Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

Steep medical bills. Pain and suffering. Lost wages. Auto repair costs. These are just a few of the losses you’ve suffered because of your truck crash injuries. Let a Chicago truck accident lawyer help you find justice and financial stability.

Call on Thomas Law Offices personal injury lawyers for compassionate, top-rated legal representation.

A completely free consultation is available for you now. Don’t wait to find out what rights you have. Your Chicago truck accident doesn’t define your future—you do.

What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do? And Do I Need One?

A truck accident lawyer is a legal advocate who represents people injured by negligent commercial vehicle drivers and companies.

Large truck crash cases are highly complex. Unlike a minor car accident, it’s not usually possible to handle a trucking case on your own.

Legal professionals like the Chicago truck collision team at Thomas Law Offices have the training and experience to complete these actions on your behalf:

  • Secure evidence (like black box data and log books) from the trucking company before it’s destroyed, even if it means getting a court order
  • Obtain driver drug and alcohol test results
  • Analyze driver cell phone records and GPS data
  • Take witness statements soon after the crash while memories are still clear
  • Work with accident reconstruction professionals
  • Partner with experts who can analyze photos of the crash scene
  • Secure truck maintenance and inspection records
  • Find surveillance, dashboard, or traffic cameras that may have caught the event on video
  • Identify any violations of local and state laws or federal trucking regulations
  • Investigate the driver’s and company’s accident and law violation history
  • Obtain and review your medical records to link your injuries with the crash, partnering with medical experts who can testify in your case
  • And more

The Benefits of Working With a Lawyer

While these legal skills are surely vital to the success of your case, there are a few other things an attorney can provide that are just as important.

  • Emotional support
  • Peace of mind knowing that your case is in the most competent hands
  • Legal guidance whenever you need it
  • Answers to all your questions
  • Someone to handle insurance company communications for you
  • Time to focus on your recovery and the things that are important in your life
  • A legal representative who will show the insurance company that you mean business
  • Protection from companies that would take advantage of your situation
  • The knowledge that you’ll get a higher settlement or verdict than you would on your own

If you’re even at the point of asking yourself: “Do I need a lawyer?” it’s wise to at least schedule a free consultation.

This is a risk-free opportunity to find out about the potential merits and challenges your case presents. You can use a case evaluation as a learning opportunity. Then you’ll truly be able to decide what’s best for you and your family.

Why Thomas Law Offices Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers?

Decades of experience. Success in a variety of complex case types. A reputation of excellence in Illinois courts. Nationwide resources. Millions recovered for clients. Record-setting verdicts. An award-winning legal team. A heart for the people of Chicago. Outstanding client reviews and testimonials.

We can list our accomplishments as a Chicago personal injury law firm. But all that means nothing unless you believe we’re the right law firm for you. Come meet us and see why we’re trusted across Chicago, Illinois, and throughout the nation.

Our Chicago Trucking Accident Team Gets Results. Period.

We are confident in our ability to handle even the toughest cases. Our lawyers have seen every kind of obstacle that stands in the way of justice—and we know how to overcome them.

We’re so confident in our abilities to get you a fair outcome that we refuse to take attorney’s fees upfront. We only get paid if you win.

Our Chicago team knows how hard it is to go up against a giant trucking corporation and win. That’s why we’ve been working hard for decades to be the best advocates for our clients. If you or someone you love was hurt by trucking negligence, Thomas Law Offices is here for you.

Truck Accidents Are Not Like Car Accidents

It’s easy to think of truck accidents as just like car accidents, only bigger. While that’s partly true, there’s more that goes into it.

When it comes to the legal aftermath of a traffic collision, one involving a large, commercial vehicle like an 18-wheeler is much more complicated than one involving only passenger cars.

Car and truck accidents are very different. These are just a few of the reasons:

  • The size difference between trucks and cars often leads to fatality or catastrophic injury for passenger vehicle occupants
  • Trucks can take almost twice as long to stop after braking than cars
  • Trucks have four large blind spots (“no-zones”) on all sides of the vehicle
  • The truck may be carrying toxic or flammable materials
  • Truck accidents involve a large company, multiple insurance policies, and a corporate legal team
  • There may be multiple at-fault parties in a commercial vehicle crash
  • Truck operations are regulated by a series of rules set by the federal government
  • Damages in a truck crash case may be much greater, motivating trucking and insurance companies to work harder to avoid large payouts to injured victims

Were You in a Truck Accident? Take These 10 Steps.

Were you or someone you know injured in a commercial truck crash in greater Chicagoland? There are things you can do to protect the health, well-being, and legal rights of you and your loved ones.

Take these 10 steps after a Chicago truck accident:

  1. Call the police.
  2. Get medical attention right away—even if you feel like you don’t need to.
  3. Remember that the trauma of a crash can mask pain. Encourage all passengers to get checked.
  4. Exchange information with the truck driver and any others involved, including:
    • Name, phone number, and address
    • Company of employment and contact information
    • Name of direct supervisor
    • CDL number
    • DOT number
    • Insurance carrier and policy number
    • Truck license plate and other identification
  5. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage, and injuries.
  6. Take down the names and contact information of all available eyewitnesses.
  7. Have your vehicle appraised and save the bill.
  8. Stay away from social media, change your privacy settings, and don’t discuss the crash online.
  9. Be careful when communicating with an insurance company (see below).
  10. Partner with a Chicago truck accident lawyer who can advise you of your rights and handle the insurance company for you.

How To Communicate With the Insurance Company After a Truck Crash

Insurance companies are tricky. If you aren’t careful, you could easily say or do something that will jeopardize your rights. The best course of action is to report the basic facts of the collision, then tell the insurance carrier your lawyer will be managing your future communications.

Keep these tips in mind for communicating with an insurance company after a truck accident:

  • Report the accident to your own insurance company with just the basic facts
  • You do not need to speak with the other party’s insurer
  • Never agree to give a recorded statement
  • Don’t discuss your injuries in detail; just say you’re getting medical treatment
  • Don’t fall for traps like “How are you feeling?” or “What do you think caused the crash?”
  • Be polite and honest, but only provide the minimum necessary information
  • Never admit fault, make assumptions about cause, or apologize for the crash
  • Don’t say anything that could possibly change later

Remember—the investigation is still ongoing. Even if you don’t have all the facts yet, the insurance company will still hold you to anything you say now.

What Causes Most Truck Accidents?

There are some things that are out of drivers’ control. Here in the “Windy City,” we all know the weather can be one of those things.

But when it comes to trucking crashes, most aren’t caused by a fluke accident—they’re caused by negligence.

A well-known large truck crash causation study found these to be among the top causes of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accidents:

  • Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions
  • Braking issues
  • Drug use
  • Tailgating (following too closely)
  • Fatigue
  • Illegal driving maneuvers
  • Unfamiliarity with roadways
  • Inattention
  • Pressures from the trucking company to complete the job faster
  • Distraction
  • Cargo shift from improper loading
  • Alcohol use

The violation of any local, state, or federal law can be the cause of a serious truck collision.

Most Common Trucking Regulation Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the rules that interstate trucking agencies and operators must follow. According to the FMCSA, the most common trucking law violations include:

  • Operating without the proper commercial driver’s license (CDL) or endorsements
  • Falsifying driving records
  • Hours of service violations
  • Failure to conduct necessary truck inspections
  • Driving without meeting the proper lighting requirements
  • Overloading that can lead to tire blowouts
  • Breaking traffic laws
  • Using a mobile device behind the wheel

Truck driver violation infographic

Who Is Liable for My Truck Accident Injuries?

Who can I sue after a truck accident? It’s a question easier asked than answered.

One of the reasons truck crash cases are so complicated is the number of parties that may be liable. Your Chicago truck accident legal team will need to conduct a deep investigation. This involves looking at the actions of all involved parties, like:

  • Truck driver
  • The trucking company (motor carrier)
  • Truck owner
  • Subcontracted truck operator
  • Maintenance personnel or auto mechanic
  • Shipping company
  • Cargo loaders
  • Truck parts manufacturing company
  • Another motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist on the road
  • Other involved parties

There may even be multiple parties that contributed to the crash. We’ll help you hold each and every wrongdoer accountable. This way, we make the roads safer for all of us—and prevent future crashes from injuring or killing more people.

How Do I Prove Liability in a Trucking Accident Case?

It’s not easy to prove liability after a tractor-trailer accident. A trucking company keeps a team of high-paid attorneys on retainer. When an accident happens, the corporation already has its shields in place to protect it.

Without the help of an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer, an injured victim stands little chance of getting justice. And trucking companies count on this fact.

At Thomas Law Offices, we don’t let big corporations get away with harming innocent people in the name of profits. We spend as much time as we need to get the evidence that can prove liability once and for all.

Here are some types of evidence we may use to prove liability:

  • Truck maintenance records
  • Drug and alcohol test results
  • Dashcam footage
  • Black box data (from event data recorders, or EDRs)
  • Video from traffic cameras
  • Driving hiring and training records
  • Weight restriction compliance records
  • Evidence of speeding and other traffic violations
  • Electronic logging device (ELD) records of on-duty hours
  • Company inspection and audit records
  • Accident reconstructionist testimony
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Damage to vehicles and property
  • Injured victims’ medical records

Truck Accident Injuries Are Almost Always Serious

Unfortunately, in most cases, there’s no such thing as a minor truck accident. Because of the size and weight of a big rig—roughly 20 times heavier than a car—passenger vehicle occupants often suffer:

  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
  • Paralysis and permanent disability
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Vital organ trauma
  • Nerve injuries
  • Crushing injuries
  • Whiplash and other neck injuries
  • Mental trauma like PTSD and vehophobia
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts, scrapes, and penetration injuries
  • Disfigurement

In the most severe accidents, there may be a fatality. Wrongful death lawsuits can help surviving family members take action in the name of lost loved ones. If you lost a family member, a wrongful death attorney from Thomas Law Offices can speak with your family about your legal options.

What Compensation Can I Recover in a Chicago Truck Accident Lawsuit?

The more seriously you were hurt, the more you need financial help.

Medical bills are just the beginning. Truck crash survivors may be out of work and unable to pay a number of other crippling expenses. And families who lost a loved one may be left with no way to climb out of the debt their loved one’s passing created.

These financial injuries are called economic damages—the losses that come with a price tag. As the victim of a tractor-trailer crash caused by negligence, you deserve to be compensated for this.

Economic damages often include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical costs
  • Prescription medications
  • Lost wages
  • Decreased future earnings
  • Domestic services (like in-home caregiving, child-sitting, or cleaning)
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Renovations to a home after disability
  • Mental and physical therapy costs
  • Auto repair or replacement
  • Loss of valuable personal property (such as a phone or laptop)
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

But not all of your losses come with a bill. Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate—but they’re just as real. As your Chicago car accident lawyers, we’ll work hard to make sure you’re fairly compensated for these damages as well.

Your noneconomic damages might be:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Chronic pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Inconvenience
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent disability

There are other types of compensation you may be able to receive, but each case is different. Come talk to an attorney at our Chicago personal injury law office to find out more about the potential value of your truck injury case.

Chicago Truck Accident Statistics

In greater Chicago, we see high numbers of commercial trucking accidents.

From major thoroughfares like I-90, I-57, I-55, I-290, I-294, and I-80 to local Chicago trucking routes and high-volume passages like US 30, IL 64, North Lakeshore Drive, US 53, and East Congress Parkway, Chicagoland earns its reputation as one of the worst areas for traffic in the nation.

In the U.S., 4,714 people died in truck crashes in 2021. This was a 17% increase over the previous year and 50% higher than 2009. Most people who die in truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants, not truck drivers. A percentage of fatality victims are also pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s most recent large truck crash information report shows that our state suffered:

  • 19,945 crashes involving one or more large trucks
  • 44,495 people involved in truck accidents

More than 70% of fatalities and injuries in these Illinois truck accidents happened to the drivers and passengers of the smaller passenger cars. Over 52% of the state’s total truck crashes happened in Cook County.

In 2021, Cook County, IL experienced:

  • 10,398 semi-truck and single-unit truck-involved crashes
  • 286 truck accident injuries and 6 fatalities

The Illinois Fatal Crash Data for 2023 already records 70 semi-truck fatalities for 2023 alone.

If you were hurt by trucking negligence, Thomas Law Offices will represent your interests 100%. Meet with one of our experienced semi-truck accident lawyers today at no cost to you.
Call us at 502.473.6540 or fill out this form.

You Ask, We Answer. The Chicago Truck Accident FAQs You Need To Know.

After reading through these frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Chicago trucking accident cases, please contact a truck crash attorney from Thomas Law Offices to learn more about your specific case.

How much does it cost to hire a truck accident lawyer in Chicago?

It depends on the law firm.

Thomas Law Offices takes cases on a “no win, no fee” basis, otherwise known as a “contingency fee basis.” We don’t ask for attorney’s fees upfront. Instead, we take a percentage of your settlement or verdict only if we win your case. That percentage will be decided before we both agree to work together.

Can I sue a large trucking company?

Yes, you can—if you can prove liability. But it’s not easy to sue a multi-million-dollar corporation alone.

We strongly recommend meeting with an attorney first to determine if you have a case. Then, you can move forward in pursuing litigation with the legal representation of a skilled lawyer.

How long does a truck accident case take?

Truck accident cases usually take longer than car accidents. You can count on your case taking at least several months and maybe more than a year.

We can give you a clearer picture of how long your case might take during your free consultation.

How much is my truck accident case worth?

The value of your case depends on the extent of your losses.

We’ll tally everything you’ve lost—including both economic and noneconomic losses—to come up with a full and fair value. Seeing you as a whole person whose life has been changed drastically by an injury is the only way to make sure you recover maximum compensation.

How long do I have to file an injury claim in Chicago?

The statute of limitations for most Illinois trucking cases is two years. If you miss this deadline, you won’t be eligible to recover compensation.

Keep in mind there may be exceptions that afford you more or less time.

Although two years may seem like plenty of time, it’s actually quite short in the world of personal injury law. Cases take a long time to build. Plus, truck crash evidence disappears or is erased quickly. If you wait too long to meet with a law firm, your chances of building a strong case with ample evidence grow smaller.

How do I know when to settle my case?

The truck company’s insurance carrier may offer you a number. How do you know if it’s fair?

That’s a great question. And unfortunately, many people get tricked by a settlement offer that seems generous but is actually unfairly low.

It’s hard to know at first glance if a dollar amount is sufficient to cover all of your current and future medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, lowered earning capacity, and more. You need to make careful calculations to know if an offer is full and fair.

The best way to know if a settlement offer is worth taking is to have an experienced semi-truck lawyer look at it.

Will my case go to trial?

It’s possible. Only a small percentage of Chicago truck cases go to trial, but we can’t guarantee that yours will reach an out-of-court settlement.

It may actually be a good thing if your case goes before a judge. When an insurance company refuses to play fair, you sometimes need an impartial eye to make sure you’re awarded a just outcome.

At Thomas Law Offices, we always prepare for the possibility of a trial. We don’t think we’ll need to go to court—but we’re ready if we do. And by preparing a trial-ready case, we’re usually able to get the insurance company to take our demands seriously.

Can I sue a trucking company without a lawyer?

You can. But we advise against it.

Ask yourself this: Am I prepared to go up against a multi-million-dollar company and its expert legal team? Do I know all the state and federal laws that govern my case? Am I ready to negotiate, represent myself in court, and gather the evidence I need to prove liability?

If you can’t provide a definitive “YES” to every one of these questions, it’s a good idea to get a lawyer.

How can I find a good truck accident lawyer?

Most people start at Google, and that’s a good place to start. You can search terms like “best truck accident lawyer near me” or “Chicago truck accident attorney” to get a big-picture idea of who’s out there. Also, ask friends and family if they have any recommendations.

Then, take some time to read about law firms that handle cases like yours. Finally, schedule a free consultation at a Chicago-based personal injury law office with truck case experience. Don’t forget to bring a list of questions to ask the attorney you meet with.

A No-Cost, Risk-Free Case Consultation With a Top Chicago Truck Accident Attorney

We have chosen to be Chicago truck accident lawyers because we care deeply about this area of the law. We know that almost all CMV crashes could have—and should have—been prevented.

And we also know that major motor carriers and their insurance companies make a habit out of taking advantage of the rights of injured victims and their families. Trucking companies repeatedly put their profit-driven goals over the well-being of those they hurt.

We don’t want that to happen to you.

Contact Thomas Law Offices for a free consultation today. We’re ready to help—and we have the resources to help you change your future.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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