How Trucking Accidents Differ from Auto Accidents
Many roads lead to Chicago, and most of them are dangerous. You can easily find yourself a party in an accident. Of course, not all vehicle collisions are the same. If your vehicle is struck by a car, even a larger sedan, you are less likely to suffer serious injury than if you are hit by a commercial truck. Commercial truck drivers and their passengers are sometimes gravely injured and even killed – they numbered 683 in 2017. However, many more people in passenger vehicles die as a result of these collisions. In 2017, that number hit 2797.
Navigating the aftermath of a “normal” accident is difficult enough. However, trucking accidents differ a great deal from collisions between cars, small trucks and SUVs. If you’ve been in a collision with a big truck, you need the advice of a personal injury lawyer in order to get an appropriate settlement.
A semi can weight up to 80,000 lbs, and the cab with a trailer can be 80 feet long. The average car is only 4,000 lbs and around 14 feet long. This extreme difference in size certainly explains the number of fatalities in these collisions. Your family vehicle is simply no match for the size and weight of commercial trucks. When your vehicle collides with one of these giants, you are quite likely to be injured even if your vehicle has the most advanced safety features.
The height of these trucks makes them safer for the driver and passengers but allows smaller vehicles to go at least partway under them, another reason these collisions are so deadly. There is simply no way for your car to safely withstand an impact with a big rig.
Truck Accident Types
Truck accidents can be caused by the negligence of the truck driver or by the passenger vehicle’s operator. The average driver often does not give semis enough respect on the road and fails to understand the difference in how these trucks operate when compared to a family vehicle. Of course, some truck drivers do not operate their vehicles as they should. Some common truck accidents include:
When a truck stops too quickly, it can cause the trailer to skid into a 90-degree angle, blocking the road and endangering other drivers.
Big trucks need lots of room to turn left, and sometimes the trailer swings so wide that it pins other vehicles between the trailer sides and the sidewalk or pushes other motorists completely off the road.
Big trucks have some big blind spots. If you are so close to a semi that you can’t see their mirrors, understand that the driver cannot see you either.
Unfortunately, semis do occasionally lose part or all of their loads. Objects that are not correctly secured can fall off the trailer and strike other vehicles.
Other motorists can help prevent these accidents by giving these trucks plenty of room on the road. Realize that even if you exercise caution, you can still be the victim of a trucking accident. If you do become involved in this type of collision, you may need legal help to determine who is responsible.
Some accidents are clear cut. The responsible party can easily be one of the drivers involved in the accident. In other situations, several people may share in the blame, and you’ll need to prove their part in order to get the compensation that you deserve. In addition to the truck driver, the following may be held responsible for the accident:
- The owner of the rig, including both the truck and trailer
- The manufacturer of the truck, tires or a faulty part
- The person who loaded the cargo
- The person who leased the truck and trailer
One or more of the above may be at least partially responsible for the accident, which means their insurance companies may spend months squabbling over who pays out to the victim. Some of these arguments have been somewhat simplified by federal law, which states that the party owning a trucking permit is responsible for accidents involving a truck that bears the name of a particular company. That’s not to say that the manufacturer cannot still be held responsible for marketing faulty brakes.
You may need legal help in negotiating with the various insurance companies if you’ve been injured in a trucking accident. Sometimes, the insurance company settlement is simply not adequate to meet your financial needs. These accidents can cause serious, long-term injuries that require expensive medical care and result in loss of wages. You may also be due compensation for emotional distress. Suing the responsible parties may be the only way to meet your living expenses. Before making any decisions on how to proceed, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
WG Law Group
Chicago is a major hub for commercial trucks. Anyone driving on the Chicago freeways knows to look out for these big rigs and their cargo. Sometimes, even the best drivers cannot avoid accidents in the busy Chicagoland traffic. If you are involved in a trucking accident in Illinois, contact Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. Their seasoned attorneys know the ins and out of Illinois law and the Chicago area courtrooms. Their understanding of trucking accidents makes them your natural choice for legal representation.
Whiteside & Goldberg works hard to help you regain your life. They offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything until they win a settlement for you. These experienced attorneys aggressively pursue your case in order to get you the compensation that you deserve.
For more information on Illinois trucking accidents, call 312-334-6875 to speak to an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg. You do not have to fight alone.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.