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Jonathan Rosenfeld

December 20, 2023

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Commercial truck and semi-truck crashes hurt and kill many people every year in Chicago. Approximately 19,945 large truck crashes occur each year in Illinois, killing more than 100 people and injuring 40,000+ others [1]. Around 10,000 of these truck accidents occur in Cook County [2].

Truck accidents are often more complex than car accidents when it comes to the extent of the damage, the parties involved, and the available options for legal recourse. More people die as a result of truck accidents than in crashes with other types of vehicles. There is also a higher likelihood of severe injuries. 

The Chicago truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have helped many families seek fair compensation in the aftermath of a truck crash. Read on to find out what you need to know about filing a personal injury lawsuit after a trucking accident, which parties can be held liable, and how to file a claim after a truck collision. 

You Have Limited Time to File a Truck Accident Claim in Illinois

The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time after an incident that you have to file a lawsuit. Depending on the nature of your truck accident claim in Chicago, different statutes of limitations would apply.

For wrongful death and personal injury cases, you have two years from the date of injury or death to file a truck accident claim in Chicago. However, the amount of time you have could be different based on the exact nature of your case. 

If you discovered the cause of the injury or death later, it is possible that you might have more time. It is best to discuss the specifics of your case with a qualified Chicago truck accident lawyer so that you have a clear understanding of how much time you have to make a claim.

Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

Types of Cases That Our Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers Handle

Our team of truck accident lawyers in Chicago has experience handling a variety of cases, including: 

  • Semi-truck accidents
  • Tractor-trailer accident cases
  • Cases against commercial trucking companies
  • Interstate truck accidents
  • Product liability cases against manufacturers

The Most Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Transportation-related accidents accounted for 34% of workplace injuries in Illinois. [3] They are also the most fatal, accounting for 38% of workplace fatalities. Drivers who survive truck accidents, typically suffer from multiple traumatic injuries, including burns, intracranial fractures, and injuries to internal organs. 

The most common causes of truck accidents in Chicago include:

  • Driving while tired
  • Drunk driving
  • Poorly maintained trucks
  • Faulty mechanical parts, such as truck brakes
  • Untrained drivers
  • Incorrectly secured cargo
  • Reckless driving
  • Breaking traffic laws

What Is the Basis of Truck Accident Claims in Illinois?

The basis that you can file a lawsuit after a trucking accident depends on who is found at fault for the accident. This varies based on the specifics of the case, and it is not possible to file a claim for compensation after every trucking accident. 

Generally, there must be elements of negligence and a duty of care that the other party breached and that this breach caused your injury or property damage. 

For instance, if there is negligence found on the part of the trucking company that failed to maintain its trucks properly, you can

file a lawsuit against the company itself after this lack of maintenance caused you to become injured in a trucking accident.


Who Is Held Liable in Chicago Truck Accident Cases?

In many cases, the truck driver can be held liable for their actions. If they broke hours-of-service laws and drove longer than legally allowed without a break, were drunk, or otherwise negligent, the driver can be sued personally for their actions.

However, it is possible that other parties can also be held responsible. 

The trucking company has a responsibility to remain compliant with regulations and the failure to do so can leave it liable. You can hold the truck company responsible for the accident if it didn’t maintain the vehicle according to federal and state standards or if it had staffing policies, such as requiring overtime above the hours-of-service limit. 

If the trucking company uses a third-party vendor to maintain the truck and a maintenance error causes a car accident, that vendor could be held liable. The same is true if a part malfunctions. The part manufacturer could face a product liability lawsuit if the part they sold prematurely breaks or malfunctions.

Government agencies can also be held liable in truck accidents. If you suffered injuries after a collision with a fire truck, garbage truck, or police armored truck, you could potentially file a civil lawsuit against the government agencies responsible for the vehicle. 

Additionally, if the government failed to maintain a road or use appropriate warning signs and this caused your accident, it could be possible to seek compensation from the government for these cases, too.

Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer
A Truck Accident Attorney in Chicago can ensure you receive full compensation for your injuries.

Proving Fault in a Chicago Truck Accident Case

Your commercial truck accident attorney will work with you to gather the evidence that you need to prove fault for your wrongful death or personal injury claim. They will help you gather medical bills, eyewitness testimony, video surveillance footage, accident photos, and the police report about your accident to support your case.

Illinois operates as a comparative negligence state. This means that you can seek compensation even if you are partly to blame for the accident. As long as you were responsible for less than 50%, you can still seek compensation related to your claim from the other party.

Trucking Company Regulations

The Illinois Department of Transportation enforces state and federal regulations when it comes to safety regulations for drivers of commercial vehicles. IDOT issues registration and oversize and overweight permits. It also inspects commercial trucks. 

Both commercial and private-owned vehicles must be inspected periodically at one of IDOT’s 250 official testing stations [4]. Diesel trucks weighing more than 16,000 pounds that are two years or older must be tested through the Illinois Diesel Emission Inspection Program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has hours-of-service trucking regulations that truck drivers in Chicago must adhere to [5]. Drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after a 10-hour break. Truck drivers cannot drive after 14 consecutive hours of going on duty. 

They are also required to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving without a break. Additionally, drivers must not drive after 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days.

According to federal law, drivers must inspect vehicles before they drive and periodically to make sure that it is safe to operate. This includes inspecting the steering mechanism, brakes, and lights.

Chicago trucking accident injuries

How Much Can Be Recovered in a Chicago Truck Accident Case?

Every truck crash case is different, and there is no real way to accurately predict how much compensation can be recovered in yours. Many factors can increase or decrease how much you are able to recover. For instance, in cases that involve wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, and gross negligence on the part of a company, the settlements tend to be higher. 

Our firm has helped accident victims receive substantial settlements in the aftermath of truck accidents. We helped one client recover $18.5 million in compensation after he lost his mobility and faced serious injuries as a result of a head-on semi-truck crash. We helped another family recover $14.1 million after a reckless truck driver killed a motorcyclist.

Factors That Affect Accident Settlement Amounts

Some of the factors that can affect settlement amounts include: 

  • Costs of losses – An accident involving large trucks often causes more damage than accidents with only passenger cars. The likelihood of facing a serious injury or your vehicle being totaled is much higher. You might need more money to replace what’s been lost or for your care, as well as compensation for lost wages and future medical expenses.
  • Extent of injuries – The more serious your injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, the more likely you’ll need ongoing care and face higher medical costs now and in the future.
  • Insurance coverage availability – As most semi-trucks are operated by trucking companies, there are likely multiple levels of insurance coverage available. This includes auto insurance, general liability insurance, and commercial trucking insurance. 

If you are able to get money for your truck accident injuries from an insurance company, you could see a more substantial payout than if you can only recover compensation from the truck driver personally.

  • Evidence – The more evidence that your Illinois truck accident attorneys are able to gather for your case, the stronger it will be. This increases the likelihood of receiving a higher settlement offer.
  • Witnesses – If there are witnesses or subject matter experts available that can support your claim, this can lead to higher compensation as the defendants will have a more challenging time refuting what happened.

Truck Accident Victims and Injuries Suffered

Because of the vehicles involved in an accident caused by a fully loaded semi-truck or tractor-trailer, the injuries suffered by truck accident victims are typically much more severe than other types of accidents. 

Some common injuries suffered in accidents with large trucks include: 

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ failure
  • Amputation
  • Spine injuries

Damages That Our Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover 

Your truck accident lawyer in Illinois can help you recover different types of damages that might apply to your case. This includes medical expenses for medical treatment your insurance company doesn’t cover, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of income potential, disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment. You can also receive compensation to repair or replace your vehicle.

Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim

Unfortunately, many families schedule an appointment with our personal injury lawyers because their loved one has been killed in a trucking accident. We can help them pursue compensation for damages from the truck driver or the trucking companies involved for funeral costs, medical expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship. 

Chicago trucking accident causes

How Long Does Settling a Truck Accident Case Take?

In most cases, settling a truck accident case takes over six months. However, every case is different. Some cases settle quicker than this, and complex cases that proceed to court take longer. 

It’s important to hire an Illinois truck accident lawyer from our team as soon as possible, as this will give us the opportunity to get started on your case in time. The sooner we are able to file your claim, the sooner it can be settled.

How Much Does Hiring a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?

You don’t have to pay anything upfront to hire a truck accident lawyer in Chicago from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. We provide free consultation, and our team works on a contingency basis. 

This means that we are paid a set percentage of the settlement, and you will only pay us if we help you get the settlement that you deserve.

Chicago, IL Truck Accident Injury Statistics

Filing a Truck Accident Claim With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can make the process of filing a lawsuit easier, as you can primarily focus on your recovery or grieving while truck accident attorneys move your case forward. 

The process of filing a truck accident claim starts with a free consultation with an Illinois truck accident attorney. During the meeting, you will discuss what happened and your injuries. 

If you decide to proceed after the consultation, our Illinois truck accident lawyers will start a case investigation, which includes gathering available evidence to support your claim. We will also consult with experts from a variety of fields related to your semi-truck accident to build the strongest case possible.

Then, a qualified lawyer will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. When you hire a personal injury lawyer from our firm, they will be able to demand higher settlement amounts than if you tried to work with the insurance company alone. 

As one of the best truck accident law firms in Chicago, we can also prepare and take your case to court if the insurance company of any negligent party involved in your accident refuses to pay you the amount you rightfully deserve.

Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney Today!

Contact one of the best truck accident lawyers in Chicago by filling out our contact form or calling our law firm toll-free at (888) 424-5757. We have helped many clients navigate the difficult weeks and months following devastating accidents involving semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and cargo trucks. 

There is no cost for the meeting with our Chicago truck accident law firm and we work on a contingency fee basis. We are here for you 24/7 to help you file your claim.

Resources: [1] IDOT, [2] IDOT, [3] BLS, [4] IDOT, [5] FMCSA

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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