Committed Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers Representing Seriously Injured People
The Chicago truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered a serious injury or fatality in an accident with a commercial truck.
Compared to other types of motor vehicle cases, such as car accidents, truck accident cases are more complicated because there may be multiple parties at fault for the incident. Most of these entities are corporations who are experienced defending claims and lawsuits brought against them.
Each Chicago truck accident lawyer from our law firm is well-versed in the federal safety regulations that apply to large truck companies. We have successfully prosecuted cases involving semi-trucks across all corners of Illinois and the Midwest. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has recovered millions of dollars in settlements in trucking cases for our clients. We invite you to put our experience to work for you.
Illinois Highways Associated With Tractor-Trailer Accidents Involving Injuries or Fatalities
With a centralized location and a transportation hub, Illinois roads are ripe for commercial vehicle collisions involving large commercial trucks. In 2017, Illinois Department of Transportation data shows 11,732 incidents involving 1,949 injuries and 107 fatalities involving trucks. Many of these incidents occurred on highways and Interstates where trucks are traveling at high rates of speed as they travel through Illinois on their way to a delivery location in Chicago or other large cities.
Among the most dangerous Illinois highways for large commercial trucks include:
- I-57: Interstate 57 is the longest Interstate in Illinois and is 364 miles long and running from Cairo, IL to Chicago where it merges into I-94. In 2017, 39 people lost their lives on I-57.
- I-55: Interstate 55 is a 313-mile-long Interstate connecting St. Louis to Chicago running from I-64 in East Saint Louis to US-41 (Lake Shore Drive) in Chicago. In 2017, I-55 had 37 fatalities.
- I-80: Running from San Francisco, CA to Teaneck, NJ, there are 163 miles of Interstate 80 within Illinois. The Interstate sees approximately 180,000 people using the roadway each day. According to data, I-80 is the third deadliest highway in Illinois with 26 people dying in commercial truck accidents in 2017.
Jonathan Rosenfeld, Chicago truck accident lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, has helped many truck accident victims receive compensation.
Headquartered in downtown Chicago, our truck accident attorneys know the area well and has experience working on large vehicle accident cases involving some of the integral highways such as: Kingery Expressway (I-80, I-94), Bishop Ford Freeway (I-94), Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90, I-94), Ronald Regan Memorial Tollway (I-88), Edens Expressway (I-94). Regardless of the location of your accident, we will send an attorney or accident investigator to a convenient location for you.
Causes of Chicago Truck Accidents
A review of more than 120,000 big-rig truck crashes involving injuries or fatalities completed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concluded that 87% of crashes were due to driver negligence. Types of driver negligence included:
- Driver fatigue: 13% of truck crash cases involved driver fatigue. FMSCA rules prohibit a truck driver from driving more than 11 hours without a 10-hour break.
- Distraction: Just as driver distraction is a factor in car accidents, approximately 17% of truck crashes involved driver distraction or inattention to an external factor.
- Driving too fast: Driving too fast does not refer just to speeding, it also refers to driving too fast for the conditions. In 23% of semi-truck cases reviewed, high speed was considered to be a factor.
- Unfamiliarity with the area: Many over-the-road truckers are deployed to all areas of the county to deliver their loads. Not surprisingly, even with the latest navigation systems, drivers frequently find themselves lost on roads that don’t display on maps. 22% of accidents were deemed to have unfamiliarity as a factor in the incident.
- Improper braking or jackknifing: These are substantial factors in many truck claims, with as many as one-third of fatal crashes involving brake issues.
- Drug use: Over the counter, illegal drugs and alcohol use were all factors involved in some of the trucking claims examined. Combined these accounted for 20% of tractor-trailer accidents.
Defective equipment on trucks accounts for about 10% of large commercial vehicle accidents. This can include: maintenance problems, such as worn-out brakes or tires. The remaining 3% of commercial truck crashes were related to environmental factors including inclement weather.
Chicago 18-Wheeler Accident Scenarios Involving Injured or Killed Motorists
There is constant pressure on all parts of the truck industry to deliver goods faster and cheaper. At some point, the most comprehensive safety plans will give in to corporate profitability and safety measures are cut or avoided entirely. Our experienced Chicago trucking injury law firm regularly prosecutes trucking cases involving:
- Rear-end accidents: When trucks follow other vehicles too closely and are unable to stop, a rear-end impact results. Rear-end truck crashes account for 24% of all trucking collisions and account for many fatal truck accident lawsuits in the Chicagoland area.
- Intersection crashes: Because the majority of semi-truck wrecks occur on busy highway and Interstates, intersection impacts are not as common as they are with other passenger vehicles. Just 9% of commercial vehicle injury cases involved an intersection.
- Left-hand-turn accidents: Unlike automobile accident cases, no data is kept related to left-turn 18-wheeler truck collisions. Despite the lack of data, our law firm sees many cases involving turning trucks and serious injury cases.
- Head-on impacts: Again, little data is kept related to head-on trucking collision with other vehicles. As an experienced trucking accident lawyer, we see head-on trucking incidents occurring in areas where road construction is proceeding and where an inattentive driver veers into oncoming traffic.
Seek a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney With Experience Handling Significant Injury & Fatality Cases
After establishing liability on the part of the truck company, the plaintiff (person bringing the lawsuit) has the burden of proving their damages. In cases involving a substantial injury, expert testimony may be needed from treating physicians and expert witnesses to establish the causal relationship between the accident and your injures. Most courts also require opinions as to permanency to be rendered by a qualified expert. If you have questions about your injuries and how they may impact your case, contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer at our office for a complimentary case evaluation.
Many of our current and former clients have sustained the following injuries related to Illinois truck accidents.
- Back and neck injuries, including herniated discs
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injury to organs
- Joint injuries such as the knee, hip, and shoulder
Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers A truck accident lawsuit can be a trying time for anyone involved. The accident may have caused considerable physical and mental pain to your already. The last thing you need is to be tied up by a convoluted court hearing process. If you go with the legal experts at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, you can at least rest easy knowing that they are backed by years of experience. They have successfully represented the rights of many clients in the Chicago area. If you entrust your case to them, they will dedicate their time to ensuring that you get any compensation that you deserve. Basics of a truck accident lawsuit: Few people realize just how many accidents occur on the road each year. It is estimated that 10 million will occur across the United States in any given year. Truck drivers are actually statistically more likely to be involved in an accident on the highway than typical car drivers. To make matters worse, the accidents involving trucks may be more deadly and injurious. No matter what the circumstances were, you will want to get a truck accidnet attorney as soon as possible. They can help determine what kind of compensation you may be eligible to receive due to the accident.
How We use State & Federal Laws to Establish Negligence in Personal Lawsuits Against Truck Companies
When pursuing a Chicago commercial vehicle lawsuit for personal injuries, you must establish that the party that you are suing acted negligently. Then you must demonstrate how that negligence caused your injuries. “Negligence” is a relatively subjective term. It basically means unreasonable conduct. In this sense, we rely on experts in the field of trucking and logistics to articulate what the specific acts of negligence are with each defendant.
In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has codified almost every aspect of the trucking industry into Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These are laws truck operators must comply with and apply to truck lawsuits filed in Cook County Circuit Court or in United States Federal Court Northern District of Illinois. Amongst the Federal Regulations, below are some that commonly arise in semi-truck litigation.
- Driver drug and alcohol testing
- Limits on driver hours worked
- Vehicle marking
- Vehicle maintenance
- Insurance for trucks
- Loading procedures and securing the loads
- Weight restrictions
Investigation Necessary to Prepare 18-Wheeler Accident Cases for Settlement & Trial
If you have been injured in a truck accident in the Chicagoland area, the team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC will be by your side. We regularly work with accident investigators, re-constructionists, and other professionals to gather the evidence needed to win a case. Here are some of the efforts we take to prove our clients’ trucking cases
- Taking sworn statements from parties and witnesses
- Ordering police and investigative reports
- Reviewing video camera footage
- Studying the sequence of traffic control devices
- Analyzing data from black-box recorders
Collecting this information as soon as feasible after a crash can provide valuable information that can be used during all phases of settlement negotiations.
Illinois Truck Accident Injury Law FAQs
What Parties may be Responsible in a Trucking Accident Involving Injuries or a Fatality?
- The truck driver.
- The truck driver’s employer.
- The entity that owns the trailer.
- Any vendor or party that worked on or for the truck or trailer including repair shops.
- The maker or seller of the truck or trailer.
Every new defendant opens up a new spring for recovery including insurance party. Plus, if the truck accident caused death or serious injury, your attorney will need to determine all possible defendants and categories of recovery before it is too late.
What Makes Truck Accident Cases Different from Other Types of Motor Vehicle Crashes?
Truck accident cases differ from other kinds of motor vehicle accidents because the laws surrounding them. Trucking is a business, more so than regular automobile traffic. Plus, trucks present greater dangers due to the size and speed at which they move. Thus, the federal government and many state governments have passed various laws (including The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act) related to the trucking industry.
These statutes cover everything from insurance coverage to trucker background verification. They touch upon common trucking issues like truck weight and driving under the influence but also other things you might not be familiar with. When accidents and lawsuits arise, these laws govern. It is important to work through them with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer to discern the complicated and unique legal issues that will arise in a truck crash case.
How Long do I Have to File a Lawsuit for Personal Injuries or Wrongful Death Related to a Truck Accident?
Plaintiffs have two years to file a lawsuit after an accident in Illinois if they sue for negligence related to personal injury or wrongful death. 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Most plaintiffs sue for negligence. It means the defendant acted unreasonably and caused the crash as well as the plaintiff’s damages.
Plaintiffs have years two years as well to make a products liability claim following a trucking crash. 735 ILCS 5/13-213. In that scenario, claimants must show that a defective product (such as a tire) let to a crash and injury after being used reasonably and foreseeably. In order to determine the applicable statute of limitations in your situation, it is best to consult with one of our experienced Chicago truck accident attorneys
How Long Will it Take to Settle a Chicago Truck Accident Case?
It may take a few months to even a couple of years to settle a truck accident case filed in Cook County Circuit Court. There are a number of reasons for why this process takes so long. Identifying the facts and party at fault can be quite cumbersome. Then, understanding the laws of Illinois that give right to recovery and what that recovery may be can test even the smartest lawyers.
Finally, convincing the defendant of your ability to win at trial and by how much will prove tricky. This assumes settlement arises. If the matter goes to trial, it can last another year or two. Therefore, truck accident victims in Illinois should move swiftly and consider contacting an attorney as soon as feasible.
How Much is my Case Worth?
Illinois truck cases average much more than other automobile or pedestrian crashes. They fetch more for several reasons. First, trucks are much larger than other vehicles and can do more damage. Second, trucking is a business and this commercial aspect allows for greater recovery. Third, truck accident victims face more severe injuries and life-long effects.
With that being said, what your truck accident case may be worth depends on your individual damages. How were you harmed? Plaintiffs seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses both of which are recognized under Illinois. Here are some common categories of damages for which you might recover.
- Medical bills.
- Lost wages.
- Property damage.
- Emotional trauma.
- Past and future medical care.
- Pain, suffering.
- Loss of normal life.
- Punitive damages.
- Wrongful death (lost companionship, funeral/burial expenses, etc.)
To get a firm sense on what exactly what your case may be worth, speak with an experienced truck injury lawyer today.
What Compensation can Plaintiffs in Illinois Seek for a Chicago Truck Accident Case?
Illinois recognizes the right of an injured person to obtain economic and non-economic damages like these.
- Medical Costs: This includes all expenses for past and future medical care, such as ambulance, emergency room, hospital care, surgery, and physical therapy costs, assistive medical devices, and prescription medications.
- Wages: You may recover your lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working following a truck crash. If you are not capable of returning to your profession due to limitations imposed by your injuries, you may recover future lost wages for the remainder of your working life.
- Pain and Suffering: Though this is difficult to quantify, you may recover financial compensation for pain that you endured following an accident as well as the pain that you will likely endure for the rest of your life.
If the crash resulted in a fatality, the family of the deceased may recover compensation for the loss of financial support as well as the intangible loss they will experience due to the death. Sometimes the intangible losses include the loss of society or loss of consortium, depending on the context. Consult an experienced wrongful death attorney to discover what avenues of recovery you can pursue.
What are Some Examples of Truck Accident Injury Settlements?
$335,000 SETTLEMENT; TRUCK ACCIDENT; ILLINOIS.
Here, the plaintiff was backing up his car in a suburban town. He did not spot a truck directly behind him. They crashed into each other. The plaintiff was hurt badly. He herniated his disc at the C6 point. That left him with lots of bills, pain, and even disability. There were actually two defendants in this lawsuit. The first was the actual truck driver. The other was DHL. DHL oversaw the dock where the accident happened. It tried to put the blame squarely on the driver. Yet, it did not want to test its theories in court. DHL settled for $135,000. The trucker gave $200,000 to the plaintiff.
$1,100,000 SETTLEMENT; TRUCK ACCIDENT; MISSOURI.
This was not a normal truck accident case. The plaintiff worked for Consolidated Trucking. His truck clipped the back of a car and swung around over ditch. As he tried to leave his vehicle, another truck came flying into the back of his. That crash sent him over a ditch, nearly fifty feet downwards. The man fractured several bones. He sued the other trucker. He also sued that trucker’s boss. He claimed negligence. He sought damages for pain, bills, and lost wages. Since the defendant was speeding and on the road too long, it made the plaintiff’s own errors less relevant. The defendants recognized as much when they offered to settle. The plaintiff received the figure listed above for his losses.
$10,900,000 SETTLEMENT; TRUCK ACCIDENT; ILLINOIS.
Here, a trucker crashed into a state trooper on the side of the road in the north suburbs of Chicago. After the accident, a fire erupted and the cop lost his life. His new wife survived him. She sued the trucking company (UVL) for wrongful death. Apparently, the trucker had been on the road too long. Also, he made no effort to avoid the accident. Similarly, the defendants could not make a real effort to avoid civil liability. When they settled just about one year later (a short time for this kind of case), they realized their legal options were limited. The woman recovered over $10 million.
$22,520,000 JURY AWARD; TRUCK ACCIDENT; ILLINOIS.
In this case, a young woman brought a wrongful death lawsuit. She did so after her husband was struck and killed while repaving roads on the Illinois tollway. An Overnite trucker slammed into the deceased man’s vehicle and that collision left him dead. The surviving wife was carrying child when the incident occurred. The complaint also listed negligence as a contributing factor. The trucking company pointed the finger at other parties. In the end, a jury decided these attempts were in vain. It saddled the transportation company with an 8-figure judgment.
$18,500,000 JURY AWARD; TRUCK ACCIDENT; INDIANA.
This 18-wheeler accident happened on I-74 in Indiana. A Werner truck slammed right into the plaintiff head-on. The man’s car was sent flying across the road. He sustained major brain damage and required medical attention for the rest of his life. He could no longer work or play the same way again. He sued Werner and the trucker. Both refused to settle. The matter went to trial. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff. It ruled that the defendants were completely at fault. The plaintiff recovered one of the largest trucking accident verdicts in state history.
Corporate Defendants: How Trucking Cases Differ From Other Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
Perhaps you or a friend was involved in an automobile accident at some point in the past. Perhaps you submitted some medical bills to an insurance adjuster for an emergency room visit and some physical therapy and then negotiated a settlement?
While there may appear to be similarities been auto cases and truck cases, after the fact that they are motorized vehicles, the similarities end quickly when you look at the corporate entities involved in commercial truck cases. These entities want to grow their business and their profits. Looking after an injured party is an afterthought.
The business of trucking is a huge industry with 71% of all U.S. freight tonnage shipped via truck. Collectively, trucking companies account for over $800 billion dollars in sales annually. In order to satisfy the insatiable demand for the rapid delivery of goods by business and consumers, large truck companies have fleets of trucks that are ever-present on highways and roads.
Below are some of the largest trucking companies in the U.S.
Large Companies Encountered Chicago Truck Accident Cases
|Physical Address||Vehicles||Drivers||Fatalities||Injuries||USDOT Number||2018 Revenue|
|Fed Ex Freight 2200 Forward Drive Harrison, AR 72601||19,245||22,370||26||265||239039||$7352 million|
|Old Dominion 500 Old Dominion Way Thomasville, NC 27360||9798||10974||21||194||90849||$3983 million|
|XPO Logistics 11215 North Community House Road Charlotte, NC 28277||1888||1888||6||59||688143||$3830 million|
|YRC Freight 10990 Roe Avenue Overland Park, KS 66211||7422||10691||13||170||71821||$3153 million|
|Estes Express Lines 3901 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23230||7101||7503||0||0||121018||$2787 million|
|UPS Freight 1000 Semmes Avenue Richmond, VA 23218||7077||10805||20||174||121058||$2706 million|
|ABF Freight 3801 Old Greenwood Road Fort Smith, AR 72903||4243||7229||9||93||82866||$2128 million|
|R & L Carriers||$1692 million|
|Saia Motor Freight Line 11465 Johns Creek Parkway Suite 400 Johns Creek, FA 30097||5044||5221||7||104||29124||$1654 million|
|Southeastern Freight 420 Davega Road Lexington, SC 29073||3143||4193||7||88||63419||$1237 million|
|Holland 700 South Waverly Holland, MI 49423||4286||6049||7||109||75806||$1178 million|
|Averitt Express 1415 Neal Street Cookeville, TN 38502||5046||6677||8||128||36684||$891 million|
|Central Transport International 12225 Stephens Road Warren, MI 48089||3329||3152||7||111||661173||$825 million|
|Forward Air 6800 Port Road Froveport, OH 43125||1833||1963||2||31||728630||$748 million|
|Dayton Freight Lines 6450 Poe Avenue Suite 311 Dayton, OH 45414||1844||2292||2||33||273301||$659 million|