If you’ve been in an accident involving a commercial truck, big rig, 18-wheeler, or tractor trailer and were not at fault, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Truck accident injuries can be extremely serious and may lead to lifelong complications. Get the help you need from the Chicago truck accident lawyers at Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys. We can utilize our years of experience winning high profile cases to succeed with your claim.
A serious truck accident can turn your life upside down. Commercial trucks carry more weight and force than all other vehicles on our roads and interstates. Trucking agencies have a legal responsibility to ensure their drivers prioritize safety and their trailers are safe for hauling, but the lack of strict regulations makes it unfortunately simple for trucking corporations to cut corners and prioritize profit over safety.
One way we can fight back against negligent trucking agencies and truckers is to take legal action when a serious wreck happens which impacts one or more victim(s). By filing a civil lawsuit against a guilty corporation or individual that allowed a wreck to happen, policies may change and become stricter. Commercial trucks may become less dangerous to share the road with.
If you feel your accident was caused by negligence, a careless driver, or a faulty policy, we encourage you to get in touch with our trucking accident attorneys today. Together, we can make Chicago’s roads and highways safer.
First, let’s look at some facts about truck accidents, how often they occur in Illinois, why they occur, and how filing a claim could be in your family’s best interest:
Facts You May Not Know About Illinois Truck Accidents
When a large commercial truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, it’s almost inevitable that the occupants in the passenger vehicle will sustain more injuries than the truck driver. The greater weight, size, and accompanying force of the truck means that the impact of the crash will be more severe than any type of collision that can happen between two or more smaller cars.
Here’s a statistic from 2014’s Illinois Department of Transportation crash data that highlights this fact:
In 2014, 6.7% (19,945) of the traffic collisions in Illinois involved large, commercial trucks. This statistic may seem minor until we consider the fact that these crashes accounted for 13% (120) of the 924 traffic fatalities that occurred in our state during the same year.
Fewer truck accidents happen than accidents involving two or more smaller cars, but those collisions are more dangerous and deadly due to the higher rate at which serious injuries and deaths occur.
Here are some more statistics to consider:
- 71% of the fatalities that resulted from Illinois truck accidents in 2014 were to drivers and passengers of the other vehicle(s) involved in these crashes—not the truck drivers themselves.
- 74% of the non-fatal injuries that resulted during that year were experienced among occupants of other vehicles—not the truck drivers.
- More truck accidents happen in urban areas around major cities than in rural areas. 66% (13,185) of the 19,945 Illinois accidents involving commercial trucks in 2014 took place on highways or roads classified for “urban” use.
- More than half of Illinois’ truck accidents in 2014 happened in Cook County. Even though Cook County traffic accounted for just 29.5% of the state’s annual Vehicle Miles of Travel (VMT) traveled that year, 53% (10,526) of the truck accidents in Illinois happened in either Suburban Cook County or in Chicago. Cook County is the second-most populous county in the U.S. when Chicago’s population is included.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are caused by a wide variety of factors, but some factors are more common than others. Here are some of the most common causes of truck crashes in Illinois and elsewhere throughout the U.S.:
- Driver Fatigue – Truckers tend to be behind the wheel for long periods of time as they make deliveries across the nation. Trucking agencies are supposed to regulate how long drivers work and when they sleep and take breaks, but recent reports are suggesting that many trucking companies do not enforce these regulations and may even threaten their drivers to work more hours than is legal. This can cause devastating crashes when a trucker is sleep-deprived.
- Improper Braking – When a driver of a trailer tractor is forced to make a quick stop or brakes too suddenly, their trailer is prone to swing forward at a faster rate than the truck’s cab due to momentum. This can cause the trailer to swing forward at an angle, forming a diagonal-shaped “jackknife” position. A jackknifing truck can cause major damage—without warning—to all other vehicles and occupants near it.
- Driving too Fast – When a trucker is driving faster than they should be to meet a delivery deadline, they may be unable to stop or slow in time to avoid an accident. Driving too quickly for weather conditions is also dangerous—especially for truckers who think their vehicles can handle more than they can.
- Drug or Alcohol Use – Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving costs lives. Truckers are at risk to drive while intoxicated just as regular drivers are.
- Distracted Driving – We all know how dangerous it is to drive while distracted by our smartphones or by anything else, but truckers are just as susceptible to driving while distracted. Most truck drivers are not heavily monitored when making deliveries.
- Unfamiliarity with the Area – When a trucker is forced to keep an unreasonably tight schedule and is unfamiliar with the area they’re driving in, they’re more likely to cause an accident. This can be avoided with proper driver training and GPS usage.
- Overloaded Cargo – To save time and money, some trucking companies try and overload their cargo trailers to an unsafe capacity. This can make it easier for the trailer to topple or tip over when making a sharp turn or during windy conditions. Unsafe loading procedures can additionally cause a truck to become unstable on the road.
- Poor Trucking Regulations – Compared to other nations, the U.S. has poor trucking regulations which lead to more truck accidents than most would like to believe. In Europe, for example, commercial big rigs are required to be equipped with rearguards and sideguards that protect smaller cars from getting caught underneath. In the U.S., we only require rearguards. It’s estimated that sideguard requirements could prevent up to 200 truck accident fatalities
If you believe the truck accident you were involved in could have been prevented had the trucker or trucking corporation avoided or regulated against any of the above behaviors or actions, our law office may be able to help.
Getting the Right Help from the Right Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers
Truckers and trucking agencies can—and should—do better. By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney in Chicago, you can send that message loud and clear while potentially receiving compensation for the following losses:
- Past, current, and future medical costs having to do with your injury
- Continued home care/physical therapy costs
- Past and future lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering (including physical limitations)
- Loss of a normal life
- Emotional and/or psychological injuries, including anxiety and PTSD
In the case of a loved one who lost their life in a truck accident, Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys can help you file a wrongful death claim and potentially receive compensation that can cover the costs of the following:
- Medical bills for your loved one’s treatment prior to their passing
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering
- Loss of companionship
With our help, you and your family can rest easy and focus on your recovery while we do everything in our power to obtain a favorable result for you or your family through trial or settlement on your behalf. To learn more or receive a zero-obligation case evaluation, get in touch with the injury attorneys at Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys today.