Rockford Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are often more severe than other motor vehicle accidents because of the size and weight of semi-tractor trailers. The injuries that result from these crashes can be life-changing for those involved.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys serve clients with catastrophic injuries and will aggressively fight until justice has been served for your devastating harm.
You have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim for your injuries and damages in a truck accident that was not your fault.
Call a truck accident lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation to pursue compensation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with your experienced attorney remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Rockford, IL, is an industrial city with deep connections to the freight and transport industries. In addition, its location along critical railroads and highways makes it an integral cog in the transportation hub throughout Illinois.
Interstate 90 connects the city with both Madison and Chicago. Moreover, the I-39 connection provides an alternate route to Chicago and a link to I-80 and I-88, which provide routes to significant interstates in the Midwest.
This high volume of tractor-trailer and truck traffic coming in and out of Rockford increases the risk of accidents.
Transportation is a Vital Part of Rockford's Economy
The City of Rockford has always been highly vested in the trucking industry, and freight transport goes hand in hand with producing goods and materials. The United Parcel Service, Union Pacific, Canadian National, and the Illinois Railway represent some of Rockford's larger employers.
The city acts as a hub between Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay to the north and Chicago to the south, one of the country's largest transportation hubs.
The Chicago Rockford International Airport is home to the United Parcel Service's second-largest air hub globally. The freight received there is transported to its ultimate destinations via semi-trucks once it has been accepted.
Concerns have arisen in recent years due to drastic increases in fatal truck accidents reported throughout Illinois. Many of the serious injuries and deaths that have resulted from these crashes have been linked to negligent actions of truck drivers or poor policy decisions by trucking companies, which ultimately resulted in avoidable auto accidents.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Severe Truck Accidents
A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study shows that large trucks are involved in about one-third of all fatal car accidents. This alarming statistic reveals that trucks only account for 10% of vehicles on the road but are involved in more than their share of traffic deaths.
Another interesting finding from this report is how many injuries result from truck accidents. Injuries sustained due to truck collisions accounted for more than 95% of those recorded in these incidents and were often severe or even life-threatening.
These findings have been published to help raise awareness and hopefully reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from large vehicle collisions with smaller passenger cars.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations
Rockford truck accident victims should know that resources are available if they are involved in a truck crash. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has regulations that govern how long truck drivers can work before taking breaks and what hours they can be on the road.
Additionally, if the truck company fails to adhere to these regulations or violates other rules (such as driving with an invalid license or using illegal substances while on the job), it can be held liable for damages resulting from a truck crash.
These regulations include:
- Hours of Service (HOS): Truck drivers of a commercial vehicle are limited to 11 hours of driving in each 24 hours
- Driving Time: A driver must rest for ten consecutive hours every 24 hours, allowing them to take two additional "rest periods" of at least 8 hours each within that time frame
- Sleeper Berth Provision: It provides drivers with the option to take a break in their driving hours by getting into a "sleeper berth," allowing them to log the off-duty time that is considered part of the ten consecutive hours
- Safety Violations: A driver cannot commit three serious traffic violations in one year or four in two years, including speeding 15 mph or more over the posted speed limit, reckless driving, and failing to obey traffic signs
Drivers found in violation of HOS regulations can result in the revocation of their commercial driver's license (CDL), which is good news for many truck accident victims who may be able to seek compensation from their trucking company.
Why Truck Accidents are Different
Truck accidents can result in serious injuries because of the sheer size of these vehicles. Still, often the main difference between car crashes and truck accidents is how quickly they happen.
Because of their large size, trucks cannot slow down or stop as quickly as smaller cars, making them more difficult to avoid by the average driver behind the wheel of a passenger vehicle.
If you happen to be involved in a truck accident and sustain injuries, make sure you contact a Rockford truck accident attorney immediately.
The Severity of Injuries in A Truck Accident
Catastrophic truck crashes often result in debilitating and life-changing injuries where the victim is physically maimed and unable to support themselves and deal with ongoing medical bills. The more serious injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries (quadriplegia, paraplegia)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Fractured or broken bones in legs, arms, and spinal column
- Lacerations requiring stitches
- Burn injuries
- Blunt force trauma
Recover Compensation From a Truck Accident
Injuries from a truck accident can be expensive to treat because of medical supplies' cost and hospitalization. In addition, treatment of broken bones and further injuries may require ongoing therapy with one or more specialists, with increased medical costs.
Often there are no standard fee schedules for this type of insurance coverage, so doctors charge patients according to rates. Unfortunately, it is up to the victim to negotiate with their healthcare provider for a lower rate.
Trucking accidents can also cause victims to be unable to return to work in their pre-accident occupation, leaving them unable to support themselves and dependent on family members or government welfare programs.
Truck Accident Claims
Truck accident claims arising from a semi-truck accident may also include damages for pain and suffering, future medical expenses, loss of income or earning ability, and property damage.
These claims can be difficult to prove but are necessary for the victim to recover damages after a truck crash.
When filing an accident injury claim with an insurance company, your truck accident lawyer will help you gather as much information about the crash as possible, including witness statements, pictures, police reports, medical bills, loss of income records, and any other evidence that will help to demonstrate the severity of injuries.
The trucking company, trucker, and insurer will likely send insurance adjusters promptly to the accident scene to gather evidence favoring the defense's side.
Any evidence that could prove equipment failure, faulty parts, bald tires, or defective brakes might never be obtained to use in court or negotiate a fair settlement.
Truck Driver Negligence is Common in Semi-Truck Accident Cases
Most semi-truck accidents are caused by driver negligence. Truck drivers often attempt to falsify their hours or logbooks when tired and cannot legally drive, a dangerous practice that can lead to death or severe injury for other motorists on the road.
- Falsifying logbooks and driving beyond legal limits: Truck drivers must keep accurate records of duty status and maintain certain hours before driving again, so truckers do not drive when tired and endangering their lives and other motorists. In addition, when an accident occurs and it is determined that a driver was fatigued or speeding, this evidence may be used against them in truck accident claims or their insurance company to prove liability.
- Failure to obey traffic control devices: Big rigs in accidents frequently fail to adhere to traffic signs and signals, potentially dangerous for other motorists on the road and causing accidents.
- Following too closely: The semi-truck driver is expected to maintain a safe distance between their truck and other passenger vehicles on the road. Any motorist getting too close to a semi-truck will create dangerous situations for all drivers.
In 2017, Congress increased penalties for carriers that violated federal safety regulations resulting in a fatality or if the accident occurred within 30 days after the carrier committed a severe violation to reduce the number of trucking accidents and truck driver negligence.
The new laws also included stricter rules for electronic logs and more stringent limits on when and where commercial trucks can drive.
Trucking accidents can be traumatic for victims and their families, causing broken bones and brain injuries, so it is essential to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the incident occurs.
Legal Recourse for Rockford Truck Accident Victims and Their Families
Were you or your loved one seriously injured in an incident caused by truck driver’s negligence? If so, you have a right to bring a case against the person liable for causing your personal injuries.
The resulting compensation can cover medical expenses, rehab costs, and other financial needs individuals require after injury.
It's also important to note that compensation may be paid on behalf of a deceased individual - if one's family members can prove that the negligent conduct of another party caused the death. In addition, monetary recovery is available through a wrongful death suit.
If you're looking for legal recourse, working with a qualified truck accident injury lawyer is essential to help build a strong case against the person responsible for causing your injuries. Our lawyers are experts in bringing personal injury claims against the responsible parties.
Trucking Companies are as Complicit as Drivers
While it is unacceptable for commercial truck drivers to skirt the rules, they often do so at the behest of their employers to reduce travel times and delays. Employers will even delay inspections or repairs to keep semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles on the road rather than in the shop.
Such acts result in catastrophic injuries through trucking company negligence that can leave accident victims maimed, suffering can include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Brain injury
Hiring a Rockford Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has severe injuries from a truck crash in a Rockford truck accident, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Rockford, IL, trucking accident lawyers.
Our legal team has helped thousands of injured clients recover the compensation needed for their medical costs, out-of-pocket expenses, ongoing care, and pain from vehicle accidents.
Our services will be free if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf. In addition to providing free initial consultation, our personal injury lawyers work through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement postpones the payment of our legal representation until we have secured financial compensation on your behalf.
Contact a Rockford truck accident lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 for a free, no-obligation consultation and more information on dealing with insurance companies, obtaining legal advice, and handling truck accident cases.