Call (217) 516-3451 If You Were Injured By A Semi-Truck In Coles County
Illinois is the 7th to 8th leading state for large trucking collisions each year, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately, these crashes typically cause more harm to the occupants of other vehicles rather than the driver of the truck. In fact, 79% of fatalities in 2017 Illinois truck accidents were occupants of other vehicles, not truck occupants. There are many types of trucks with which motorists must share the road, and the immense size and weight of these vehicles can cause catastrophic damage in an accident. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or even lost their life in a collision with a large truck, Spiros Law, P.C. may be able to help. Our experienced Charleston truck accident attorneys have helped countless victims of motor vehicle accidents in Central Illinois recover damages for their injuries and losses.
To learn more, call (217) 516-3451 or fill out our online contact form. Your information is always confidential, and your evaluation is free.
Who Is Responsible For My Injuries?
Truck accident injury claims are much more complicated than other types of accident lawsuits, because there are many more areas of liability where commercial trucks are involved than with passenger vehicles. Fault for the accident could lie with the driver, the trucking company, or the vehicle manufacturer.
Negligent Truck Driver
Truck drivers are under heavy obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, particularly in the area of hours of service. Truckers are not allowed to drive beyond a maximum number of hours each day and are required to take necessary breaks and rest periods. Another common form of negligence by truck drivers is operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drug, especially drugs intended to keep them awake and alert so that they can drive for longer periods of time.
Negligence of the Trucking Company
Like any other business, commercial trucking/shipping companies are out to make a profit. Sometimes this means cutting corners or pressuring their drivers into violating the federal safety requirements. Trucking companies can be liable for the following acts of negligence:
- Making their drivers exceed the daily hours of service.
- Failure to maintain trucks and trailers.
- Hiring drivers with safety violations on their records.
- Failure to properly train truck drivers.
- Overloading or improperly loading tractor-trailers.
Even if a truck driver and shipping company followed every safety protocol to the letter, truck accidents could still happen because many vehicles are made with defective parts. The most common truck defects involve tires and brakes. If a tire tread separates it can cause the truck driver to lose control of his trailer and faulty brakes can make it impossible for the truck to stop in time. Because truck accident cases can be so complex, you need a Charleston truck accident attorney with the experience and resources to thoroughly investigate your accident and hold all liable parties responsible. Since 1996, our firm has handled complex truck accident cases in Coles County with compassion and strength. Our superior reputation and the personal service our lawyers provide, makes our firm a top choice of among clients and referring attorneys.
Contact Spiros Law, P.C. today! We have offices in Charleston, IL.
Types Of Trucks On Our Roads
Trucks, trailers, and buses serve many different purposes and therefore come in many shapes and sizes. From armored vans designed to transport large sums of currency to U-Haul vehicles made for moving any number of items, the type of truck and the experience of the driver will vary. Common types of large vehicles include:
- Cargo delivery (FedEx, UPS, USPS)
- Fire engine/emergency medical services
- Garbage collection
- Livestock carrier
- Recreational vehicles (RVs)
- Road train
Bus accidents generally fall under the category of commercial vehicle accidents along with trucks such as those listed above. Bus accidents often involve numerous passengers and can result in severe injuries, just as trucking accidents. Unfortunately, there are many causes unique to these vehicles that may contribute to an accident.
Causes Of Collisions With Commercial Vehicles
In Illnois, the maximum speed limit for trucks is 65 mph. However, many other factors contribute to safety on the road and speed must be adjusted depending on road, weather, and traffic conditions. Truck operators and trucking companies must also comply with state and federal trucking regulations as well as local traffic laws. The following factors may contribute to truck accidents in Coles County:
- Aggressive driving
- Blind spots
- Distracted drivers
- Driving under the influence
- Equipment failure
- Excess cargo / overloaded trucks
- Fatigued drivers
- Improperly secured cargo
- Negligent drivers
- Mechanical defects
- Poor maintenance
- Poor weather conditions
- Shifting loads
- Unsafe lane changes
In an effort to avoid a collision with any type of vehicle, a motorist should practice defensive driving. It is also important to be mindful of the complexities involved in maneuvering large vehicles, and to be respectful while sharing the road. It is imperative to stay alert behind the wheel, so you have time to react to a hazard.
Types Of Trucking Collisions
Trucks may be involved in many of the same types of collisions as other vehicles and are also prone to specific accidents, such as jackknifing, due to their design. Some examples of trucking collisions include:
- Runaway trailer
- Tire blowout
- No-Zone/blind spot accidents
Some trucking accidents can result in the spillage of hazardous materials. If you believe you may have been exposed to any hazardous substances while involved in a truck crash, it is vital to seek medical care and to speak with an attorney in Central Illinois about your legal options.
Common Injuries Suffered By Victims Of Truck Crashes
Unfortunately, the catastrophic nature of truck accidents often leaves victims with severe, sometimes permanent, injuries. Such injuries may include:
- Broken bones
- Dental trauma
- Dislocated joints
- Facial damage
- Internal trauma
- Loss of limb
- Orthopedic damage
- Psychological damage
- Rib fractures
- Spinal cord trauma
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Injuries sustained in a truck wreck often result in exorbitant medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, and more. If you or a loved one was involved in such a collision, an attorney can help to determine whether you are eligible to pursue compensation after you have obtained medical treatment.
What to do After A Truck Accident
If you have been victimized by the action or inaction of a truck driver — and/or by his or her employer — there are two things you need to do without delay:
- Get emergency medical attention.
- Call a proven and experienced truck accident lawyer at Spiros Law, P.C..
Make no mistake: insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize the payout after their client (e.g. the at-fault truck driver and/or the employer) is sued. That’s in their best interest. But what about your best interest? That’s a completely different story. Your best interest is to be fully compensated for your current and long-term financial losses and suffering. This could include ongoing medical and rehabilitation fees, loss of future income, and so on. It’s not uncommon for the numbers to add up into the millions, and it’s an amount that insurance companies will fight hard to avoid paying. However, an experienced lawyer in Coles County can fight back on your behalf, working to ensure that the focus is where it should be: on you, your injuries, and your suffering.