Illinois is an“at-fault” state for motor vehicle accidents and recoverable damage awards are based on comparative negligence.
The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry to ensure standardized safety rules across the country. The laws are in place to protect roadway commuters and truck drivers from illegal trucking industry activities that would make roadways more dangerous such as:
- Improper Maintenance
- Driver Fatigue
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Overweight Cargo
- Commercial Company Negligence
- Unsecured Loads
- Driving in Extreme Weather
- DUI Violations
- Emergent medical condition
Truck accident victims may ask themselves “Where can I find an attorney near me?” when they need assistance after a serious truck accident in Chicago.
Possible negligent parties to name in legal action
Truck accident lawyers are skilled at identifying all parties to a truck accident claim to move a case toward mediation, arbitration or going to trial. While many of the federal and state regulations focus on the truck driver, other parties that are invested in the timely transport of goods may be at fault in a tractor trailer accident. If cargo loaders do not secure the load, it can lead to jackknife or rollover situations, or falling debris on roadways; maintenance personnel who do not service the vehicle properly could be held responsible if something mechanical is the cause of a big rig crash; parts and truck manufacturers may have some defect in the truck itself that causes it to malfunction and crash; trucking companies and owners may be negligent if they encourage drivers to disobey laws such as hours on duty, or falsify drivers logs to facilitate faster transport of goods. In many cases, it is difficult to pinpoint causes for a truck accidents, as outside factors including weather, other drivers and roadway conditions must be taken into consideration. However, a recent government study identified driver fatigue as a key factor in 13% of the cases where there was a fatality.
Illinois is an“at-fault” state for motor vehicle accidents and recoverable damage awards are based on comparative negligence, allowing the injured party to have some degree of fault in their accident and still recover reduced damages. The modified comparative negligence system, as used in Illinois, also looks at the degree of fault as a percentage. When a suing party is found more than 51% responsible for the accident, the lawsuit will be settled in favor of the defense. Insurance and legal settlements will be based on information obtained by the victims, witnesses and professionals who arrive at the scene. An Illinois truck accident attorney can identify multiple factors that will assist in the determination of fault.
An accident victim may receive both compensatory damages such as loss of wages, medical bills, legal fees, and property damage and non-economic loss to victim for pain and suffering; and punitive damages can be awarded to punish the persons being sued, in the event of gross negligence causing extensive damage or death, or caused by criminal acts while driving, such as DUI or speeding.
Secure legal counsel
Experienced truck accident lawyers who are familiar with the importance of the sequence of events after a person is injured in a truck accident may work with insurance companies toward a comprehensive insurance settlement or initiate a legal action against parties whose negligence may have contributed to injuries and damages. Call the Dinizulu Law Group for a consultation, and to explore all relevant legal options.