The massive size and lumbering handling of large trucks make them dangerous if not handled properly. A collision with a truck could kill, maim, or severely injure the occupants of other vehicles.
If a truck wreck injured you or a loved one has been killed, consult a Madison County truck accident lawyer. If negligence contributed to the incident, the law holds the negligent parties responsible for compensating your losses. Although money cannot restore your health or bring back your loved one, holding negligent parties to account offers some closure and might prevent a similar tragedy in the future. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your eligibility to recover compensation for your damages.
Negligence Causes Truck Accidents
Truck accidents, like most accidents, often result from someone’s negligence. Because it requires a group of people and companies to keep a truck on the road, there are multiple opportunities for someone’s negligence to create a situation that might lead to a truck accident. An experienced attorney could investigate a crash to identify all the potentially negligent parties who might be liable for the client’s injuries.
Truckers and their employers are often at least partially responsible for crashes. Truckers are under substantial pressure to make timely deliveries, and they often work punishing schedules. Being on the road for days at a time might be lonely and boring, and drivers might look for distractions. Wrecks could happen when a:
- Truck is speeding or driving too fast for weather conditions
- Trucker is distracted–using a cell phone, eating, smoking, talking to a passenger, adjusting electronic equipment, or engaging in any action that shifts their focus from the road
- Trucker is fatigued
- Trucker is under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs
Trucking companies could be negligent if they did not screen prospective drivers before hiring them, or if they impose a delivery schedule that requires drivers to speed. Their negligence also could cause crashes if they deferred maintenance on the vehicle and a mechanical failure contributed to the wreck.
If load shift was a factor in the accident, the company that loaded the truck might have been negligent. If poor road maintenance or signage contributed to the wreck, the state or a local government could be liable.
Liability Insurance Requirements for Trucks
Like everyone who registers a vehicle in Illinois, commercial trucks must have liability insurance. The amount of coverage required depends on the size of the vehicle, its cargo, and whether it operates across state lines or stays in Illinois.
Illinois requires trucks that operate only within the state have liability coverage in amounts ranging from $300,000 for a truck that moves household goods, to $1,000,000 for an oil tanker, to $5,000,000 for a truck that transports hazardous materials. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act requires trucks that move goods across state lines to have liability coverage in amounts ranging from $750,000 to $5,000,000.
The availability of significant insurance is good news for people who might sustain injuries in a truck accident. A savvy personal injury attorney could negotiate with the trucking company’s insurer to obtain a fair settlement that appropriately compensates the plaintiff for their damages.
Limited Time to Take Action
A plaintiff has only two years from the date of their injury to bring a lawsuit seeking damages, according to 735 ILCS 13-202. Injured people are wise to begin working with an accident lawyer as soon as possible after the wreck so that the process of building a case can begin while evidence is fresh.
If the State of Illinois or a local government might have some responsibility for the accident, matters are more urgent. The law requires a plaintiff to file either a notice of claim or a lawsuit within one year of the date of the accident. A failure to timely file the notice could defeat the claim.
Pursue Your Truck Crash Claim with a Seasoned Attorney
Claims involving trucks require an aggressive advocate. Trucking companies vigorously defend their business and drivers, and an injured person without representation might be outgunned. Trust a knowledgeable Madison County truck accident lawyer to handle your claim. Call to schedule a consultation today.