Buffalo Grove Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were in a car accident involving a semi-truck or large commercial vehicle, the chances are that you sustained some kind of injury. With their massive size, commercial trucks are a danger to all other vehicles on Illinois roadways.
The Buffalo Grove, IL Law Office of Jack M. Shapiro, P.C. represents truck accident victims on a contingency basis. That means you will not have to pay money upfront for him to represent you. All consultations are free and he only collects his fees if your case settles or if you receive a court award. Call today to talk to a professional truck accident lawyer in Buffalo Grove, IL.
Why Truck Accidents Are More Dangerous
Semi-trucks with trailers attached can be over 70 feet long. Additionally, the maximum weight of a tractor-trailer is 80,000 lbs, which makes it up to 20 times heavier than a private vehicle. This means even at low speeds, the amount of force that tractor-trailers can generate in a truck accident can lead to heavy damage and serious injury.
Additionally, commercial trucks are sometimes tasked with transporting hazardous materials, which means enhanced danger. Placarded vehicles carry explosive, flammable, and toxic substances that can be dangerous to inhale even at a mile’s distance.
For these reasons, truck drivers are held to a much higher standard than car drivers, and additional licensing is required to carry hazardous materials. If you’ve been involved in a truck crash, your truck accident lawyer should review all documentation of the driver’s activities, training, and the cargo they were carrying. If there were any violations of state or federal laws pertaining to trucking, it could be to your advantage.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 378,000 crashes in the U.S. that involved a large truck or bus. 108,000 (28.6%) of these were injury crashes, and 4,032 (1.1%) were fatal crashes. During the same year, the state of Illinois had 9,296 total truck crashes (2.5% of the national total), 1,636 injury crashes (1.5% of the national total, and 105 fatal crashes (2.6% of the national total). In these truck crashes, 76% of those injured and 78% of those killed were in vehicles other than the truck.
Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
There are many factors that can cause a truck accident, which is why it’s a heavily regulated industry. Here are some of the most common factors in truck accidents.
Under federal law, drivers can drive 11 consecutive hours after a 10-hour rest period if they aren’t transporting people. They have a maximum limit on driving of 14 hours and must take a 30-minute break after eight cumulative hours.
Even with these strict guidelines, drivers often try to push their limitations and hope they don’t get caught. However, when a truck driver is involved in an accident, a diligent truck accident attorney will verify the driver’s logbook, itinerary, and GPS data to determine whether a possible violation led to the truck crash.
Driving Under the Influence
Most trucking companies have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving, but alcohol still remains a primary cause of truck vs. motor vehicle accidents. For commercial truck drivers, the Illinois legal limit is .04 — half the legal limit for drivers of private vehicles.
Many truck drivers use apps to check in with their trucking companies, which can be a distraction to driving.That’s by no means the limit to reasons for distracted driving. Drivers get bored on their long routes, which makes it tempting to look at their phones while they’re driving. This is, of course, a danger to other motorists.
Cargo must be packed in a way that it doesn’t shift or fall off of the truck. The improper load can cause jackknifes, rollovers, or falling objects that can strike other vehicles.
Trucking companies must adhere to a strict maintenance schedule and take any trucks with safety issues offline until they can be repaired.
Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Jack Shapiro will determine whether any of the above factors caused or contributed to your accident. Call today to discuss your truck crash with a premier personal injury attorney in Illinois.
What to Do After a Semi-Truck Accident in Buffalo Grove, IL
Truck crashes differ from car vs. car accidents in several respects. This tailored list of trips applies specifically to accidents with commercial vehicles. It should not be construed as legal advice, but the tips can help strengthen your personal injury claim and help you avoid additional injury.
1. Get to a Place of Safety – The safest place for you in a truck accident may be inside your vehicle, but each case is different. Many trucks carry flammable or toxic materials, which means that remaining on the scene is not advisable. If you can, drive to a safer location or safely exit your car and create distance between you and the truck.
2. Call 911 – Getting first responders en route is essential. The dispatcher will want to know the location of the truck crash, the direction of travel, the placarding on the truck, apparent injuries, etc.
3. Talk to Witnesses – If there are witnesses to the crash, ask them to remain on the scene. If they refuse, try to get their contact information.
4. Take Pictures – If you can, use your phone to capture images of the scene, including the position of the vehicles, damage, visible injuries, markings on the truck, and geographic indicators.
5. Seek Medical Attention – Allow the paramedics to check you for injuries. If they recommend that you go to the ER, allow them to transport you to the hospital. In any event, follow up with your doctor.
6. Don’t Accept a Settlement – Before you consider any offer from the trucking company’s insurer, you should have your case evaluated by a top-tier attorney in Buffalo Grove, IL, like Jack Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro can review the merits of your case before you make any personal injury claims. Call today to discuss your case with attorney Shapiro.
Semi-Truck Accident Damages and Compensation
The state of Illinois allows plaintiffs to pursue three types of damages. Economic and non-economic damages comprise compensatory damages, while punitive damages are non-compensatory in nature.
Economic Damages – Plaintiffs can pursue all financial expenses, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc.
Non-Economic Damages – In addition to financial expenses, plaintiffs can pursue damages for the intangible costs of an accident, including physical pain, emotional trauma, loss of capacity, etc.
Punitive Damages – In some cases, the plaintiff can seek additional compensation when their injuries were caused due to gross negligence or willful harm.
There are no damage caps in Illinois, so Buffalo Grove, IL, personal injury attorney Jack Shapiro is free to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help Maximize Your Claim
When you hire the Buffalo Grove, IL Law Office of Jack Shapiro, he will provide the following services:
- Collect medical records and police reports detailing the crash
- Subpoena all witnesses for deposition
- Pull driver logs, maintenance records, manifests, schedules, etc.
- Hire accident reconstruction experts to review your truck crash
- Calculate all damages for the demand letter to the insurance company
- File your personal injury claim
- Litigate your case in court
Jack Shapiro works on a contingency basis, which means that he will work on your case for free until your case settles or is successfully litigated in court. Contact his Buffalo Grove, IL, law office to speak to him about your case.
Frequently Asked Truck Accident Questions
These are some of the most commonly asked questions about truck crashes. For answers to your questions, contact the Buffalo Grove, IL, Law Office of Jack M. Shapiro.
What is the statute of limitations in Illinois?
It is two years from the date of the accident or from the date of death in a wrongful death claim.
Are there damage caps in Illinois?
No, damages are based on financial outlays, the severity of injuries, and the degree of negligence.
Can I get damages if I’m partially at fault?
As long as you are less than 50% responsible for the accident, you can still make a claim for partial compensation.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Buffalo Grove, IL
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, Buffalo Grove Personal Injury Lawyer Jack M. Shapiro will represent you on a contingency basis. Call today for a free consultation.