Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
BBB Accredited Business

Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Committed to Protecting Your Future

Have You Been Injured in an Accident Involving a Truck?

Considering that you are on this page, chances are you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a large commercial truck, resulting in serious injuries.

You have sustained a personal injury and are seeking help with your accident claim in the State of Illinois, aiming to get the maximum financial compensation allowed under the law for your truck accident injuries.

The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to helping you recover the maximum compensation available for your personal injuries under Illinois law.

We can also assist you in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a loved one in a semi-truck crash. Let our team help you with your recovery.

Our truck accident lawyers invite you to contact our law firm today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options directly with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Get the Right Truck Accident Lawyers on your side to Help Take on the Corporations Behind Commercial Carriers

You are understandably overwhelmed with the complexities of your commercial vehicle accident claim and need help with your personal injury case from experienced truck accident attorneys.

Compared to other types of collisions such as car accidents, truck accidents are more complicated due to the commercial context of logistics and the insurance companies who defend them.

There are usually multiple parties at fault when truck crashes involve passenger cars and SUVs.

What's more, most of these entities are corporations that are well-experienced in defending claims and truck accident lawsuits brought against them for personal injury or wrongful death.

Chicago truck accident lawyer

When Is a Semi-Truck Considered "Unsafe"?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), federal hours of service regulations apply to any truck company where truck drivers work up to 11 hours per day at the steering wheel based on a strict schedule of operations.

These trucking laws mandate that drivers cannot be on duty for more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive off-duty hours. The punishments for violating these rules include fines, license suspension or revocation, and even jail time.

Truck drivers are also required to take certain breaks during their working day, which prohibits them from driving if they have been on duty for a certain number of consecutive hours.

Every truck company must also comply with a state’s laws and highway safety regulations, which cover its truck drivers' qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and insurance requirements.

Therefore, it is important to contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer who has experience handling commercial truck accident claims against various carriers.

We Have the Perfect Solution for You

The trucking accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have years of experience assisting individuals and families navigate the legal system to move past their injuries and get their lives back in order.

By using our services, each client has 24/7 access to dedicated Chicago trucking accident lawyers, who are committed to communicating with you throughout your legal proceedings.

Furthermore, we handle claims involving tractor-trailers on a contingency fee basis, which means we only receive a fee for our work when we are successful in obtaining a settlement or verdict on your behalf.

Get a free consultation without delay.

What to Do If You Hit a Semi-Truck on the Highway or Interstate

While many states have separate laws for automobile collisions and semi-truck accidents, Illinois is one of five “home rule” states which means that local communities can pass their own traffic rules as long as they do not directly conflict with state laws.

In Chicago, all interstate trucking companies must register with the Illinois Commerce Commission and have a valid safety permit in order to operate on interstate highways.

If you are in an accident with a commercial truck, it is important that you follow these steps:

  • Call the police immediately and report the truck accident
  • Call your insurance company for help investigating the claim
  • If possible, get the truck driver’s license number, name, phone number, and insurance information
  • Get information from all parties involved if multiple vehicles were in the truck/car accident
  • Do not admit fault for the truck accident or apologize to the truck driver even if they hit you
  • Make sure that the truck company contacts your insurance carrier once they are notified of an accident
  • Seek medical treatment even if you do not suspect your injuries are serious

We Handle Your Tractor-Trailer Truck Accident Case While You Focus on Your Recovery

When you work with one of our Chicago, Illinois truck accident lawyers, you can rest assured that you are working with a professional who is familiar with your case, understands the law, and has your best interests in mind.

Our law offices are well-versed in the Federal Safety Regulations that apply to large trucking companies and have achieved successful settlements for cases just like yours by demonstrating that the violation of these regulations contributed to the crash.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has successfully prosecuted cases involving semi-trucks across Illinois and the Midwest, recovering millions of dollars in settlements in commercial vehicle collisions for our clients.

It is no small achievement, given that most large commercial transportation operations are expecting cases like yours and know how to protect themselves from your legal action against them.

Your truck accident lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will be on hand to help you navigate the ins and out's of your case so that you can focus on recovering from the physical and emotional trauma incurred by your trucking accident.

Chicago truck accident attorney

We've Seen This Before, and Know What to Do to Help Truck Accident Victims

With our law offices headquartered in downtown Chicago, Illinois, our truck accident attorneys know the area well and have experience working on large vehicle accident cases involving integral Illinois highways such as Kingery Expressway (I-80, I-94), Bishop Ford Freeway (I-94), Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90, I-94), Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), and Eden's Expressway (I-94).

While these are common locations for semi-truck accidents, we know what to look for regardless of the location of your accident.

Our personal accident lawyers have seen it all in terms of the causes of truck accidents.

While most truck cases stem from truck driver error and driver fatigue similar to car accidents, our law firm consistently sees people seriously hurt in trucking accidents involving:

Our current and former clients have been involved in commercial vehicle accidents involving severe injuries such as:

Frequent Causes of Truck Accidents in the Chicago, Illinois Area

Just as with car accidents involving passenger vehicles, truck accidents can involve almost an infinite number of causes.

Our trucking accident lawyers regularly represent people injured in truck accident cases due to common causes such as poor road conditions, improper truck maintenance, truck driver fatigue, driver error, and poor training.

Some of the large truck accidents involving truck driver's negligence are seen in trucks rollovers, rear-end collisions, jackknives, and undercarriage accidents.

truck accident causes

Examples of Truck Accident Settlements

Our truck accident lawyers have worked on a variety of complex commercial semi-truck matters– and won.

Below are some examples of settlements and truck accident claims we have won for our clients, lightening their load and their medical expenses while they focus on recovering.

If you have questions about a trucking accident, contact our office for a consultation with one of our experienced truck crash attorneys.

  • $1,400,000: Rear-end truck crash resulting in plaintiff needing back surgery. The lawsuit was filed in Cook County, IL.
  • $1,250,000: A commercial truck driver rear-ended by a large truck. Plaintiff had herniated disks in his back and underwent two surgeries. Both truck drivers and their trucking companies agreed to a negotiated settlement resolved in DuPage County.
  • $1,100,000: A couple was injured while riding in the passenger seat of their friend's car when it was struck by a large truck. Both clients had spinal injuries and needed surgery. A lawsuit was filed in Cook County and involved other vehicles.
  • $1,025,000: A young woman was injured when she made a left turn in front of an 18 wheeler on Cicero Avenue between Fullerton and Damen Avenues. The truck accident victim filed suit against the truck driver and his trucking company. The case has not yet been resolved.
  • $750,000: Loading dock accident involving a trucker crushed by a forklift. The lawsuit was filed in Kane County.
  • $750,000: Sideswipe collision on the highway involving a national trucking company involved in a collision on a highway in Chicago, IL.
  • $720,000: Police reports indicate that a 47-year-old man suffered a herniated disc in his back from a tractor-trailer accident. Settlement at mediation in Winnebago County.
  • $616,772: Settlement for four friends injured by a large truck going through a red light at an intersection in Aurora, IL, at high speed.
  • $500,000: A garbage truck accident settlement for clients injured by the garbage truck following an Illinois State Trooper crash on I-55 in Rock Island County resulted in a negotiated settlement. This crash was one of two truck accidents happening on the freeway within one mile of each other.

Four Things Know About Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases

Our legal team is familiar with the intricacies of cases involving truck companies, as they remain a core part of our law firm practice. We have some helpful information to improve your understanding of the legal context of your claim.

If you need more information about trucking accident cases, contact our firm for a free initial consultation.

  • You carry the burden of proof: After establishing the liability of the trucking company, you (the person bringing the lawsuit) have the burden of proving liability and damages. You need to demonstrate that the truck driver's negligence caused the crash and your injuries. In truck crash cases involving substantial damages, expert testimony may be needed from treating physicians and expert witnesses to establish the causal relationship between the collision and your truck/car accident injuries. Most courts also require opinions from qualified experts regarding the permanency of your medical condition and that your medical bills are reasonable and necessary.
  • You are up against commercial entities: If your case involves an incident with a commercial vehicle operated by a corporation, recognize that these companies and their insurers are skilled at investigating and fighting claims like yours and know how to do so quickly and cheaply. Consult with our experienced Chicago truck accident lawyers before talking to the insurance company.
  • Your truck claim could be covered by worker's comp: Depending on the employment status of the truck driver, they might have legal rights for filing a worker's comp case or a claim against the party who caused or contributed to the collision or unsafe condition. Rosenfeld Law represents injured truck drivers to secure the best outcome for your case from all responsible parties.

Permanent Disabilities from a Catastrophic Truck Accident

In some cases, injured victims suffer catastrophic traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, or other debilitating permanent condition.

As a part of the negotiation process, the truck accident attorney working on behalf of the injured client may seek lifelong compensation to deal with the compromise condition caused by a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage.

These types of case resolutions involve extensive negotiations between the injured victim's lawyer and the insurance company. The goal of these negotiations is to try and reach a settlement that is beneficial for both parties. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will likely go to trial.

Contributing factors used to determine the lawsuit's value involving a permanent disability include:

  • Home renovations to accommodate a new disability
  • A transportation van
  • The need for full-time around the clock caregivers
  • Lost past and future earnings
  • Lifetime medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering

The Impact a Truck Accident Has on the Injured Victim's Life

A truck accident can have a profound impact on the injured victim's life. In some cases, the injuries suffered are so severe that the victim is unable to return to work or support their family.

The immediate changes can be a devastating turn of events for the victim and their family. If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to speak with a reputable truck accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

What to Do if You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident in the Chicago Area

If you have been involved in an incident with a semi, you need to begin the claims process as soon as possible. It may be difficult if you are badly injured, so you may need help from a friend or family member.

  • Report the crash to the police: The first thing you should do is report the incident from the accident scene and obtain a police report. Remember to relay the facts as you remember them and avoid embellishing the occurrence with your own opinions.
  • Document the crash scene: To the extent that you are able, make sure that you document the scene of the crash. It means that you take pictures of the scene and get contact information of those who may be possible witnesses to the collision. Take note of the trucking company name on the vehicle, its registration number, and any contact details you can find. If you are unable to document the crash, try to contact a truck accident attorney who can come and document the accident scene for you.
  • Report the incident to your insurer: It is very important to report the crash to your insurance company. It will begin the process of starting your claim. It will ensure that your insurance company is informed of what happened and won't learn about it first from the truck driver's insurance company.
  • Hire a Chicago truck accident lawyer: You should look at obtaining legal representation because actions that you take in the immediate aftermath of a collision may determine whether you are able to receive a settlement.

The State Statute of Limitations for Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit

Every state, including Illinois, has enacted statute of limitation laws that restrict the length of time that any injured victim suffering damages can file a claim or lawsuit for compensation.

The statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit in Illinois is two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years, you will likely be unable to receive any compensation for your injuries.

Typically, failing to file a truck accident lawsuit within the two-year window will prevent you from being able to collect any damages. However, the are extenuating circumstances in some cases that might extend the time limit past the deadline.

If you are injured in a truck accident, it is important to speak with a passionate lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your case is filed within the appropriate time frame.

How an Investigator Conducts a Truck Accident Investigation

Within the first few moments, hours, or days after a truck accident, the insurance company will typically higher a professional investigator to determine what caused the crash. In a typical car accident colliding with a large semi-truck, the auto insurance company will likely send an investigator too.

The investigation typically begins at the accident scene, where investigators try to determine what happened. They will look at the damage to the vehicles, the road conditions, and any skid marks to try and figure out what happened. If they are not able to determine what happened at the scene, they will often interview witnesses and the drivers involved.

In some cases, the investigators will also look at the truck's black box to try and determine what happened. The black box is a data recorder that tracks things like the speed of the truck, the braking, and other information. This can be helpful in determining what happened, but it is not always available.

The FMCSA and NHTSA Data and Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) primary requires all trucker qualification documents to be on file. This data includes detailed information about the trucker's driving history, safety records, health records, and medical test results.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) might have also been involved in investigating the crash, maintaining accident reports as a part of a federal formal investigation.

After the investigators have gathered all of the information they can, they will compile a report detailing what they believe happened. This report will be used by the insurance companies to help them determine who is at fault and how much to pay out in damages.

Truck Accident Cases in Focus

You are not alone in your position as the party hurt as a result of a truck crash in Chicago, IL.

  • According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), 14% of people involved in Illinois trucking accidents are injured.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) concluded that approximately 87% of truck crashes are due to truck drivers' negligence.
  • Defective equipment on trucks accounts for about 10% of large tractor-trailer accidents.

Our injury attorneys proudly represent injured commercial truck drivers across the Midwest.

Semi truck accident injury lawyer

Dealing with Truck Crash Insurance Problems

Giving a Statement

Nearly immediately, an insurance adjuster working on that the defendant's behalf will want to statement from all parties involved in the collision. Nearly all injured victims want to tell somebody what happened. However, it is crucial to protect your legal rights.

Most insurance adjusters are trained on how to show their concern for the victim's well-being. However, they work for the insurance carrier, who has a vested interest and generating profits, typically at the victim's expense. Insurers and adjusters have the ultimate goal to protect the company's interests and not yours.

We recommend that all accident victims not agree to sign any document or give a verbal statement about what occurred without first speaking with a competent truck accident lawyer.

Considering the First Insurance Settlement Offer

Within days, long before you are truly aware of the actual value of your case, the trucking company's insurance carrier will provide an initial settlement offer that is usually based on the lowest reasonable financial amount.

Unfortunately, the amount they offer is typically significantly lower than what will be required for all the lifelong expenses, costs, and bills generated by your injuries. In many cases, the injured victim or surviving family members have just lost weekly or biweekly income because of life-altering changes or the fatality caused by the commercial 18-wheeler, truck, or van.

Instead, our legal team recommends allowing us to secure maximum compensation on your behalf to ensure that all your economic (medical bills, lost earnings, etc.) and all your non-economic damages (pain, suffering, grief, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, etc.) are obtained.

Multiple Defendants

Experiencing a truck accident usually involves multiple vehicles that could include additional trucks, passenger cars, SUVs, motorcycles, bicycles, or pickup trucks. In these cases, there are likely multiple defendants involved, and multiple claims (lawsuits) for additional compensation. A truck accident attorney working on your be will include all potential defendants in a complex lawsuit to ensure that each is held liable for their part in causing the crash.

Resolving the Case

Most truck accident cases are complex, taking significant time to resolve. Sometimes the defendants will offer a settlement, but this is often far less than the injured victim case's value.

A qualified truck accident lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement or take the case to trial if necessary. Most times, the case will be resolved in stages where one defendant offers an acceptable financial amount before the other parties at fault are ready to settle.

Our attorneys have years of negotiating experience and are here to ensure you get all the compensation you are entitled to receive. Our personal injury law firm understands many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with the insurance companies to resolve a truck accident claim.

Commercial Truck Accident FAQs

Our personal injury law firm understands many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with the insurance companies to resolve a truck accident claim. Below are some questions raised by semi-truck accident victims related to their personal injury cases.

Of course, should you have further questions about truck accidents, we welcome you to contact an experienced accident lawyer from our law office at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation or immediate legal advice.

Should I Hire a Trucking Accident Lawyer for My Case?

Yes. Because semi-truck crashes differ from passenger car accidents, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to protect your legal rights. There are more legal considerations arising from a tractor-trailer accident because there is a trucking company involved with substantial assets and the manpower to defend accident injury cases.

Trucking is also a heavily regulated industry with many intricacies. The nature of large truck accidents also means there is likely to be much more damage than in a standard car accident. You should hire a personal injury lawyer who understands the complexities of an accident involving tractor-trailers.

Additionally, your truck accident lawyer will understand how trucking companies commonly defend their interests and will be prepared to fight against the common tactics and strategies used to defend these claims, such as:

  • Claiming you (the plaintiff) were at fault
  • Blaming another third party/unidentified driver
  • Claiming your care, rehab, or treatment medical expenses are exaggerated
  • Claiming no one is at fault
  • Arguing that driving conditions were at unfavorable

From the time our law office is retained after a tractor-trailer crash involving a serious injury (or fatal truck accident), we begin the process of collecting evidence to help determine liability and damages in your case.

In many big rig cases, we retain experts in the trucking industry to help preserve evidence and determine potentially liable parties. We may also secure accident reconstruction professionals to protect our client's legal rights.

How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Plaintiffs have two years to file a lawsuit after an accident in Illinois. It applies to suing for negligence as well as making a products liability claim following a trucking crash (where the claimant must show that a defective product such as a tire led to a crash).

In the case of a fatal semi-truck accident, the family of the deceased also has two years to file a claim for their loss.

How Long Will It Take to Settle a Truck Accident Case?

It will likely take a few months to even a couple of years to settle a semi-truck accident claim filed in Cook County, IL Circuit Court, depending on the claim and whether it goes to trial.

Much of the time frame for settlement will be dependent upon the liability aspects and severity of your medical condition.

Our attorneys are mindful that many of our clients are eager to resolve their claims and work diligently to position your claim for a fair settlement as soon as feasible.

How Much is My Truck Accident Case Worth?

Trucking accident claims average much more than other automobile or pedestrian crashes for several reasons.

  • First, commercial trucks are much larger than delivery trucks and other vehicles and can do more damage.
  • Second, trucking is a business, and this commercial aspect allows for greater recovery.
  • Third, tractor-trailer accident victims generally face more severe injuries and lifelong consequences.

However, the value of your claim depends on your individual damages and what you are trying to recover.

An injured person has the right to obtain economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, along with non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and punitive damages in the situation of extreme recklessness.

If the crash resulted in a fatality, the family of the deceased could recover compensation for the loss of financial support (lost wages) as well as the intangible loss they will experience due to the death.

Our tractor-trailer accident attorneys can assist with pursuing a fatality claim against the negligent parties under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.

What Parties Can Be Responsible in a Trucking Crash Involving Serious Injuries or a Fatality?

After a basic passenger vehicle crash, it can be quite easy to determine responsibility. The other driver will normally carry most of the fault. However, semi incidents trigger different legal and business issues.

To be concise, anyone’s unreasonable conduct that contributed to your damages (economic or non-economic) can be found liable in court, such as:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The entity that owns the trailer
  • Any vendor or party that worked on or for the vehicle or trailer, including repair shops
  • The truck manufacturer

In many cases, truck manufacturers sell their products with substandard components, including faulty brakes or defective tires. In many cases, the insurance adjusters overlook the actual cause of the accident when large commercial semi-trucks crash into passenger cars.

When you retain Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, you can rest assured that all potentially liable parties will be closely examined to determine if their negligence caused the crash and if there were violations of state and federal regulations applicable to the trucking industry.

What Are My Legal Rights if I am a Truck Driver Hurt in a Crash or on the Job?

If you are a truck driver employed by a commercial trucking venture and you get hurt while on the job, you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim.

It applies regardless of the level of fault you or your employer carries, as long as your employer is part of a state’s workers’ compensation program.

If you are a truck driver classified as an independent contractor, you may still be eligible.

As an injured commercial driver, you also have the right to file an accident injury claim against a responsible third party, such as other motorists or entities who are not your direct employer.

What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Crashes?

Any truck accident can cause severe injuries and fatalities. While there are many factors that can contribute to these accidents, knowing the most common causes can help you be more aware and avoid them. Here are some of the most common causes of truck accidents:

  • Driver error or negligence
  • Poor driving skills
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Weather conditions
  • Drunk driving
  • Unsafe loads
  • Fatigue among truck drivers
  • Road hazards
  • Driver fatigue
  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Defective equipment/parts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are around 4,000 fatalities each year as a result of a truck accident. Many of these crashes result from a truck company pushing its drivers to meet tight delivery deadlines.

VIEW MORE TRUCK CRASH FAQS

Begin the Legal Process Today. Our Chicago Trucking Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help You.

We invite you to connect with our law firm today for a free case evaluation with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer.

Our personal injury lawyers are available to discuss the prospects of your case and can guide you on the way forward.

All our law practice areas involving tractor-trailer accident and personal injury lawsuits involving large commercial vehicles are handled on a contingency fee basis. This guarantee ensures that we only receive a fee for our work from a client when we are successful in obtaining a settlement or verdict on their behalf.

Contact our law firm for a no-obligation, free case evaluation in the Chicago area.

Resources:

Click Here to View More Related Topics
Personal Injury News & Developments - Truck Accidents
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
★★★★★
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 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
★★★★★
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