CHICAGO

Chicago Truck
Accident Lawyers

Experienced Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Malman Law will fight for maximum compensation.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, tractor trailer, or other commercial vehicle, the personal injury 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.

Trucks Are Most Often Used for Commercial Purposes

Trucks are typically operated by people who are on the job. These truck drivers are generally paid using a financial incentives system that favors drivers who go for long distances without stopping. Many packages, for instance, have guaranteed delivery dates and times, which creates a high-stress situation for drivers. Don’t forget around the holidays that there are thousands of under-trained, less-experienced temporary drivers on the roads under that same pressure. Between their double parking and distracted driving (constantly looking for addresses), the hazard is clear.

With the recent shift due to Covid-19 of avoiding stores and buying more online, delivery trucks that were already topped out are even busier now. FedEx, for instance, announced in 2021 that they projected delivering 100 million more holiday packages than last year. With this ever-growing, unending demand, exhausted truck drivers can be more drawn to speeding and over-driving winter conditions.

Trucks Are Heavier and Bigger

In a fight, you always bet on the bigger guy. It’s no different on the roadway. A fully-loaded semi-truck trailer weighs about 80,000 pounds. On the other hand, a passenger car usually weighs just 3,000-4,000 pounds. Obviously, in the fight of a truck vs. car, the truck is going to win every time. When a commercial truck is the cause of a collision, the likelihood of death or debilitating injury is much higher.

Use Extra Caution in Rural Areas

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) reports that the majority of deadly truck accidents happen in rural areas. Combine long, boring stretches of low-traffic roadways with exhausted, over-worked drivers, and it’s not hard to understand why. Either way, give commercial vehicles and semi-trucks a big space cushion, particularly away from cities and suburbs. Remember, if you don’t see the mirrors of the truck, the driver of the truck can not see your vehicle. Their blind spots are significantly higher, and because of the length of their vehicles, their blind spots are enormous compared to the average passenger vehicle on the road.

What are my rights if I’ve been injured in a truck accident?

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.

Truck Accident Statistics

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that:

  • In a recent year, over 4,000 people died in big truck accidents. 16 percent of those who didn’t survive were truckers, whereas 67 percent were drivers and passengers of regular cars and SUVs, and 15 percent were bikers and pedestrians.
  • Of two-vehicle collisions that year, 97 percent of those who did not survive the crash were occupying the smaller vehicle (not the truck drivers).
  • Commercial truck drivers can legally be behind the wheel for 11 hours straight without stopping, according to federal regulations.
  • Over the past ten years, the number of people killed in semi-truck crashes rose by 1/3.
  • Tractor-trailers (a.k.a. semi-trucks) cause 3/4 of big truck accidents. Single-unit trucks, like delivery vehicles without trailers, cause about 1/4 of those crashes by comparison.
  • A fully-loaded semi-truck can take up to 40 percent longer to reach a full stop than a passenger vehicle. If the roadway is wet or icy, that figure is even greater. Poorly maintained brakes on commercial vehicles can also be a factor contributing to longer stop times.
  • The most dangerous roads when it comes to truck accidents are highways and main thoroughfares. These types of roads account for more than half of truck crashes. 34 percent of truck crashes in a year were on freeways, and 15 percent were on side streets.

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.

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Frequently Asked 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.