Chicago, IL Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, tractor trailer, or other commercial vehicle, the Chicago truck accident attorneys at Malman Law will fight for maximum compensation.
Commercial truck drivers are required to undergo special training, and trucking and shipping companies are supposed to exercise care to avoid putting dangerous trucks on the roads. Unfortunately, neither of these prevents numerous unsuspecting drivers in the Chicagoland area from suffering life-changing injuries in truck accidents every year. Despite laws designed to protect the public, in recent years, the number of truck accident fatalities has actually been on the rise.
If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in a truck accident, it is important to stand up for your legal rights. The bills will begin to pile up quickly, and your injuries or loss will affect your life in ways you could not have previously imagined. In order to receive the compensation you deserve – and to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions – you need to take action now.
Common Causes of Serious Truck Accidents
There are numerous potential causes of truck accidents, all of which may entitle you to significant financial compensation. Some of the most common causes of serious truck accidents include:
With truck drivers spending thousands of hours each year driving on interstates and highways, many turn to non-driving activities to help pass the time. Talking on the phone, texting, and even watching movies on mobile devices are all common distractions that frequently lead to dangerous collisions. Reading routes, filling out paperwork, and other job-related tasks can also take truck drivers’ eyes and minds off of the road.
Whether due to boredom, dependency, or just plain poor decision-making, many truck drivers also use alcohol and drugs behind the wheel. Alcohol, over-the-counter cold medications, and illegal drugs can all significantly impair truck drivers’ cognition and reaction times, making them more likely to cause serious accidents.
The more miles truck drivers log, the more they get paid. Additionally, trucking and shipping companies often operate on tight deadlines, and as a result pressure their drivers to spend more time than they should behind the wheel. Despite strict federal regulations that limit the number of hours truckers can drive, many drivers regularly exceed the maximum time allowed.
All commercial truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and different trucks have different training requirements. Driving a truck that is 70 feet long and weighs 40 tons requires skill, and trucking companies should only hire drivers who have adequately demonstrated that they are equipped to do the job. Unfortunately, whether due to a limited applicant pool or a desire to pay a minimum wage, companies often hire drivers who simply are not ready to hit the road.
Even experienced drivers can make mistakes. Speeding, merging into an approaching vehicle, turning too sharply, and other errors are all common causes of major collisions. The only way to know if you have a case is to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Chicago, today.
Trucks that carry up to 80,000 pounds must be carefully engineered and built by expert manufacturers. Faulty truck designs and errors during the manufacturing process can result in trucks rolling off of the assembly line that are not safe for use on the road.
Improper Truck Maintenance
Along with design and manufacturing errors, improper maintenance can also lead to trucks being unfit for highway use. Owner-operators and trucking companies are required to make sure that their tires, brakes, safety equipment, and other parts and components are all maintained in good working order.
Cargo Loading Errors
Cargo loading errors include loading trucks with more weight than they are rated to handle and failing to adequately secure loose cargo. Shifting cargo can cause drivers to lose control, and loose cargo that falls off of a truck creates a life-threatening situation for other drivers and passengers.
Stand Up for Your Right to Just Compensation
At Malman Law, we have represented numerous truck accident victims since opening our doors in 1994. Our truck accident lawyers have the experience necessary to handle complex truck accident cases, and we are committed to ensuring that our clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries and losses. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident in the Chicagoland area, we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident, and then we will aggressively pursue claims against all of the responsible parties.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Chicago
Distracted Driving: Accidents caused by distracted driving have skyrocketed over the past decade — and when a truck is involved, the consequences can be catastrophic. If permanent debilitation occurs, it becomes critical to accurately calculate damages far into the future, since once a claim is resolved it is generally impossible to re-open it.
DUI: A motorcycle accident claim involving intoxicated driving frequently generates unique issues — punitive damages may become possible, for example, and it may also be possible to claim against an establishment that sold alcohol to the defendant. A civil damages claim is a separate proceeding from a DUI prosecution.
Driver Fatigue: Although driver fatigue is a strong basis for a negligence claim as long as you can prove it, the proof becomes easier when a commercial trucker is involved, due to federal regulations that are designed to keep drowsy drivers off the roads.
Driver Error: Every driver commits errors from time to time, of course. When an error rises to the level of negligence and causes an accident, however, justice demands compensation. When a truck is involved, catastrophic injury and death are not at all uncommon.
Faulty Truck Design: A badly-designed truck component can cause a catastrophic accident years after the design is implemented, and Illinois product liability law provides a remedy. Since expertise is required to identify and prove a design flaw, however, experienced legal counsel is required to maximize your odds of receiving fair compensation.
Illinois Trucking Accident Questions (FAQs)
I was hurt in a truck accident in Chicago. What kind of compensation can I get?
Compensation for a truck accident in Chicago can vary from case to case. This is because each case has its own specific facts. What happened, how it happened, and how you were affected all play important factors in determining compensation. Truck accidents in Chicago fall under personal injury law. It is based on negligence. You may be eligible to receive compensatory damages, money for your medical expenses, money for future medical expenses, and lost wages. There are other types of monetary damages that you may be able to receive, but as noted, every case is different. To have your case evaluated, call Malman Law now for your free consultation.
What is a commercial truck in Chicago?
In Chicago, truck accidents mostly include a commercial truck. In this sort of accident, a commercial truck is an 18 wheeler or other type of large delivery truck. It’s something that most of us think of when we hear the term “big rig.” Other examples include a tanker truck, a cement truck, and any large delivery vehicle that has the purpose of delivering commercial goods. If you were in a wreck that involved a large delivery vehicle, call Malman Law for a free consultation.
Can I sue the trucking company?
Drivers of 18 wheelers and most other large trucks are required to take special training courses in order to operate their truck. Whether or not the trucking company could be named as a defendant in a Chicago truck accident will largely depend on:
- Whether the driver was an actual employee of the trucking company. Some trucking companies hire employees. Other trucking companies contract with owner-operators. An owner-operator is someone who owns the own truck. They provide delivery for the trucking company and the trucking company pays them for it. However, they are not an employee of the trucking company.
- Legal liability. This is tied to the last point. It must be proven that there was a relationship, such as employer and employee, that asserts that the trucking company had some sort of legal authority over their driver. In the instance of an owner-operator involved in a truck accident in Chicago, the legal liability toward the trucking company may not exist. However, in some instances, it still may be possible. It’s important to speak with a Chicago accident attorney at Malman Law if you’re involved in an accident of this nature. Call us for your free consultation.
I was hurt in a truck accident in Chicago. Who will pay for my injuries?
If you are involved in a truck accident in Chicago and you’ve been injured, the expenses that you’ve incurred will ultimately depend on the facts surrounding your case. However, you may be able to bring a truck accident lawsuit against the driver, the trucking company, and the truck manufacturer.
Driver. The driver may have been negligent while loading or operating the truck. Loading errors can cause the load to shift during transport. The shifting load can cause a trailer to tip. On some types of trailers, the cargo may fall off and cause a hazard or hurt someone.
Trucking company. In some instances, the trucking company may be at least partially responsible for the accident. However, in order for the trucking company to be a defendant, they must have a legal responsibility for the driver. This means that the driver needs to be an actual employee of their company as opposed to being an owner-operator. Trucking companies who provide trucks to employees are responsible for providing routine maintenance of the tires, brakes, safety equipment, and other parts and components.
Truck manufacturer. When a faulty truck is built by the manufacturer and it is involved in an accident, you may be able to sue the truck manufacturer under product liability laws. Faulty truck designs and mistakes made during assembly are extremely dangerous.
If you were involved in a truck accident in Chicago, make sure that you call the truck accident lawyers at Malman Law. We provide free consultations.
The insurance company offered me a settlement for the truck accident in Chicago that caused my injuries. What should I do?
Sometimes, insurance companies are quick to offer a settlement. They know that accidents of this nature can be very stressful and that you’re likely to settle for far less than your claim is actually worth. If you don’t have a Chicago truck accident attorney representing you, they most likely will not offer you a fair amount.
Do not sign anything given to you by the insurance company without first contacting Malman Law. If you sign something, you could lose your right to sue in court. It’s important that you get a fair settlement. Call or contact Malman Law to book your free consultation today.
Schedule a Free Consultation About Your Chicago Truck Accident Case
To learn more about seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a truck accident, we invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Zero Fee Guarantee means you only pay if we help you secure a settlement or verdict, and if you are unable to travel, one of our attorneys will gladly come to you. Call (888) 247-2160 or contact us online to get started today.