Accidents involving a semi-truck are among the most serious and most deadly in the United States. An experienced Chicago based semi-truck accident lawyer has a thorough understanding of commercial vehicle regulations on both the federal and state level for Illinois.
You may not have considered this, however hundreds, and some years thousands, of truck accidents, occur in greater Chicago. Did you know that there are six federally sanctioned interstates crossing directly through the very heart of our windy city?
Whether you commute every day on the Kennedy Expressway or leave for a weekend in the country by taking Interstate 55, it is highly likely you have encountered numerous commercial or semi-trucks along your drive.
It is not surprising that accidents involving semi-trucks happen. As fellow Chicago commuters, we feel we are especially able to help you handle your legal and insurance challenges when you are faced with one.
Although companies are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSA) concerning their equipment and their drivers’ hours of service, driver fatigue continues to be one of the most common reasons for these tragedies.
Fatigue regulations for semi-truck drivers
“Hours-of-service violations used to be a lot more challenging to detect when simple paper logbooks could, and often would, be easily falsified. Since 2017 however, electronic logging devices have been mandated, making it far more difficult to manipulate the rules.
Under current FMCSA regulations, interstate commercial truck drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours during a period of 14 consecutive hours after they take a 10-hour break. Moreover, drivers are required to spend at least 30 minutes off-duty after no more than eight hours of driving.
Drivers can’t drive after accruing 60 work hours during a seven-day period or 70 work hours during an eight-day period.
A “restart” provision allows truckers to get back behind the wheel after a 34-hour off-duty period.“
Records often reveal serious and even fraudulent violations of these safety regulations after an accident. Sadly, trucking companies are only required to maintain accident records for six months.
It is important that you reach out to us as soon as possible if you are involved in a truck accident.
Waiting too long to get the professional help you need can make it extremely difficult for your lawyer, you or any survivors of a person tragically killed in a semi-truck crash to prove the trucking company’s negligence.
Illinois Semi-Truck Accident FAQs
Our experienced team of legal experts that prosecute truck accidents which have caused personal injuries, or led to fatalities, understand how to get to the bottom of an injury case on your behalf. We thoroughly investigate to determine liability.
Our investigation includes:
- Determining the level of truck maintenance
- Drug and alcohol tests
- A review to confirm adequate insurance coverage
- A full examination of truck safety markings
- Weight restriction compliance
- Adherence with loading procedures
- Ensuring the company fulfilled safety inspection requirements
- Accident reconstruction
When our semi-truck accident attorney files a lawsuit against a trucking company, we know that we will need to present evidence that proves negligence. The key to helping you seek justice for the physical pain and emotional duress caused by an accident includes our proving reckless conduct by the driver and/or trucking company.
Our experienced semi-truck accident lawyers will represent your interests fully so that you can focus on your important recovery needs. Additionally, they will help you get the compensation you deserve, whether you are the victim or a surviving family member.
Serious Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Obviously, these big rigs on our motorways weigh several tons. Therefore, when they strike anything, they are applying an incredible amount of force, especially at high speeds. Semi-trucks, or 18-wheeler trucks, can cause serious injuries.
Below is a list of some of the injuries that can require months, even years of physical therapy or medical treatment to overcome. If you are a victim and you are struggling with any of these, reach out to us:
- Brain swelling
- Herniated discs
- Internal organ damage
- Joint contusions
If you suffer from any of these injuries as a result of being in an accident with a semi-truck, you need the support of a highly rated team of accident injury lawyers. That’s the only way to make sure that you receive adequate compensation for the long term physical and emotional challenges you are facing.
The majority of these truck accidents in the State of Illinois take place on the roads and highways right here in the Chicago metro area. Our personal injury lawyers have over 65 years of local experience representing clients that have undergone the ordeal of a life-changing semi-truck crash.
Semi-Truck accident statistics
According to IDOT, there were 13,000 accidents involving Semi Trucks reported in 2018 in Illinois. Referencing the IIHS information for the same year, “a total of 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018.
Sixteen percent of these deaths were truck occupants, 67 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 31 percent higher in 2018 than in 2009. In 2009 it was the lowest it had been since the collection of fatal crash data began in 1975. The number of truck occupants who died was 51 percent higher than in 2009.”
Choosing the right semi-truck accident lawyer
A semi-truck accident can be frightening, traumatizing, and confusing, especially accidents that involve fatalities.
If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, you have the right to legal representation by an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer.
It is important to act quickly to retain the services of an experienced attorney. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, the insurance representatives of the business that employs the truck driver will initiate an investigation into the event.
They will have the intention of doing everything possible to minimize the liability of the trucking company.
The attorney you choose needs to begin helping you right away. In addition, truck accident cases differ from typical personal liability cases in that the driver’s company is often the defendant. This means you need an attorney who can deal with large corporations.
Whatever the specifics of your case, you need the right semi-truck accident lawyer representation by your side. This will allow you to recover compensation from the responsible party. Our truck accident lawyers will fight to ensure you receive adequate remuneration for pain and suffering, injuries, and property damage losses.
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Shuman Legal have advocated on behalf of over 25,000 injury victims and their families, helping them successfully navigate the complexities of the legal process.
As experienced attorneys, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, manage the legal challenges. We help you recover damages for your loss so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.