We depend on tractor-trailers to transport goods all over the country. Most truck drivers have road experience and the know-how to operate their vehicles safely. But when drivers or trucking companies act negligently, lives are put at risk. Survivors of truck accidents are often faced with extensive medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering of going through a traumatic event. When you’ve been injured in an Illinois truck accident, a Chicago truck accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will stand up for your rights.
How the Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers from Thomas Law Offices Can Help You
If you were injured or lost a loved one through the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, you deserve to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side. Thomas Law Offices’ Chicago truck accident attorneys are skilled and compassionate professionals who understand the complex laws and regulations governing the commercial trucking industry.
We have a successful track record of winning cases for people just like you. We’ve obtained millions for our clients, and we’re ready to put our experience to work for you.
The Chicago truck accident lawyers on our team understand that every case is unique and will treat your personal injury case with the individual respect and attention to detail it deserves. When we take your case, we will:
- Thoroughly investigate to gather evidence proving that the other party failed to act responsibly and how their negligence caused your injuries.
- Calculate the full extent of your financial and emotional losses to determine the compensation you’re rightfully owed.
- Negotiate with powerful truck industry insurance companies on your behalf, fighting to make sure you get a full and fair settlement.
- Represent you in court if necessary, using our experience as expert litigators to give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
- Communicate with you and keep you informed through every step of the process.
- Work toward complete financial security for you and your family, so you can rest assured that you will be able to pay your bills and recover in peace.
- Begin with a free consultation to give you the opportunity to learn why our law firm is right for you.
Thomas Law Offices is proud to help the citizens of Chicago and the greater Illinois area. Fighting for justice when innocent people have been harmed drives us to fiercely advocate for our clients.
When powerful semi-trucks share the road with passenger cars, negligence should never be allowed to continue. Call our office today so you can meet with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer during a free consultation. We are ready to begin fighting for you.
Semi-Truck Accidents Are Different from Passenger Car Accidents
It’s important to remember that large truck accidents are very different from passenger vehicle accidents. Passenger vehicle accidents typically involve individuals driving their own cars under their own insurance policies.
In the commercial trucking industry, the driver doesn’t usually own the vehicle and is likely covered under their company’s insurance policy. There are also many laws at the federal, state, and local levels that regulate the actions of drivers and trucking companies.
Additionally, while a car accident typically happens between vehicles of roughly the same size, a car vs. truck collision is different. A tractor-trailer is 20-30 times larger by weight than a passenger vehicle, and can cause serious damage to cars. A truck accident may even involve multiple vehicles. All of these factors serve to make semi-truck accidents far more complicated than car accidents.
When it comes to commercial trucking, there are multiple parties involved at various stages of the process. Any one of these parties may be negligent in a way that causes an accident to occur. Following a collision, a truck accident claim may involve:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company responsible for hiring, training, and scheduling drivers
- The individuals or companies responsible for maintaining, inspecting, or repairing vehicles
- The shipping or loading company
- The truck parts manufacturing company
Any one of these parties may be found liable in a truck accident case. How do you know who is liable after a truck accident?
Determining the Cause of a Truck Accident: Who Is Liable?
When a Chicago truck accident attorney from Thomas Law Offices takes your case, we begin by deeply investigating the circumstances of your collision. As your truck accident lawyers, we will go to any lengths necessary to secure the evidence needed to support your claim. Trucking companies are often eager to avoid liability, leading them to hide evidence, manipulate victims, or otherwise act dishonestly. This is another factor that can complicate truck accident cases.
Our experienced truck accident attorneys know how to handle these challenging situations. To find the evidence we need to properly protect you, we may need to examine:
- Truck black box data
- Driver cell phone records
- Logbooks and company records
- Company insurance policies
- Driver employment history and past violations
- Drug and alcohol test results
- Company records of employment and performance
- Truck inspection reports
- Footage from dashboard or traffic cameras
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Eyewitness reports
- Expert testimony of professionals like traffic reconstruction experts
No matter how complicated your truck accident case, we will do what it takes to make sure you achieve justice.
Common Causes of Truck Collisions
A trucking accident can be caused by any number of factors. In many cases, a truck crash is the result of a combination of several factors. However, trucking accidents—like all types of motor vehicle accidents—are most often caused by human error.
Whether it is truck driver negligence or negligence on the part of the truck driver’s employer, most commercial vehicle accidents happen because someone didn’t exercise proper care. Tractor-trailer accidents are rarely minor. When large trucks crash, there are usually serious injuries, or worse.
Fatal truck accidents are all too common in Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the rest of the nation. For this reason, there are strict state and federal regulations that work to prevent trucking company or truck driver error. Sadly, commercial truck drivers and their employers often disregard safety for the sake of profits.
If you sustained serious personal injury or a loved one suffered a wrongful death in a trucking accident involving negligence, you have legal options. Victims of Chicago truck accidents need to know they have the support of a law firm strong enough to stand up to the trucking company. At Thomas Law Offices, we do just that for you.
Let’s look at a few examples of negligence that can result in a truck crash:
Aggressive driving includes speeding, tailgating, and road rage. Trucks take longer to slow down, brake, and turn. If a trucker is driving aggressively and traffic in front of them suddenly slows down, they may not have enough time to react. Aggression behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle can lead to a fatal truck accident. Truck driver substance abuse can also aggravate dangerous driving behaviors.
Commercial trucks are not easy to handle without proper training. Trucking companies must make sure drivers receive adequate practical training for the type of vehicle they will be driving, whether it’s a semi-truck or a garbage truck. If your Chicago truck accident lawyer determines that inadequate training contributed to the truck crash, the trucking company may be held liable.
All it takes for a trucking accident to happen is for the driver to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel for a second. Cell phone use is an increasingly common factor in every type of motor vehicle accident. But there are also distractions unique to tractor-trailers, as many drivers spend a significant amount of time on the road and tend to treat the truck cab as a home away from home.
While overloading a trailer may save the trucking company money, it is illegal. Overloaded cargo can cause the axles to fail, transmission to give out, or a tire to blow out, leading to a serious trucking accident. Jackknife accidents can also result when cargo is not properly loaded or secured.
Hours of Service Violations
It’s not uncommon for a Chicago truck accident lawsuit to involve a hours of service (HOS) violation. Federal and state laws require that drivers limit their driving hours and take adequate rest periods. Unfortunately, trucking companies have been known to push drivers to break HOS rules. This creates a dangerous culture for those who work in the trucking industry, as well as everyone who shares the road with commercial trucks.
Failure To Check Blind Spots
Truckers need to be aware of their vehicle’s blind spots. A large truck has blind spots on all sides of the vehicle: 20 feet ahead, 30 feet behind, up to two lanes to the right, and one lane to the left. If a driver turns or merges without properly ensuring there are no passenger vehicles in the path, they may be liable for the semi-truck accident they cause.
Negligence in Vehicle Inspections
Trucking companies have a responsibility to put safe trucks on the road. They are required to perform regular maintenance and inspect the trucks to make sure they’re road-ready. If a trucking company fails to uphold this duty and a vehicle part fails on the road, the company may be held liable for vehicle inspection negligence.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Because of the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks, any accident involving a commercial vehicle is likely to result in serious injuries. Other vehicles are highly vulnerable to the extreme damages large trucks can cause. A tractor-trailer accident often causes catastrophic injuries, meaning that the victim’s life is acutely altered by the event.
Truck crashes result in some of the most severe injuries seen in personal injury cases. The medical costs associated with a semi-truck accident can be difficult to imagine. Accidents between two cars may be minor or severe, but few passenger vehicle occupants survive trucking accidents unharmed.
Sadly, in all truck accident cases involving a semi-truck and a smaller car, 97% of people killed are occupants of the car, not the large truck.
Truck accident victims often come to Thomas Law Offices after they’ve suffered a serious injury or the loss of a loved one. When you meet with our Chicago personal injury attorneys, we’ll begin with a free consultation to get a better understanding of how your life was impacted by the injuries sustained by you or a family member.
From there, your personal injury attorney can work to show that you suffered injuries as a result of negligence on the part of the driver or trucking company involved. Your truck accident lawyers will make sure that every cost associated with your serious injury is calculated in your compensation amount—from medical bills to lost wages to pain and suffering.
Some examples of catastrophic truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Burn injury
- Permanent cognitive impairment
Trucking Accident Fatality
In a worst-case scenario, the truck accident may result in fatality. If you’ve lost a loved one because of a trucking accident, Thomas Law Offices is here to offer support and expert legal guidance. Our skilled wrongful death lawyers will seek justice for your loved one.
Thomas Law Offices’ personal injury lawyers can give your loved one a voice and hold the person who acted wrongly accountable for their actions. While we cannot undo the wrongful death that resulted from negligence, we can provide comfort and financial stability for your family after a tragedy.
Partner With a Truck Accident Attorney Who Can Fight for You
Our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Thomas Law Offices believe in standing up for those who were wrongfully injured. We make it our goal to provide excellent legal services and compassionate support. We will fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
With our lawyers as representation, you can trust your claim will be handled with the utmost care and expertise. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation.