Waukegan Truck Accident Lawyer
In the United States, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people aged 4-34. In addition, according to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 adults don't get enough sleep on an average night, including truck drivers who are required to follow federal regulations.
Were you or a loved one injured in an accident caused by tired driving? If so, it's important to understand your legal rights and options. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent injured victims harmed in commercial truck accidents to ensure they receive maximum compensation.
Contact the Waukegan, IL truck accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation for immediate legal advice. Any information you share with our Waukegan office remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The number of fatal car accidents is rising due to drivers who fall asleep at the wheel from fatigue. Studies have shown that reaction time slows down by about 50% when tired, leading to serious harm or death when behind the wheel.
If you have been involved in a car accident with someone under extreme sleep deprivation, contact our experienced attorneys today to help protect your rights and hold negligent parties accountable for their reckless behavior.
The city of Waukegan is of vital importance to the transportation industry in Northern Illinois, and I-94 brings regular trucking traffic through the city en-route to Chicago or Milwaukee. In addition, its harbor serves roughly a hundred cargo ships every year, and its regional airport is equipped with a customs facility, which allows companies to import international freight.
The steady trucking traffic that flows through Waukegan increases the likelihood that drivers may be involved in accidents with semi-tractors. The increased rate of drivers operating rigs while fatigued only increases this risk.
Our Waukegan, IL truck accident lawyers know that the only way to force trucking companies to prioritize safety is to ensure that they are held to account for acts of negligence.
Waukegan is Home to Numerous Warehouses and Shipping Centers
An industrial port off Lake Michigan connects Waukegan, IL to Chicago and Milwaukee and allows the shipment of materials to Canada. Gold Bond Building Products, LaFarge Corp, and St. Mary's Cement Corp are the three most significant companies with facilities at the port.
Gold Bond Building Products is a large importer of gypsum, commonly used in drywall, plaster, and other construction materials. Both LaFarge Corporation and the St. Mary's Cement Corp are responsible for supplying contractors throughout the greater Chicago area. In addition, commercial trucking companies are responsible for the shipment of these materials throughout the Midwest.
Waukegan is also home to Uline, which distributes shipping materials such as boxes and packing materials. Its facility in Waukegan is one of ten across the North American continent.
Trucking Accidents are More Common in Urban Areas
In 2013, nearly 11,000 trucking accidents reported crashes were most common in densely populated areas and urban streets. Waukegan's location invites millions of vehicles through its city every year.
In only one year between 2012 and 2013, the number of trucking fatalities in Illinois increased by nearly 13%, which has been a cause for alarm and demands for reform. In 2013, 1,744 people were injured, and 94 people were killed in truck accidents.
Truck accidents are much more deadly than any other type of accident. Of over 407,000 reported accidents, including passenger vehicles, there were 822 fatalities.
While only 10,971 truck crashes were reported in the same period, those incidents resulted in 102 deaths. In addition, 0.2% of truck accidents involving smaller vehicles resulted in deaths, compared to 1% of those involving trucks. You are five times more likely to suffer life-ending injury in a truck accident than an accident with another car.
Deadly and Dangerous Waukegan Truck Accidents
Recent accidents in Waukegan, Illinois, have revealed how hazardous streets and interstates are in the area for residents and visitors. Some of those truck accidents include:
- In July 2020, a fifty-eight-year-old motorcyclist lost his life after colliding with a semi-tractor-trailer in Waukegan. The local police and fire departments responded to the call at approximately 2:00 PM and found a two-vehicle crash at Sunset Avenue and Lewis Avenue. At the time of the accident, both the semi-tractor-trailer and the Harley-Davidson were traveling northbound. The truck driver was pulling his vehicle to the right to allow an ambulance to pass and never saw the motorbike before striking the biker, who was not wearing a helmet.
- In July 2020, a thirteen-year-old bicycle rider was fatally hit by a truck crossing Cleveland Avenue and Waukegan Road. Witnesses state that the young boy was riding his bike in front of the truck before being struck. EMTs transferred the youth to the Lutheran General Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. One resident in the area stated that the intersection was dangerous.
In 2018, the Illinois Department of Transportation identified 2141 accidents occurring within the city limits of Waukegan, Illinois, resulting in five deaths and 923 injuries.
By far, rear-end collisions (496), turning truck accidents (519), and hitting a vehicle at an angle (334), topped the list of leading factors in crashes in the city. The five deaths included one victim hit at an angle, one victim involved in a head-on collision, and one pedestrian.
Common Waukegan IL Truck Accident Injuries
The injuries sustained in a truck accident can be devastating, serious, and life-altering, especially when the truck driver is negligent. In the cases of pedestrian and bicycle accidents, the injuries are even more severe.
Some common truck accident injuries include:
- Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially in head-on collisions
- Severe back and neck injuries
- Whiplash and spinal cord injury and rear-end collisions (hit from behind)
- Severed spinal courts leaving the victim with paraplegia, quadriplegia, or tetraplegia
- Lacerations and broken bones
- Burns, including those caused by spilled oil or other hazardous materials
- Fire and smoke inhalation
- Death (in the case of an accident with a truck carrying flammable or explosive cargo)
The severity of injuries often depends on the weight and speed of the vehicle at impact and the number of people in cars involved. For example, commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, but that does not always mean serious injury.
The force of an impact is measured by strength multiplied by mass—Force equals Mass times Acceleration (F=ma). While larger vehicles have more momentum behind them, kinetic energy is involved in commercial trucks' collisions.
Time Limit for Filing a Waukegan, IL Truck Accident Lawsuit - Statute of Limitations
Illinois Statute of Limitations for accident injury lawsuits is two years, or five years if the injury results in permanent disability. If you live outside of Illinois, the time limit may be different from that set forth by law - always check with a truck accident attorney qualified to handle your case to learn about the statute of limitations in your state.
In some cases, the statute of limitations could be extended if extenuating circumstances warrant an exception to the standard statute of limitations.
For example, suppose you live at least two years after the crash and cannot determine that your injuries resulted from a truck accident because of extenuating circumstances. In that case, the statute may be extended by one year.
Be sure to file your case within this period; otherwise, it will be dismissed, and you could lose out on your chance for compensation - and justice against negligent parties involved in your Waukegan, IL truck accident case.
Failing to file a civil lawsuit against all parties responsible and the legal issue could forfeit the injured victim's compensation for lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain, and suffering.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations
According to the FMCSA, truckers, trucking companies, and dispatchers/schedulers must follow federal regulations, rules, and protocols when managing a trucker's time while operating a large vehicle. According to the rules, the trucker must:
- Be off duty for at least ten consecutive hours, during which time they cannot drive a commercial vehicle
- Have an opportunity to rest, eat regular meals, and satisfy personal needs to avoid fatigue and distracted driving
If the driver is involved in an accident before completing the required rest period, they may not carry passengers or cargo until they are off duty again long enough to meet the 10-hour requirement.
The trucking company is also subject to federal safety regulations. According to federal rules, dispatchers/schedulers must:
- Ensure that drivers have proper driving status before dispatching them on routes. The dispatcher should check with the carrier's driver history file for violations and truck accidents within the past three years, as well as other important information - including drug and alcohol testing, medical certification records, and driving records.
- Limit the length of a haul to an eight-hour workday without resting for at least ten consecutive hours before driving again - the exception is if a driver has two periods off duty that total 10 hours within 14 consecutive hours behind the wheel.
The trucking company should also have accurate timecard records available to document compliance with federal rules. Penalties for noncompliance include both civil and criminal penalties, so companies must follow these FMCSA regulations.
In addition, drivers face possible fines up to $2,750 per violation as well as imprisonment that could last up to 30 years, especially if a victim is killed, if they fail to follow federal laws.
Truckers are Required to Maintain Accurate Recordkeeping
Trucking companies must keep accurate records of driver hours on duty, including personal log books maintained by the commercial trucker while driving. These documents are not submitted to state or federal authorities. Still, they can be used as evidence in personal injury cases if there is a discrepancy between recordkeeping and what occurred.
For example, suppose the driver claims that he was off duty during an accident, yet his personal logbook indicates otherwise. In that case, this could be used against him to dispute his case of non-liability.
If you have been involved in a Waukegan, IL truck accident because of negligence on the part of another party, whether it's a tractor-trailer company or their drivers, make sure you know your rights.
The Right to Compensation for Injuries Related to a Waukegan Large Truck Crash
If you were injured in a truck accident, it is important to know your rights. It is well known that injuries suffered in truck accidents are more severe and require more extensive treatment.
In many cases, the survivors' lives are forever changed due to injuries of a permanent nature. If you have been injured in an accident with a truck driver and there is sufficient evidence to prove that the driver or the driver's employer acted negligently, you are entitled to compensation.
The damages that you can reasonably demand can include:
- The cost of medical treatments in emergency and any treatment required to facilitate your physical recovery. This expense includes surgical procedures and physical therapy.
- Out-of-pocket expenses that can be linked to your injuries.
- Wages lost, should you be unable to perform your duties at work and are forced to remain at home during your physical recovery.
- Long-term care and pain and suffering if your injuries impact the quality of your life.
Compensation for injuries sustained due to another party's negligence is available through a personal injury claim. However, many injured victims want to know:
- How much money is available?
- How do I know if I have a case?
- What happens if the trucking company insurer denies coverage?
- What will I do if the insurance company makes a lowball offer to resolve my trucking accident case?
Are you considering filing a suit against the driver or company involved in an accident with your car? Your questions above are all valid concerns that require answers. Our legal team offers free consultations so call today at (888) 424-5757.
What to Expect from a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Are you wondering if you have a legal right to file a civil lawsuit against the trucking company for your damages?
Our law firm can answer your questions to ensure you understand the legal process, how to file a truck accident claim, and hold the truck drivers, trucking company, insurance company, and others responsible for your damages.
Once you file a civil lawsuit, the defendants have a certain amount of time to answer the allegations and either admit or deny them. Defendants can also request a settlement offer from you before trial, or they may file for bankruptcy before your case is settled.
Your attorney will determine the defendants' level of fault by examining each party's actions and considering applicable laws and regulations. That's where the data is critical. Your attorney will need to review your records and determine what elements are admissible evidence throughout your Waukegan, IL truck accident claim.
Your attorney represents your best interests by gathering all evidence that supports your legal rights, investigating liability issues, determining legal responsibility, and building a case to support the damages you've incurred.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Waukegan, IL Truck Accident Claim
It is important to gather as much information as possible about the accident and injuries when filing a claim, including:
- Witness names, phone numbers, and contact information if available, making sure that all witnesses are treated equally to avoid complications
- Copies of medical bills and invoices, including your prescriptions (if you need to see a specialist or undergo additional care or surgery, make sure to save all records for your claim)
- Emergency room reports and hospital discharge papers
- Details about the truck driver's actions leading up to the accident
- The police report, if one was filed
Your attorney will also ask you to complete a questionnaire about your injuries. You should have this form completed and ready before meeting with an attorney, but if not, you can always fill it out in person or print one from our website
Let us explain your legal rights when filing a Waukegan, IL truck accident claim. Then, call (888) 424-5757 today to speak with a personal injury attorney and receive a free case review.
What to do after an accident:
- Your Waukegan, IL trucking accident lawyer would help you determine who is responsible for your injuries and recover compensation if the other driver was at fault.
- Let's say you're in a car accident that wasn't your fault. You may wonder what you need to do after an accident to protect yourself yet still allow time for your Waukegan, IL truck accident claim to be filed.
- The first thing is making sure you are safe. If you're able, move your car off the road and out of oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, check on any passengers to ensure they are okay.
- Check on the other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in the accident. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If possible, call an ambulance to take the person(s) you believe needs immediate medical attention to a hospital emergency room for treatment.
- While waiting for the police to arrive, collect witness names and contact information. If possible, get photos of the accident scene before it is disturbed.
- Contact all insurance companies involved promptly to file claims. Do not admit fault to your insurer at any time during this process - doing so could affect your coverage or qualifications for a Waukegan, IL trucking accident claim in Illinois.
- Be sure to ask the police for a copy of any accident reports they file. If you were injured, an experienced truck accident lawyer could help ensure the complete investigation of your claim.
Hiring an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
For more information about your rights and how to maximize the value of your claim, contact one of the Waukegan, IL truck accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC. Our comprehensive team of experts includes physicians, social workers, economists, and vehicle accident reconstruction specialists, in addition to an award-winning legal team.
Were you or a loved one involved in a commercial truck accident? If so, you are likely entitled to file a personal injury case for compensation against the insurance company.
Contact (888) 424-5757 now to schedule a free case evaluation. We have helped hundreds of truck accident victims across Illinois recover millions of dollars in financial compensation to ensure they had funds for treating their serious injuries.
Our law office accepts every trucking accident claim and wrongful death lawsuit through a contingency fee agreement. This promise ensures you pay no legal fees or attorney fees until we resolve your personal injury case through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict with the party responsible for your damages.
Visit a Waukegan truck accident lawyer today or click through for more information on our personal injury attorney law office, filing a wrongful death lawsuit, our practice areas, submitting Workers' Compensation, and obtaining a free case evaluation.
Our law offices provide legal representation to clients in the Waukegan area and throughout Illinois, including Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Winnebago County, DuPage County, Peoria County, Sangamon County, and others.