Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer
Were you or a loved one involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a large commercial truck, resulting in traumatic injuries?
Have you sustained an injury and are seeking help with your Chicago truck accident lawsuit in Illinois, aiming to get the maximum financial compensation allowed under Illinois 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 collision. Let a Chicago truck accident attorney help you with your recovery.
Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation. Discuss your legal rights and options directly with an experienced Chicago trucking accident attorney.
Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
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 accidents involve passenger cars and SUVs.
Most of these entities are corporations that are well-experienced in defending claims and truck/car accident lawsuits brought against them for an injury or wrongful death.
When Large Trucks are Considered "Unsafe"
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), federal hours of service regulations apply to any trucking 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 truck drivers cannot be on duty for more than 11 hours after ten 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 trucking company must also comply with a state's laws and highway safety regulations, which cover its truck drivers' qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and insurance company requirements.
It is important to contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer who has experience handling commercial vehicle accident claims against various carriers.
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 to operate on interstate highways.
If you are in an accident with a large truck, you must follow these steps:
- Call the police immediately and report the truck accident
- Call your insurance for help investigating the personal injury 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
- Make sure that the trucking company contacts your insurance carrier once they are notified of an accident
- Seek medical treatment even if you do not suspect your truck accident 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 personal injury 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. We have achieved successful settlements for truck accident cases like yours by demonstrating that the violation of these regulations contributed to the crash.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC has successfully prosecuted cases involving semi-tractor-trailers across Illinois and the Midwest, recovering millions of dollars in settlements in commercial vehicle collisions for our clients.
Your semi-truck accident lawyer from our law office will help you navigate your case's ins and outs so that you can focus on recovering from the physical and emotional trauma incurred by your trucking accident.
We 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)
- 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 regarding the causes of trucking accidents.
While most truck cases stem from truck driver error and driver fatigue similar to car accidents, our legal firm consistently sees people seriously hurt in trucking accidents involving:
- Rear-end accidents
- Intersection impacts
- Left-hand-turn accidents
- Head-on impacts
- Rollover accidents
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Poor road maintenance
- Vehicles making an illegal turn into your path
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Commercial trucks running red lights or stop signs
Our current and former clients have been involved in commercial vehicle accidents involving severe injuries, such as:
- Back and neck injuries, including herniated discs
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal damage to organs
- Joint damage to areas such as the knee, hip, and shoulder
- Fatal truck accidents
- Other traumatic injuries
Frequent Causes of Truck Accidents in the Chicago, Illinois Area
Just as with car accidents colliding with other passenger vehicles, accidents involving semi-trucks can involve almost infinite causes.
Many victims are harmed by poor road conditions, improper truck maintenance, truck driver fatigue, driver error, and poor training.
Some large semi-truck accidents involving trucker negligence result in rollovers, rear-end collisions, jackknives, and undercarriage accidents.
Things to Know About Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases
Our legal team is familiar with the intricacies of cases involving trucking companies, as they remain a core part of our law practice. We have some helpful information to improve your understanding of the legal context of your claim.
Contact our firm for a free initial consultation if you need more information about trucking accident cases.
- You carry the burden of proof: After establishing the trucking company's liability, you (the person bringing the lawsuit) have the burden of proving liability and damages. You must demonstrate that the truck driver's negligence caused the crash and your injuries.
In truck crash cases involving substantial damages, expert testimony from treating physicians and expert witnesses may be needed to establish the causal relationship between the collision and your truck/car accident injuries.
- 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 an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney before talking to the insurance agency.
- Worker's comp could cover your truck claim: Depending on the trucker's employment status, they might have legal rights to file a worker's comp case or a claim against the party who caused or contributed to the collision or unsafe condition.
Filing a Chicago truck accident lawsuit may be necessary if the trucking company fails to settle a compensation claim. If this scenario occurs, hiring an experienced lawyer to handle the case is essential to maximize the chances of obtaining the compensation owed.
Trucking companies are often well-funded, with legal teams devoted to defending any claims brought against them, and often employ tactics to delay or reduce award amounts. In addition, filing a lawsuit may be necessary to access certain types of evidence needed for building a strong case, such as information from a black box recorder or other stored data inside the vehicle.
Holding negligent companies accountable can prevent further negligence or dangerous behavior from occurring in the future. A strong legal case can motivate insurers and trucking companies to take stricter measures when it comes to safety protocols on roadways, preventing similar accidents from happening in the future.
Permanent Disabilities from A Catastrophic Truck Accident
In some cases, injured victims suffer catastrophic traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, 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 compromised condition caused by a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage.
Contributing factors used to determine the lawsuit's value involving a permanent disability in trucking accidents 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 profoundly impact the injured victim's life. In some cases, the injuries are so severe that the victim cannot return to work or support their family.
The immediate changes can be devastating events for the victim and their family. If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is important to speak with a reputable semi-truck accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What to Do if You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident
If you have been involved in an incident with a semi, you must begin the claims process as soon as possible.
- Report the crash to the police: First, you should 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 you can, make sure you document the scene. It means that you take pictures of the scene and get contact information of those who may be possible witnesses to the collision.
- Report the incident to your insurer: It is important to report the crash to your insurance company. It will begin the process of starting your personal injury 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 Chicago truck accident lawyers: You should seek legal representation because actions you take in the immediate aftermath of a collision may determine whether you can receive a settlement.
Truck Accident Cases Statistics
You are not alone in your position, as the party was hurt due to 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 driver negligence and violating state and federal regulations.
Dealing with Truck Insurance Problems
Giving a Statement
Almost immediately, an insurance adjuster working on the defendant's behalf will want to take a 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.
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 Chicago, IL, commercial truck accident attorney.
Considering the First Insurance Settlement Offer
Within days, long before you are truly aware of the actual value of your case, the trucking company and its insurance carrier will provide an initial settlement offer, 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, medical costs, and bills generated by your injuries.
Instead, our legal team recommends allowing us to secure maximum compensation on your behalf to ensure that all your economic (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and all your non-economic damages (pain, suffering, grief, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, etc.) are obtained.
Experiencing an accident usually involves multiple vehicles, including additional commercial trucks, semi-tractor trailers, passenger cars, SUVs, motorcycles, bicycles, pickup trucks, or other vehicles.
In these cases, there are likely multiple defendants involved and multiple claims (lawsuits) for additional compensation. An experienced Chicago trucking accident attorney working on your behalf 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 and take significant time to resolve. Sometimes the defendants will offer a settlement, but this offer 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 Chicago, IL, truck accident attorneys have years of negotiating experience and are here to ensure you get all the compensation you are entitled to receive.
Commercial Vehicle Accident FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with insurance companies to resolve a compensation 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 vehicles involved in collisions, we welcome you to contact one of our experienced Chicago truck accident lawyers from our law office at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation or immediate legal advice.
Should I Hire a Chicago Truck 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 attorney to protect your legal rights. More legal considerations arise from a tractor-trailer accident because a trucking company is involved with substantial assets and the manpower to defend trucking accident injury cases.
The heavily regulated trucking industry has 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 serious personal injury lawyer who understands the complexities of large truck accidents.
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 costs are exaggerated
- Claiming no one is at fault
- Arguing that driving conditions were unfavorable
How Long Will It Take to Settle a Truck Collision Case?
It will likely take a few months to even a couple of years to settle an accident claim filed in Cook County, IL Circuit Court, depending on the claim and whether it goes to trial.
Much of the settlement time frame will depend upon your medical condition's liability aspects and severity. Your lawyer should resolve the case in six months or less if the trucking accident involves only minor injuries.
However, most accidents involving large trucks where victims are severely injured with head trauma, broken bones, or spinal cord injuries could take significantly longer to resolve.
Typically, the trucking company involved in the crash will be added as a defendant in the Chicago truck lawsuit to ensure all injured parties are fully compensated for all damages, including any future medical bills from further rehabilitation, therapy, and surgeries.
How Much is My Accident Case Worth?
For several reasons, truck accident claims average much more than other automobile or pedestrian crashes.
- First, semi-tractor trailers are much larger than delivery trucks, commercial vehicles, box trucks, buses, and other vehicles and can do more damage and cause serious injuries.
- Second, trucking is a business, and this commercial aspect allows for greater recovery.
- Third, injured victims in semi-trucks accidents generally face catastrophic 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 can obtain economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and punitive damages in extreme recklessness.
It is best to work with a competent truck accident lawyer who can accurately determine the value of your commercial truck crash case.
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.
The claim applies regardless of the fault you or your employer carries as long as your employer is part of a state's workers' compensation program.
You may still be eligible if you are a truck driver classified as an independent contractor.
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.
A competent accident lawyer specializing in commercial truck cases can ensure you receive all the benefits you deserve.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Crashes?
Any large vehicle accident can cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. While many factors 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
- 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 due to truck accidents. Many of these crashes result from a trucking company pushing its drivers to meet tight delivery deadlines.
Begin the Legal Process Today. Hire a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney, Chicago, Illinois
Contact our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer.
Our personal injury lawyers are available to discuss the prospects of your semi-truck accident case and can guide you on the way forward.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, all of our law practice areas involving tractor-trailer accidents and personal injury lawsuits involving large commercial vehicles are handled on a contingency fee basis.
This guarantee ensures that we only receive a fee from a client when we successfully obtain a settlement or verdict on their behalf.
Contact our Chicago truck accident attorneys at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a no-obligation, free consultation in the Chicago area.
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