crash happened, any damage to both vehicles, and any possible evidence behind the semi-truck driver. If there was a passenger in the car with you, have them go to the nearest police station and report what happened or call for help from your home phone or cell phone.
3. Get Information from Witnesses
After the accident is reported, try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw what happened. They will be required to state the incident if it goes to trial.
Witnesses can also help expedite the claims process by providing important details, including:
- How fast either party was going
- Whether either car had its turn signal on when changing lanes
- Any other information that might play a role in proving fault for the accident
4. Get a Copy of the Police Report File
Get the police report on the crash, even if you were not seriously injured and did not go to the hospital or get medical attention after your collision with a semi-truck. In many truck accident cases, the trucker in the larger vehicle will get off scot-free thanks to their employer's insurance policy.
Without an official report on file, there is no way of knowing what happened or that your accident even occurred. In addition, the police officer who fills out the report will also be able to tell you whether or not either driver was cited for breaking any driving laws before the crash.
The insurance company will also want a copy when filing a truck accident claim.
5. Get a Copy of the Accident Report
If possible, make a copy of the trucking company's insurance report. However, getting a copy can be difficult because most companies do not want you to know who they are and will go out of their way to block your attempts at finding out.
However, you must get your hands on this report to file the paperwork necessary to get the truck company's compensation.
6. Get Medical Records
If you cannot go to the hospital after your accident, make copies of your medical records as soon as possible. These reports will be used in court if you choose to file a lawsuit showing the trucking company failed to ensure safety for all those sharing the road. This information is also needed when filing for any necessary compensation.
7. Find Out If the Trucker was Intoxicated
If you can get a copy of the accident report, see if there is an indication that either driver involved in your crash had been drinking or taking drugs before the crash occurred. This information will help you determine what type of insurance coverage is available to pay for your injuries.
8. Find Out If the Trucker was Negligent
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 50% of all truck crashes result from negligent truck drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel or violate traffic laws by speeding or engaging in reckless driving.
If you can find out that the driver of your semi-truck is negligent, it will be easier for the trucker's employer to compensate you.
9. Talk to Truck Accident Attorneys
See qualified truck accident lawyers right away if you have sustained serious personal injuries due to the truck accident. Negligent truck drivers break traffic laws and violate driving ethics daily without being held accountable for their actions, jeopardizing other drivers' lives.
Have you sought professional medical attention for your injuries? If so, likely, the trucking company involved in your accident does not want to compensate you because it could pose a problem if they happen to deny your claim.
Investigating Truck Accident Cases
The Champaign truck accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC recognize the need for a quick and thorough investigation of every trucking/car accident to hold negligent drivers and companies accountable and are here to serve the needs of truck accident victims.
Do you or a loved one need an attorney to assist you with your Champaign truck crash case? Complete the intake form here for a free truck accident case review with a lawyer who has experience with Champaign collisions involving clients who receive compensation for damages.
Near Catastrophic Semi-Truck Accidents Remind Us of Dangers in Champaign Area
Recent catastrophic truck/auto accidents revealed the dangerous roads in and around Champaign-Urbana on side streets and freeways.
In November 2019, a semi-tractor-trailer overturned near Champaign on Interstate 72. The crash occurred when the commercial vehicle exited the freeway before hitting the guardrail, overcorrecting, traveling across both lanes, and finally crashing.
The truck driver was operating a Kenworth commercial truck. Law enforcement cited the driver for his failure to reduce his speed, causing him to perform an improper lane change and not taking steps to avoid a trucking accident.
In April 2020, the Champaign County Sheriff's Department began investigating an accident involving a pedestrian being hit by a commercial truck at a dealership north of the city.
The truck driver of a semi-tractor-trailer hit the man walking on foot on Hensley Road at the Rush Truck Center. EMT transported the victim to the local hospital.
In February 2015, a tractor-trailer truck driver was responsible for an accident on I-57 that threatened the lives of hundreds of Champaign's residents. The driver was transporting a tanker filled with flammable chemicals commonly used in cleaning agents. The spill released toxic vapors into the air that are hazardous when inhaled.
Nearly a hundred homes in the vicinity were evacuated, and the highway was shut down during the cleanup. Restoration of the area involved numerous insurance companies and personal injury cases concerning multiple trucking companies.
There was snow falling on the ground at the time of the incident, and it was determined that the driver was speeding to make up time. He was given a citation for driving at a speed that is unsafe for weather conditions. Had the driver taken his time and remained patient, the entire incident could have been avoided.
Many drivers are overworked, exhausted, or in a hurry to meet deadlines imposed on them by their employers, and this causes them to take risks or act recklessly. When this occurs, the driver and their employer should be placed under investigation to determine whether the problem extends past the driver's personal decisions and is a symptom of poor policy decisions and willful violation of safety protocol.
In 2018, the Illinois Department of Transportation identified 1,678 trucking accidents within the city limits of Champaign, Illinois, resulting in three deaths and 506 injuries. By far, rear-end collisions (464), and vehicle turning accidents (404) topped the leading factors in crashes.
The three deaths involved an overturned vehicle, a crash at an angle, and a turning accident. In addition, most of the injuries to accident victims occurred when their vehicle was rear-ended (128).
How a Champaign Truck Accident Lawyer Can Resolve Your Personal Injury Case
Personal injury attorneys specializing in trucking accident cases will file lawsuits based on Illinois tort law.
For example, a Champaign, IL truck accident lawyer understands that injuries resulting from truck crashes are often more severe than any other form of an auto accident because of the weight and force involved.
The lawyer will talk directly with the insurance company providing coverage on commercial vehicles to initiate a trucking accident claim.
It is essential to be confident that the monetary recovery you receive for your serious injuries will cover the full financial impact the semi-truck accident has had on you and your family both presently and in the future.
Hiring Champaign Truck Accident Lawyers
The Champaign, Illinois truck accident lawyers of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC investigate every case from multiple angles to establish fault, determine the economic impact, and seek fair compensation.
We have helped thousands of personal injury clients just like you across Illinois and are confident in our ability to secure compensation on your behalf as well. For this reason, we accept all personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.
Our Champaign, IL law firm will never expect payment until we have won your case in court or negotiated a settlement in your best interest. If we cannot collect damages for you, our services will be free.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship. Contact our truck accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to arrange a free consultation with an attorney to discuss legal representation.
Our law offices will gather the information we need to advise you on your legal options during the initial case review. Then, call us for more information on our personal injury lawyers, truck accident cases, car accidents, personal injury claims, and monetary recovery for your medical bills to ensure your well-being.