Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people with injuries suffered in accidents such as commercial truck collisions, delivery van accidents and other types of professional truck driving negligence. Our law firm has collected a series of trucking injury accident FAQs related to the medical and legal aspects of an accident involving commercial vehicles. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Truck Accident FAQs
When a vehicle accident involves a commercial truck, the results are often catastrophic. Many victims suffer serious injuries or die at the scene after being crushed during the impact. The horrific outcome of a truck accident is often the result of a significantly heavier vehicle colliding with a small passenger vehicle or pedestrian. Other times, the incident produces a horrific event when flammable and hazardous materials are involved.
Our team of truck accident injury attorneys has compiled a comprehensive list of the most common frequently asked questions involving truck accidents. Families use this information to make an informed decision about how to move forward legally in filing a claim for compensation against all parties responsible for their damages.
Why are commercial truck crashes more likely to cause fatalities than passenger car accidents?
The sheer size and weight of a fully loaded commercial vehicle can weigh 80,000 pounds or more. Alternatively, most passenger cars which 3000 pounds or less. When these two disproportionately sized and weighted vehicles collide, the results are often catastrophic because of the laws of physics. Typically, the trucker is unharmed, and the motorist and passengers in the small vehicle suffer severe injuries or die.
How does the law define a commercial truck?
Big rigs, 18 wheelers, delivery vehicles, cement trucks, tanker trucks, and semi-tractor-trailers are considered commercial transport vehicles. However, there are specific classifications of standard pickup trucks that are also identified as a commercial truck. Typically, any large truck that requires a commercial driver's license to operate is regarded as a commercial vehicle.
I was just involved in a commercial truck accident. Why do first?
To ensure your safety and well-being, you need to take the initiative to accomplish a few things if possible. The first steps include:
- Call Law Enforcement Immediately – Contact the police and EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) quickly by dialing 911. There is likely considerable damage to the vehicles, which should remain in the same spot they were in if they do not cause a traffic hazard on the roadway.
- Go to the Emergency Room – Even if you do not believe you are severely injured, you should immediately be transported to the hospital or ER by Emergency Medical Technicians. You might not be aware of the extent of your injuries without a diagnostic examination. The emergency room doctor may order x-rays and perform a comprehensive physical exam to determine if you are bleeding internally or suffered a traumatic head injury, organ damage, broken bones or other severe problem.
- Collect Documentation – You, your companion or friend can collect the names and contact information of every party involved in the accident including witnesses who saw what happened. You or others can use your smartphone or camera to take photographs of the vehicles involved, the accident scene, and pictures that capture the current weather and road conditions. Every picture you take could be crucial in proving your case in court that the commercial truck driver was at fault for causing your accident.
- Never Apologize for Anything at the Accident Scene – You may be overwhelmed or in shock in the minutes or first hours after the accident occurred. The chaotic situation and the confusion you experience may make you feel guilty for what happened. However, apologizing and declaring you are responsible for causing the accident when you did not do anything wrong could have a severely negative impact on resolving your compensation case. At some point, you will be required to tell your side of the story. However, at that stage, you should speak only on the advice of your attorney.
- Never Sign Anything – The insurance company providing your compensation may want you to sign an affidavit to receive your monetary recovery. However, without legal advice, you could be signing away all your rights to be compensated or certainly a lesser amount than you deserve.
If I did not cause the commercial truck accident can I sue the truck driver?
More than likely you can sue. In fact, an attorney working on your behalf will identify every party at fault for your injuries. Defendants in your case could include the truck driver, the trucking company, and maybe even the truck manufacturer. Filing suit against multiple defendants could maximize the amount of compensation you can receive to recover the monetary damages you deserve.
Your lawyer may determine that the truck driver received insufficient training, the truck was carrying heavy cargo beyond its capacity, or the load was secured improperly inside the trailer. These negligent actions could cause the commercial vehicle to shift or twist in its lane unexpectedly. The trucking company may be responsible for lack of sufficient maintenance on the vehicle, or the manufacturer might have designed faulty components like defective tires that exploded and caused the accident.
Should I accept the settlement offer from the insurance company?
If you do not have legal representation, the insurance company is likely offering a quick settlement amount to resolve your case. Typically, this amount is significantly inadequate to recover all your damages. The insurance company might be taking advantage of you because they know you are vulnerable after your accident. Hiring an attorney can be beneficial. Your lawyer can conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of the accident and build a case to ensure you receive a fair settlement offer.
Do I have the right to negotiate for more compensation?
Absolutely. The trucker, trucking company, and insurance provider are hoping you accept their first offer. They will neglect to inform you that you have the right to demand more money because you were not at fault for the accident. The claims adjuster is likely counting on your lack of negotiation experience and hoping you will choose to take whatever monetary settlement they offer. Our attorneys can assist you during the negotiation process. We have years of experience in prosecuting cases to ensure our clients are made whole again after suffering injuries in catastrophic trucking accidents.
How will an attorney build my case for compensation?
Your lawyer knows that local, federal and state laws apply to commercial truck drivers. These laws play a crucial role in resolving your personal injury trucking accident lawsuit. Truck drivers are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Your attorney will investigate the even to determine if the truck driver violated any of the following regulations.
- The number of hours the driver could work within a specific timeframe
- The level of training the driver received to ensure they know how to operate the vehicle safely
- The driver's alcohol and drug use history
- The trucker's previous driving history
- The truck and trailers maintenance schedule
In addition to the truck driver following the rules and regulations, the trucking company and maintenance crew are required to follow the law too. In fact, the commercial truck company must maintain a specific level of insurance coverage that protects victims of truck accidents if they sustained injuries or damages.
My loved one died in a trucking accident. Can I sue for compensation?
If you are a surviving family member of a loved one killed in a trucking accident, you likely have the right to seek specific survivor loss benefits including hospital costs, property damages, loss of potential future earnings, funeral and burial expenses and non-tangible damages including payment for pain, suffering, emotional anxiety, and grief.
How much is my Illinois truck accident case worth?
The evidence and circumstances of your trucking accident are unique, as are your injuries and factors involved in your healing process. Our attorneys use a proven formula to determine the value of cases including the amount of compensation previous plaintiffs have received in lawsuits similar to yours. Our law firm will evaluate the severity of your injuries, how long your healing will last, whether you suffered temporary or permanent disabilities, and if you need additional treatment, rehabilitation or surgical procedures in the future.
Our investigators will provide crucial components for proving your case in court. We will determine the insurance coverage by the trucking company, and whether they have sister corporations or umbrella insurance policies that might also be involved in your case. Once we have determined the value of your claim, we can begin the negotiation process with the trucking company and trucker's attorneys to reach an acceptable out of court settlement. If the insurance carriers are unable or unwilling to provide adequate monetary recovery, we will build the case to present the evidence in front of a judge and jury.
Does it take long to resolve the trucking accident case?
On average, most cases do not take too long a time, but neither are they usually resolved quickly. The circumstances surrounding your case is likely different from other cases. It could be settled in as little as three months or take as long as three years.
Can I wait to file my claim for compensation?
Most likely, you cannot. The Illinois statute of limitations restricts the amount of time you must file a claim for compensation before you forfeit your rights forever. However, calculating the deadline based on the statute can be complicated. An attorney working on your behalf will use a range of factors to identify when the date that the statute began in your case to determine when the deadline occurs.
I was visiting Illinois when the accident occurred. Where do I file my compensation case?
Illinois truck accident law is highly complicated. Our Illinois attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of civil tort law and Illinois statutes and can work aggressively on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome. We understand that you cannot be present in the state while your case is being finalized. Our law firm will represent you in your absence while we work to negotiate a settlement after you return to your home state.
How much were you charge to review my case?
Our law firm provides every potential client a no-obligation, initial case consultation at no charge. Call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment. Let our team of attorneys discuss your case, listen to your complaints, and provide numerous legal options on how to ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve.
I do not have enough money to hire an attorney. What should I do?
The truck accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC accept all wrongful death lawsuit, personal injury cases, and injury compensation claims through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones the payment of all our legal services until after we have successfully resolved your case at trial or through a negotiated settlement.
We have successfully prosecuted many truck injury accident cases to ensure our clients receive the financial compensation they deserve. If your loved one was in a trucking accident, we encourage you to contact our personal injury law offices by calling (888) 424-5757 to let us begin working on your case today. We offer a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing for our legal services.
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