According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 3.5 million people worked as truck drivers in 2019, making it one of the largest occupations in the nation. Many of these people live in Illinois; in fact, the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metropolitan area alone contains 37,500,00 resident truck drivers. We, of course, rely on trucks to bring us necessary goods, but there are also dangers that come from having so many trucks on the road. A fully loaded truck can be as much as 16 times heavier than a passenger vehicle; if the two collide, the passenger vehicle and its occupants will most likely bear the brunt of the damage.
Experiencing any car accident, particularly one that involves a truck, is a traumatizing experience. And it doesn’t end on the scene: you’re stuck battling with insurance companies, paying thousands of dollars of medical bills, and simply trying to get back to living your life. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. Let us take on this battle for you so that you can recuperate and get back to doing what you love. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is one of the premier truck accident law firms in the nation, and has the skills and resources to win you the justice and compensation you deserve.
Work with an experienced truck accident attorney. Contact us today to get a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product Liability
$9 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$7.5 Million Auto Accident
$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident
$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accidents
Causes of Truck Accidents in Illinois
In 2019, there were 12,505 truck accidents in the state of Illinois. 114 of these truck accidents included a fatality, and nearly 2,000 resulted in significant injury. What’s more, Illinois contains the third most populous city in America, which by nature significantly increases the rate of accidents. But why are these accidents happening?
- Driver fatigue. Unfortunately, driver fatigue is an all too common reality among truckers. Many drivers have to travel great distances without stopping, leaving them behind the wheel for 12 hours or more. Nodding off for even a moment, or even driving with the impaired judgment that exhaustion creates, can lead to deadly consequences.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s eyes or minds off the road, or their hands off the wheel. This can include anything from texting to simply letting one’s mind wander. A 2009 study found that in 71% of truck accidents, distraction played a role; truck drivers were doing something at the time of the accident other than driving.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving may include anything from speeding to unsafe lane changing. Doing so is always dangerous, but even more so when the vehicle in question is an 18-wheeler.
- Driving under the influence. Driving under the influence is both dangerous and illegal, but unfortunately, it’s all too common among truck drivers.
- Mechanical failure. Sometimes, the fault lies not with the driver but with the vehicle itself. Accidents may be caused by the failure of crucial elements such as the brakes, the tires, and the steering system.
- Improperly loaded cargo. Flatbed trucks in particular are at risk for accidents caused by improperly loaded cargo. Because the bed of the truck is open, if the goods are not secured, they can fly out of the vehicle and onto the road or highway.
- Poor maintenance checks. All commercial trucks need to undergo extensive safety and maintenance checks before they’re not allowed on the road. If one is performed poorly, or something is missed, it could lead to an accident.
- And more.
What to Do After An Illinois Truck Accident
Emotions and adrenaline are typically both high after an accident. It’s important that you stay calm, move into a safe place out of the road, and go through the following steps. All of this is designed to both prioritize your safety and ensure you’ve laid the groundwork for a strong case going forward.
Seek medical care. Seeking medical care for yourself, if needed, should always be your first priority.
Call the police. You should call the police as soon as you can after the accident. When they arrive on the scene, the police will write up an official report. This may include their assessment of who is at fault for the accident.
Exchange information with other parties. While you most certainly need to report the crash, and the police will therefore have detailed records of all parties’ information, it is wise to take note of this information yourself as well. Remember that contact with other parties should be limited to exchanging this information and ensuring everyone has the medical care they need — do not apologize, get angry, or engage in any way beyond taking down the following:
- Driver’s name, address, phone number, and email address
- Driver’s insurance company and policy information
- Driver’s license number for the driver of the truck
- Name and contact information for the truck driver’s employer
Check for witnesses. It’s wise to make note of whether the crash was witnessed by any third parties, who may be able to provide helpful information. You are within your rights to ask for the information of anyone on the scene (though they are under no legal obligation to provide it to you). Later on, you can also check the accident report to see if the responding officer spoke to any witnesses you were not aware of at the time.
Document the scene of the accident. Use your phone to take photos of the accident, and of both vehicles. If you are injured, document your injuries immediately. Even if the officers are documenting the scene, it’s wise to take pictures and gather evidence of your own. This can prove extremely useful as you determine fault and potentially pursue a personal injury suit.
Notify your insurance company. Illinois is a fault-based insurance state. This means that the at-fault party uses their insurance to cover the injured party’s damages. In many cases, the damage and injuries caused by a truck accident are too great to be met by the other party’s insurance limits. But you must alert your own insurance company of the accident as soon as you are able to do so so that they are prepared to receive a claim.
Speak wisely. In the aftermath of an accident, you will be contacted by insurance agents. You need to be extremely careful in what you say here, as you do not want to unintentionally admit fault or give away any information that they can use against you.
Call your Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys truck attorney. It’s in your best interest to hire an attorney as soon as you possibly can after your truck accident. As mentioned above, insurance adjusters will start calling you almost immediately after the accident, and you’ll want all of this communication to go through your attorney. This ensures you’re not pressured into agreeing to something you’ll later regret. Additionally, hiring a lawyer quickly means that they’ll be able to get to work gathering crucial evidence for your case, much of which is time sensitive. For instance, the black box in a truck contains important information about the accident, but in many cases, these black boxes erase recordings or record over them in a matter of days or hours. Contact your Munley truck accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can get started seeking justice and compensation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer After an Illinois Truck Accident?
On the surface, insurance companies exist to cover the damage you experience in a car accident. But the reality is, these are profit-making companies that are always looking to pay out as little as possible. Without someone advocating for you, you may find yourself shortchanged and without the proper compensation to pay your medical bills and get back to your life. What’s more, without the aid of an attorney, you may not even recognize some of the damages you are eligible to receive. Your Munley truck accident attorney will review your case in great detail in order to ensure you receive every dime you are owed. The physical and emotional aftermath of an accident is great enough, and you should not have to additionally carry a financial burden when you don’t need to.
Truck accident cases are also inherently more complex than those that occur between two passenger vehicles. For one, you will likely be facing up against a large and powerful trucking corporation, one that has a significant legal team. These companies carry millions in insurance and have their own adjustors, whose aim is to give out the lowest possible amount to the plaintiff. Without an experienced attorney on your side, your chances of receiving an ideal settlement are low. Your Munley truck accident lawyer can fight to make sure you don’t get less than you deserve.
Our experienced attorneys can help you negotiate a fair settlement and can assist you even if you’re struggling to navigate your insurance policy.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Expect to Receive After My Semi Truck Accident?
Like with all personal injury cases, it’s difficult to estimate how much you may be eligible for in damages without examining your case in detail. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys regularly secures clients’ multi-million dollar settlements; in fact, Munley recently secured a $26 million settlement for the victim of a truck accident. This settlement set the record for the largest settlement in that area for an individual plaintiff. When you work with Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, you can rest assured we will stop at nothing to secure you the best settlement possible.
While it’s challenging to provide any real estimate of compensation without knowing more about a case, there are some areas that are generally considered and covered. The economic damages you may be eligible to receive include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle
- The cost of rehabilitation, physical therapy, or in-home assistance
Some forms of damages don’t have such clear-cut monetary value, but still absolutely deserve coverage. Your Munley Illinois truck accident attorney will examine every element of your case to see all of the ways in which the accident has impacted you, and how you should be compensated for that. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment and/or normal life
- Living with a disability
Truck Accidents in Chicago
While truck accidents occur all over the state of Illinois, the city of Chicago poses an especially high risk for collisions. In Cook County, where Chicago is located, there were 269 fatal crashes in 2018 and 294 in 2019. There were a total of 118,304 in Chicago in 2018, and the Chicago Department of Transportation has subsequently offered warnings about how speeding is dangerously on the rise.
Chicago is a densely packed metropolitan city with a population of 2.71 million. With this many people and this many vehicles on the road, accidents are a bleak reality. What’s more, many trucking companies have hubs in Chicago, and a great number of trucks pass through the city each and every day. Drivers of passenger vehicles in Chicago should be particularly cautious while on the road, and pay special attention to trucks. Accidents like these are all too common.
Why Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys?
If you have experienced a truck accident in the state of Illinois, you know that it can be a truly devastating experience. We here at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are so sorry you’ve had to undergo something so traumatic, but we want to offer you a way through. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, it is our goal and our honor to bear some of your struggle alongside you as you reckon with the aftermath of your accident. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is the nation’s leading personal injury team, and we have the resources to fight for you until you achieve both justice and compensation.
Having a Munley truck accident attorney on your side is the best way to guarantee you’re not shortchanged by an insurance company or intimidated by a powerful trucking corporation. Our team of ten excellent, highly experienced lawyers and dozens of excellent legal support staff will work tirelessly for you, so that you can rest easy and focus on getting back to the things you love. Contact us today for a free initial case evaluation. We’re here and ready to protect your interests.