Large tractor-trailers are common vehicles on the road. When people in charge of the trucks or the driver acts negligently, however, innocent people are put at risk of suffering from severe injuries. Survivors of truck accidents are often faced with extensive medical bills, time missed from work, and the pain and suffering of going through a traumatic event. But you can seek legal help. A Chicago truck accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will stand up for your rights.
Our attorneys are skilled and compassionate people who will carefully investigate your case. We’ll find out how the other party was guilty and how their negligence caused your injuries. We’ll calculate what the accident cost you in economic and non-economic damages, and then start the fight to get you a fair settlement. With this financial security, you can rest assured that you will be able to pay your bills and recover in peace.
How Safe Are Tractor-Trailers on Illinois Roads?
You may be wondering about the number of truck collisions that occur in Illinois. The 2016 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation reported the following:
- Tractor-trailers were involved in 11,301 crashes.
- Tractor-trailer fatalities increased from 2015 to 2016 by 30 percent.
- On urban roadways, there were 40 fatalities from truck accidents.
- Rural roadway accidents that involved trucks resulted in 66 fatalities.
- There were 22 fatal accidents and 170 injuries in work zones that involved trucks.
These accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. When you know what behaviors or actions make truck accidents more likely to happen, you may be able to identify a dangerous driver on the road or figure out how the truck driver who injured you acted negligently.
What Contributes to Truck Collisions?
The following are common ways for truck accidents to occur. You may want to note that while some can be caused by a negligent truck driver, it may not necessarily be their fault. There are other parties who could have caused your accident.
- Aggressive Driving. Aggressive driving includes speeding, tailgating, and sometimes can include giving into road rage. An aggressive truck driver risks losing control of their vehicle and not having enough time to slow down to avoid a dangerous situation or hazard on the road.
- Inexperienced Driving. New truckers may not be accustomed to handling a truck’s size and weight. They may not know that their vehicle needs more time to slow down, make turns, and change lanes.
- Distracted Driving. All it takes for a wreck to happen is for the driver to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel for a second. The driver’s cell phone can be one of the greatest distractions. Whether they’re using it to call, text, use social media, or even as a navigational tool, cell phones take the driver’s attention away from their most important job—driving.
- Poor Knowledge of Blind Spots. Truckers need to be aware of their vehicle’s blind spots. The immediate front and back of the truck are blind spots, so if a vehicle is driving there, the trucker most likely doesn’t know about it. The lanes to the side of the truck are blind spots, too. It can be dangerous to stay beside a truck for a long period of time. If you’re wondering if the truck driver can see you, there’s a general rule of thumb you can try. If you can’t see the driver through their side mirrors, then it’s unlikely they’re aware of your location.
- Unfamiliarity with the Route. Some truck drivers travel across several states to get to their destination. They’re probably on roads that they’ve never been on before.
- Poor Driving Conditions. Inclement weather makes the road dangerous for everyone. Snow, ice, and even rain can make the roads slippery and reduce the amount of traction the tires get.
- Jackknifing. This is a huge danger for other vehicles on the road. Jackknifing is when the trailer skids out from behind the trailer and moves forward to form an acute angle. When this happens, the driver cannot control what happens. Cars can get hit by the broadside of the trailer.
- Underride Collisions. These are considerably more dangerous than jackknife accidents. When a vehicle hits the side of the truck, the car can get caught underneath it, which is called an underride accident. Typically, the truck will tear off part of the car that’s caught. Those in the car lack protection and can’t exit the vehicle.
- Auto Defects. A manufacturing company that sells faulty parts could put truck drivers at risk of losing control on the road. This could be an issue with brakes, steering, the engine—any issue could potentially lead to an accident.
When these accidents happen, it’s usually due to negligence. No matter what happened, the truck accident lawyers at Thomas Law Offices will find the guilty party and make sure they’re held accountable for their actions.
What Happens After a Semi Truck Accident?
Because of their sheer size and weight, a truck wreck can have permanent consequences. An example of this would be a catastrophic injury. When someone suffers from a catastrophic injury, they are no longer able to perform gainful work. This can completely disrupt someone’s way of life because they may not be able to continue doing their job. Catastrophic injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A head wound either from a sharp blow to the head or something penetrating the skull can cause brain bleeding and swelling. These injuries can cause permanent brain dysfunction, affecting a person’s cognitive and motor abilities.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. A spinal injury can severely affect someone’s life. Depending on the injury site, the damage could be from the waist down or from the trunk down. The person could lose feeling and function below the injury site.
- Loss of Limb. In major collisions, amputations can occur. Someone could lose an arm or leg during the crash or have to lose the limb in surgery because of the damage.
- Burn Injuries. If something ignites during the wreck, the people in the vehicles could suffer from burns. These have the potential to become extremely damaging. Burns can reach underneath the skin, harm the tissues, muscles, and even bone. Nerve damage can occur. These injuries usually need immediate medical attention. Patients may need skin grafts and surgeries to recover from a burn.
- Facial Injuries. Facial fractures or eye injuries can be dangerous and potentially cause blindness.
Even if your accident caused non-catastrophic injuries, you still may need medical care that you will eventually need to pay for. These expenses can be overwhelming, which is why your Chicago attorney will do everything possible to get you fair compensation.
The Reality of Truck Accident Injuries
There may be much more to recovering from a catastrophic injury than waiting for them to heal. You may have to face an adjustment period where you get used to living with the injury. For example, you may be getting used to using a wheelchair or other kind of medical device to help you. This dramatic change can be a lot for one person to handle.
A traumatic injury can leave more than physical scars as well. It’s common for people to develop psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. This could be from adjusting to a new lifestyle or from the shock of the crash itself. One may find that they are afraid of getting behind the wheel or thinking about anything that reminds them of the crash.
These problems usually require psychological help, which will also cost money to go to appointments and possibly for medication. You shouldn’t have to face the choice of affording medical bills or taking care of your mental health. You deserve to be able to treat everything that was harmed in this accident.
Get in Touch with a Reliable Illinois Truck Accident Attorney
The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Thomas Law Offices believe in standing up for those who were wrongfully injured and getting them the help they need. We provide excellent legal services and will do everything we can to get you the compensation that you deserve.
It’s important to get started on your claim as soon as possible because personal injury claims are under statute of limitations. In Illinois, the statute is two years from the date of the accident. Waiting too long could run the risk of your case being thrown out without review. Get in touch with us today to schedule an obligation-free consultation.