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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 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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