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Posted on in Truck Accidents

IL truck accident lawyerIf you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident, a personal injury claim may allow you to recover financial compensation for your vehicle damage, medical bills, disability, pain and suffering, and other losses. However, it is not always easy to identify the party who is “liable” or legally responsible for a truck accident. Many people assume that the truck driver is automatically at-fault for a serious truck accident, however, the trucking company, a manufacturing company, or even a government entity such as a state may be liable for a truck accident.

Truck Accidents Caused By Truck Driver Negligence

A large percentage of truck accidents are caused by negligent driving. Distracted driving is a particular concern. Because of their massive size, commercial trucks take a long time to stop. If a truck driver is looking down at his or her radio, GPS, or cellphone when a stopped vehicle or other obstacle appears in front of him or her, the results can be catastrophic. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another issue that may lead to horrific truck accidents. Truck driver fatigue and violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) rules regarding rest breaks and drive time may also be the cause of a major truck accident.

Trucking Company Liability for Truck Accidents

In many truck accident cases, the fault for the accident lies with the trucking company. Some truck companies cut corners and hire drivers who are under-qualified to drive a commercial big rig. Other trucking companies fail to keep their trucks adequately maintained. Mistakes in the loading and securement of truck cargo may also be caused by trucking company negligence.

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IL injury lawyerDriving a truck can be a grueling occupation. Truck drivers must spend long periods of time behind the wheel and away from their loved ones. Sleep deprivation and drowsy driving are major concerns in the trucking industry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drivers who do not get enough rest are less attentive to their surroundings, slower to react, and have greater difficulty making decisions.

In order to reduce the frequency of truck accidents and bus accidents caused by fatigued drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted rules that limit the number of hours truck drivers and bus drivers can drive consecutively. Modifications to these regulations go into effect on September 29, 2020.

Changes to Rules Regulating Commercial Driver Rest Breaks

The FMCSA states the changes to the Hours of Service rules are intended to provide drivers with greater flexibility without sacrificing safety. Modifications to the Hours of Service Rules include:

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IL accident lawyerMany drivers feel uneasy when they are behind a tractor-trailer or flatbed truck transporting cargo. While most truck freight is transported without incident in the U.S., accidents caused by improperly secured cargo do happen. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving improperly secured freight on an 18-wheeler or other large truck, you may wonder who is to blame for the accident. The answer to this question is often difficult to determine and fault may lie with more than one party.

Determining Blame for Improperly Secured Truck Cargo

There are undoubtedly instances in which a truck driver is at fault for an auto accident. If the accident was caused by a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, the truck driver may be liable for the damages caused. The driver may also be an at-fault party if he or she failed to complete a required inspection to ensure that the cargo was properly loaded and ready to haul. However, there are also many truck accidents that are not the fault of the driver. If the party who secured the truck cargo took shortcuts or failed to meet the securement standards required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the company that loaded the truck may be at fault. The trucking company may also be liable for damages caused by improperly secured cargo – especially if the company knew about or encouraged the shipping shortcuts that led to the accident. In other cases, the fault may lie with the company that designed or manufactured the equipment used to secure the cargo. For example, if defective tie-downs, straps, ropes, chains, cables, synthetic webbing, or other items used for securement were the cause of the cargo becoming loose or falling out of the truck, the manufacturer or designer of the items may be liable.

Seeking Compensation for a Truck Accident Through a Personal Injury Claim

Truck accidents involving loose cargo can cause catastrophic auto accidents. If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a truck accident, a personal injury claim may help you recover damages. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, ongoing medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, a wrongful death claim may help you recover compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses and funeral and burial costs as well as the loss of the deceased person’s financial support and more.

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Waukegan Semi-Truck Accident Attorney

A tired driver is not a safe driver. Lack of rest makes drivers less attentive and slows reaction time. A tired semi-truck driver can be especially dangerous for anyone in their path simply because a fully loaded tractor-trailer weighs 10 to 15 times more than the average passenger car and requires significantly more stopping time and distance. 

When a fatigued truck driver fails to reduce speed in time to avoid a collision, serious injuries or death can result. These semi-truck accidents often make headlines because of their severity. Here are some semi- truck crash headlines from the Chicago area and around Illinois just for the month of June.

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Waukegan bus and truck accident lawyerA recent tragic accident between a school bus and dump truck in New Jersey reminded Americans nationwide of the inherent dangers of driving large commercial vehicles. In all, 43 students suffered injuries in the accident, while two bus occupants were killed. The accident occurred when the bus was struck by the dump truck while attempting a U-turn through a cut-through on New Jersey’s Interstate 80. Both drivers are under investigation for reckless and negligent driving. 

Due to the overall size of both school buses and commercial trucks, when accidents involving these vehicles occur, they come with increased severity. If a member of your family has been injured in an automobile accident involving large commercial vehicles, it is important to understand your options for pursuing compensation from the negligent party or parties. 

Commercial Trucking and Busing Statistics 

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