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When an 18-wheeler collides with another vehicle at high speed, the resulting damage and personal injury are invariably catastrophic. With millions of delivery trucks in America continually pushing to make tight deadlines, accidents in this industry are far too common. Larger commercial trucking companies keep a team of accident response attorneys on retainer to keep their legal costs down.

Suppose you or a family member have been involved in a commercial truck accident in Chicago or on Illinois state highways. In that case, you will need a team of skilled and experienced truck accident attorneys and trial prep experts to ensure negligence is assigned to the responsible party and you are fully compensated for your losses.

Meyers & Flowers Law Firm has some of the top truck accident lawyers Chicago has in Illinois.

Truck Accident Statistics for Illinois

If you have been involved in a truck crash in Chicago, you are not alone. According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), 14% of those involved in Illinois trucking collisions sustain injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 87% of truck accidents are caused by driver negligence and drivers violating state and federal laws. About 10% of crashes are the result of defective equipment.

What To Do if You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident

Illinois is a state in which specific local traffic rules apply, provided they do not conflict with state regulations. All interstate trucking companies have to register with the Illinois Commerce Commission and obtain valid permits in order to drive on interstate highways. In the event that you collide with a commercial truck, follow these important steps:

  • Contact the authorities right away and report your truck collision
  • Contact your insurance company to help determine your personal injury claim
  • Write down the truck’s license number and gather as much personal information on the driver as possible
  • Ask eyewitnesses and others to make notes if multiple vehicles were involved in the crash
  • Don’t apologize or admit fault
  • Ensure that the trucking company contacts your insurance company
  • Pursue medical attention no matter what, as you may not immediately feel the effects of the accident
  • Hire a Chicago truck accident lawyer

Preventing Truck Accidents

Truck crashes are lethal, and, not surprisingly, it is most often not the truck driver who suffers the casualty. The death rate for passengers of vehicles involved in truck crashes is five times greater than for truck drivers.

The trucking industry is heavily monitored to ensure legislated safety practices are enforced. For example, a commercial trucker cannot drive for more than 70 hours per week and must take a 30-minute break after the first 8 hours of driving.

Recent regulations enacted by the Department of Transport are expected to save 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes per year by merely regulating driver rest periods.

Rollover Crashes

Rollover crashes make up a large percentage of truck accidents in Chicago. These accidents occur for several reasons, including collision with another vehicle, miscalculating ramp speed, road conditions, and sudden steering maneuvers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) has recently finalized a rule requiring electronic stability control (ESC) systems installed on heavy trucks and buses weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

ESC systems are designed to use automatic computer-controlled braking in circumstances where drivers cannot act quickly enough to avoid a rollover. This technology has been mandated for passenger vehicles and light trucks since 2012, and accident statistics are already reflecting this technology's success.

Semi-truck reared ended into another truck.

Once this rule is fully implemented over the next few years, it is estimated that it will prevent 40 to 56% of rollover crashes not caused by hitting a curb or a collision. This rule is also estimated to prevent 14% of loss of control crashes. Overall, the rule is expected to prevent approximately 1,600 crashes, 575 injuries and 45 deaths.

Being involved in an accident caused by a rollover usually results in serious injury which could require compensation to handle expenses that go beyond immediate medical expenses. Getting the funds for future expenses requires a relentless truck accident attorney. Chicago area residents who need personal representation in a truck accident can rely on the litigation team at Meyers & Flowers. They have a highly respected Chicago truck accident lawyer preparation team with a success record to be envied.

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Obtaining Full Compensation for our Clients

Full compensation means different things to the two sides of a lawsuit. The attorney team from the trucking company has the objective to limit their client’s financial commitment. This is in direct opposition to the best interests of our client. That is why we prepare a highly detailed list of current and future expenses, backed up by expert research that is very difficult for the opposing attorneys to nullify.

truck attorney illinois

There are many things to consider when predicting what future needs will be there. For those severely injured, there may be expenses not immediately associated with the accident. Beside the usual loss of income calculation, job retraining may also be needed. An extensive renovation to accommodate a wheelchair may be needed to allow a truck accident victim to remain in his or her home. There are many other situations where compensation will be needed and our truck accident attorney team ensures they are included in the demanded compensation.

Meyers & Flowers is a top rated Chicago law firm of trial lawyers and personal injury attorneys with expert resources to deal with the crash response team of the trucking company and the insurance companies. Our team will ensure that crucial evidence from the crash scene, such as the driver’s log book, is preserved and will identify and interview eye witnesses. We employ well respected crash scene experts to reconstruct the crash scene to ensure the blame is not shifted to you.

The Statute of Limitations To File in the State of Illinois

The plaintiff in any personal injury lawsuit related to a truck accident in the State of Illinois has two years to file their claim starting from the date of the collision. If the claim is not filed within two years of the truck crash, the case will be dismissed and you will not have further opportunities to collect damages. This is why it is so crucial to contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer today and get started on your case immediately.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Driver error is the usual cause of truck accidents in Chicago. Negligent behavior can include:

  • Fatigue – failing to take regulated breaks and driving too many hours per day or week
  • Drugs & Alcohol – taking drugs to sustain energy which interfere with judgment or having even one drink which is illegal for a commercial driver
  • Violations of posted speed limits or speeding in relation to driving conditions
  • Improperly trained drivers – driving a commercial vehicle without being properly trained and licensed

Other causes include improper maintenance of the truck and trailer, manufacturer negligence, as in defective brakes, and corporate timetables that cause violations of Department of Transport "Hours of Safety Regulations".

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Importance of Having a Top Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accident litigation is complex due to the potential number of negligent parties. The truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, a government agency failing to properly mark a road hazard, some or all of these may be responsible for an accident.

Efficiently and aggressively managing the many moving parts of this type of litigation is how we have obtained millions of dollars in settlement for Meyers & Flowers clients. Your goal is to take the stress out of the process so you can recover and get your life back. If you have lost a loved one, nothing can replace that loss, but we strive to obtain full damages for the surviving family members to make it easier by removing financial stress.

Call us for an initial consultation with one of our top truck accident lawyers Chicago has as soon as possible. There is no charge for our consultation and you won’t pay legal fees until we win your case.

Frequently Asked Questions on Truck Accident Law

What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Because of a typical commercial truck’s size and weight, it has special limitations and performance characteristics such as acceleration, braking and visibility. A loaded big-rig can weigh 80,000 pounds, about 27 times heavier than a passenger car. Any contact between a commercial truck and another vehicle can lead to very serious injuries or loss of life. The most common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Tired truck driver
  • Alcohol or drug impaired driver
  • Unsafe turns
  • Underride accidents
  • Jackknife accidents
  • Overturns
  • Equipment failure
  • Uneven load
  • Driver error

Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?

If there is an existing employment relationship between the driver and the company, the trucking firm may be held liable. Meyers & Flowers is one of the top personal injury law firms in Chicago. We have an aggressive litigation team, and professional resources to call upon to uncover all the facts related to liability and what parties should be held accountable. The liable parties may include the driver, the trucking firm, truck manufacturer, parts manufacturer, truck maintenance company, or other party.

How Much is My Case Worth?

To determine the value of an injury claim requires a full evaluation of the facts, including medical costs, losses associated with lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other financial losses, along with valuing the pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and other more personal losses. At Meyers & Flowers, we offer a free case evaluation in truck accident injury cases.

How do I Choose an Attorney?

The quality and experience of your legal representation has everything to do with the final outcome of your case. When reviewing the qualifications of an attorney, look at their history of winning tough cases, trial experience, and reputation. At Meyers & Flowers, we are proud to be recognized as the leading personal injury law firm in Chicago. Speak with us about your accident – we can help you seek justice and full compensation.

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