As per the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), there were 319,146 motor vehicle accidents in Illinois in 2018. Of those, accidents involving tractor-trailers made up nearly four percent of overall crashes, over 11 percent of fatal crashes, and more than three percent of injury crashes. Even though these trucks make up a small percentage of all vehicle accidents, they often cause severe injuries and fatalities. Meeting with well-versed Champaign truck accident attorneys should be a priority for you if you or a loved one were recently injured in an accident involving a semi-truck.
Semi-trucks have several inherent characteristics that make them more likely to cause accidents and serious injuries. These large vehicles take a long time to slow down or stop, especially when traveling at highway speeds. Truck crashes can happen for the same reasons that other types of accidents do, but there are a few that are quite common such as driver error.
Crashes caused by driver error make up a substantial portion of all truck accidents. For example, driver error can include a speeding driver, a driver who doesn’t check their blind spot before attempting to change lanes, and a confused driver. Champaign truck accident lawyers can hold negligent truck drivers liable for the damages and injuries they cause. Causes of driver error include:
Fatigue: A truck driving job comes with long hours and strenuous schedules. Even though federal laws regulate the hours truckers can drive, many truck drivers still drive when they are extremely tired or at times when they should be resting. Truck drivers on long hauls are in their trucks driving long hours every day. This monotony can cause a driver to lose focus and disregard imperative safe driving techniques.
Driving while intoxicated: Illinois holds commercial drivers to higher standards than the general public when it comes to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When driving a semi-truck, there is little room for driver error, necessitating laws for allowing only a small amount of alcohol in truck driver’s systems. When a driver is under the influence and behind the wheel of a big rig, the risks of extreme danger and severe injury are exponentially higher.
Failure to properly secure a load: Most semi-trucks are carrying full loads of products. No matter how big or small their load is, it needs to be packed with care and secured so that the weight of the load is evenly distributed in the trailer. If this even distribution does not occur or gets disturbed, it is more likely that a truck will cause an accident, especially when trucks are stopping or turning. Unsecured loads can also cause items to fly off of a flatbed trailer, resulting in the item hitting other vehicles or being in their path.
Loads containing low-level liquids: Gas, oil, and other liquids are frequently transported using tanker trucks. If these loads are not completely full, a tank that is 75 percent or less full can cause the liquid to slosh around, causing the entire truck to sway from side to side. This frequently happens when the driver changes their speed or makes a turn. When the liquid causes the truck to move, the driver can quickly lose control of the truck.
Depending on your injuries and the specifics of your accident and recovery, there are many damages you could claim in a legal case against the truck driver and other entities liable for your accident. Your Champaign truck accident attorneys will work hard to identify all of your damages and ensure that you receive fair compensation for them.
Damages can represent both financial and non-financial losses you suffer. The following damages might apply in your truck accident case:
Injuries resulting from truck accidents are often severe and even life-threatening. They can take months or even years to recover from. Your recovery can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and substantially change your lifestyle.
After being injured in a truck accident, you need the help of the knowledgeable Champaign truck accident attorneys at Malman Law on your side. Your legal representation begins with a free and confidential case review. To schedule your review, call (312) 629-0099 today or use our convenient online contact form.
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