Interstate Truck Accidents
Were you involved in an interstate truck accident and suffered serious injuries, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by another's negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent truck accident victims to hold the driver and trucking company responsible for damages.
Call an experienced truck accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Over 9 million large commercial trucks are registered in the U.S., traveling over 226 billion miles per year on the nation's interstates, highways, and streets. These truck drivers (semi-truck, tractor-trailer, big rig, etc.) are pushed to meet delivery deadlines and work long hours to get their loads where they need to go.
Due to the pressure many truckers face, they often keep driving even when tired, ill, or distracted, putting them and others in danger of being involved in an accident.
Deadly Truck Crash Statistics on Illinois Highways
Large truck drivers account for 5% of all registered vehicles but drive 15% of the total miles each year in the U.S. When these large commercial trucks are involved in an accident on an interstate highway, the results can be deadly to those in the other vehicles or walking in the vicinity.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
- In 2018 there were 2,786 deaths in interstate truck accidents
- 84% of fatalities involving large trucks were occupants of the other vehicles or pedestrians; only 16% were drivers or passengers in the large trucks.
- 96% of fatalities in two-vehicle crashes involving large trucks were people in other vehicles.
The other drivers and passengers that are unfortunate enough to tangle with these big trucks (semi-truck, tractor-trailer, big rig, etc.) are the ones with the most to lose. The sheer size and weight of these cargo trucks make them deadly in any crash situation.
Underlying Causes Behind Large Truck Crashes
In March of 2006, the U.S. DOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration combined efforts to determine the causes of commercial truck incidents.
They took a national sample of almost 1,000 fatal truck crashes between 2001 and 2003 and examined all crashes' causes and elements, including at many deadly mile markers.
They found that in many cases, the driver of the large truck was at fault and that they may have been driving under circumstances that put them and others at risk. Some of the top 20 factors that attributed to the crashes were
- 26% were using prescription drugs
- Over 22% were traveling too fast for conditions
- 17% attributed over-the-counter drug use as a factor
- More than 22% were either exhausted or were under work-related pressure
These factors point to truckers continuing driving even when they are tired or ill to meet their deadlines. According to many troopers on the scene, the truck driver might be using medications that affect their ability to drive safely.
Other causes listed in the top 20 factors in the study were illegal maneuvers, following too closely, inattention, and being pressured to drive even though fatigued.
Responsibility for Interstate Truck Accidents in Chicago
When these large trucks are involved in an accident, it is much more complicated than when two passenger cars crash. The truck driver may be the one at fault, but it may be the company he works for or even a third-party contractor that is financially liable.
Those who are victims of a commercial truck crash should seek legal advice and representation to handle their interests in these cases for the serious injuries and minor injuries they encounter.
Proving Your Interstate Truck Accident Case to Hold the Truck Driver Accountable
The plaintiff (injured party) must prove that the truck driver owed them a duty of reasonable care when sharing the roadway. The plaintiff must also prove that the truck driver breached that duty and led to their injuries.
The plaintiff, in this case, would have to show proof of negligence on behalf of the truck driver. When determining a defendant's negligence, you will need to look at certain elements. These include:
- Actual Cause – Causing an accident is a direct cause of negligence.
- Knowledge – The driver must have known about the crash or potential accident due to negligent conduct (i.e., texting while driving).
- Causation – Directly connecting the defendant's actions to your injuries is a requirement in proving causation. A connection may be established by blaming an act that led to the crash (i.e., running a red light without stopping).
- Reasonable Care – Reasonable care is given to prevent injuries of others. However, you and your legal counsel must establish that reasonable state of mind to prove your case.
Liabilities in Truck Accidents: Legal Options Against Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
Most truckers are very safe drivers who understand the risks their commercial vehicles pose on the freeway. Unfortunately, however, some truck drivers fail to adhere to safety measures and crash into passenger vehicles.
The injured victim is often left with massive damages, broken bones, head injuries, or death in such situations. But what are some options available if you have been involved in an interstate truck accident?
Passenger Car Truck Accidents
Most people do not realize that a truck accident can happen to anyone. Recently, a truck accident occurred at the exit of Interstate 55 in Madison County, Illinois.
The victims included a mother and two children coming home from school when they crashed into an oncoming 18-wheeler on the interstate. Unfortunately for their family, they did not survive this tragic interstate truck accident.
These types of interstate truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. According to Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) data, there were 3,316 interstate truck accident crashes in 2017 on the state's interstates and highways. When you are involved in a large truck accident due to someone's negligence, you could suffer severe injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Facial injury
- Burns and other disfigurements
When a family is involved in this kind of tragic incident, the emotional distress they endure makes it necessary to seek professional help. Seeking medical attention immediately following an accident is very important. A victim's first contact should be with a doctor in an emergency room or hospital.
In most cases, the truck driver is at fault in a car accident because they did not obey traffic laws and make safe decisions on the road. As a result, the police might investigate what happened and issue a ticket to the truck driver. However, many times the truck driver will try to defend their actions.
The trucker might claim that they were not at fault for the accident or did nothing wrong. On the other hand, the truck driver may state that the passenger car driver was speeding or texting and driving while their vehicle was on the roadway.
A truck accident attorney can guide you as you begin to work through the various stages of any legal action. For example, in Illinois, truckers involved in a fatal crash could face criminal charges for reckless homicide.
Unfortunately, many commercial drivers involved in fatal accidents do not get charged with criminal offenses. Even if they face these charges, some interstate trucking companies will hire drivers to help them get acquitted of criminal charges.
It is crucial to speak with those who have experience assisting accident victims in Illinois and other states like Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. If a commercial driver is charged with criminal offenses, the injured passengers may have the right to file a lawsuit against them for negligence.
The trucking companies that employed these drivers could also face liability for their actions.
Truck Driver Caused Wrongful Death
An interstate truck accident injury leading to wrongful death can be devastating to surviving families that must now live without their loved ones. However, when the fatal accident results from truck driver negligence, it is especially challenging to bear.
Because of that, the victim's family should get in touch with a truck accident attorney as early as possible. An experienced attorney will speak directly to the trucking company that hired the trucker that might be at fault for causing the fatality.
The law allows certain deceased person's immediate family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit even when no beneficiaries are named under the decedent's will or trust. The following individuals can seek compensation for their loss:
- Adult children
A wrongful death claim will seek damages for the economic and noneconomic losses when a loved one died in an accident. These may include funeral expenses, burial costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering compensation.
In many cases, the surviving family members of a person who has been killed in a truck driver's negligence-related accident might be able to file a claim for damages. Therefore, it is important to get in touch with an interstate truck accident attorney as soon as possible so that you can seek compensation for your loss.
Financial Compensation After Interstate Truck Incidents
Surveying the damage after a large truck event, one can expect to find personal injury, property damage, and suffering. Victims file claims for financial compensation and other relief through an experienced personal injury attorney and firm to obtain the highest possible recovery. What damages are possible?
In these cases, truck incident victims should plead for the costs and harm that directly arose from the accident, including car damage, medical bills, and other tangible expenses.
However, it also may mean money for intangible damage and changed circumstances such as disability, long-term suffering, and lost quality of life.
To understand what financial compensation you may obtain in a highway truck crash case, talk to our team of personal injury attorneys during a free case evaluation.
Getting Help After Semi-Truck Accidents
After you have been involved in a truck accident, turn to a group of legal professionals that can manage your case from start to finish professionally and effectively.
Plus, every second matters after a crash and impacts your potential case. So it is important not to hamper that with poor advocacy or a lack of urgency.
A qualified truck collision firm can conduct investigations, contact witnesses, and jumpstart your claim for you. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC regularly represents clients injured in trucking collisions on the following Illinois highways:
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, the truck driver must undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing immediately following an accident with catastrophic injuries.
Any failure to follow FMCSA regulations could create liability for the trucker and trucking company and be held vicariously liable for damages. In addition to holding the trucking company financially accountable, the plaintiff's personal injury attorneys will seek other third parties that might also be at fault.
Potential defendants could include the truck manufacturer or tire company that might be held directly liable through a product liability lawsuit.
Illinois Attorneys Handling Open-Road Trucking Accidents
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has represented many clients that have been injured or even lost loved ones due to a large truck accident.
We are experienced and understand the complexities of interstate truck accidents and will do our best to get your family the financial compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and even damages for pain and suffering.
We offer an opportunity for you to discuss your case with us, free of charge and with no obligation. Furthermore, if we handle your case, no fee will be charged unless we obtain a financial award in your favor. Contact us at 888-424-5757 (toll-free phone number) today!
All sensitive and confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
More Reading on Interstate Truck Accidents in Chicago for General Information Purposes
- Fatality Facts 2018 Large trucks
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI)
- View Native American Traffic Safety Facts
Our legal team represents clients in various practice areas across the country and the following localities in Illinois: Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Jefferson County, Lake County, Rockford County, Sangamon County, Will County, Winnebago County, Chicago, Decatur, Elgin, Naperville, Danville, Peoria, Springfield, and other cities.
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