Large truck accidents involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry.
Federal laws are in place to protect passengers from illegal truck activities that would make roadways more dangerous, including trucking companies transporting of loads and sizes above legal limits for safe maneuverability in traffic situations. These breaches in law may contribute to the over 33,244 lives lost in 2019 in fatal traffic crashes, specifically where combination trucks were involved in 5.9 percent of those accidents. Experienced Illinois truck accident lawyers can offer legal guidance and support to victims who have sustained expensive property damage, significant personal injury, and families who have lost a loved one in a fatal accident. Activities that could be at the root of a catastrophic truck accident may include common violations such as:
- Improper Maintenance
- Driver Fatigue
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Overweight Cargo
- Commercial Company Negligence
- Unsecured Loads
- Driving in Extreme Weather
- DUI Violations
Illinois is an“at-fault” state for vehicle accidents and bases damage awards on comparative negligence, which may allow the injured party to carry a degree of fault in a truck accident, but still recover reduced damages, usually in respect to designated percentages of fault assigned to drivers. The modified comparative negligence system in Illinois looks at the degree of fault as a percentage, but there is a threshold of fault that will automatically render a not-guilty verdict for the defense in some cases. In Illinois, if you are found to be more than 51% responsible for your accident during the course of your Illinois personal injury claim, your case is settled in favor of the defense. An experienced truck accident attorney in Chicago can explain how this will impact a claim for damage compensation, or a wrongful death action.
Truck accidents often stem from the negligence of drivers, and other roadway factors such as improper highway maintenance. When an individual, or entity’s actions, or omission to act, violate negligence standards, the law requires the violating person to compensate the injured parties. Elements of negligence must be proven to reach a successful damage award in most truck accident cases. They include:
- An owed duty of care between parties,
- a breach of duty,
- causal connection between the defendant’s conduct resulting in the harm,
- proximate cause,
- measurable damages due to defendant’s conduct.
Professional efforts made by Chicago truck accident lawyers may include submitting documents to prove negligence including:
- Visual evidence: photographs taken at the scene and pictures of injuries, sometimes a professional scene reconstructionist will be hired.
- Witness testimony: If there were any people at the scene, including passengers, their testimony can be valuable.
- Maintenance and driver logs to show proper care and driving patterns existed.
- Proof of criminal behavior such as DUI, or reckless driving.
- Police reports: When police arrive at the scene or when you file a police report, officers will be taking notes. They have an objective perspective and will document the events of the accident more precisely than the drivers after a collision. Their version of events could help your case.
- Medical bills: The amount of a damage settlement, or court award is largely contingent on the extent of injuries, and provable losses, present and future, in the case of catastrophic injury or death. Accident parties should always go to the doctor and keep records of the treatment, tests, prescriptions, and bills they receive.
Complexity of truck accident cases
Large truck accidents involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry, extensive experience with state and federal governing laws, commercial drivers’ license laws, and sophisticated investigative capabilities to collect evidence and analyze it to support a negligence claim. If you have been involved in, or lost a loved one in a truck accident in Chicago Illinois, contact a professional truck accident attorney at USAttorneys.com who can guide you through the legal processes involved, communicate with insurance carriers and trucking industry lawyers, and secure necessary compensation for immediate needs in a timely manner.