Because of the incredible size discrepancy between a standard car and a fully loaded tractor-trailer, any truck accident has the potential to result in serious and even fatal injuries. Based on provisional data on fatal truck and motor vehicle throughout the state, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 40 fatal accidents involving semi-trucks occurred in just the first four months of 2018.
Driving a commercial truck takes substantial training and experience, as well as an unwavering attention to the road. As such, truck drivers have a legal obligation to operate their massive vehicles safely and to avoid engaging in dangerous driving behaviors.
If you were involved in a crash with a commercial truck that you believe the driver of that truck caused, you may be entitled to significant compensation. An Oak Lawn truck accident lawyer is available to answer your questions, evaluate your individual case, and help you pursue compensation following such a serious accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) cites the following as some of the most common reasons for truck accidents:
The FMCSA concluded that 87 percent of crashes were due to driver negligence. This includes engaging in dangerous driving behavior such as changing lanes without signaling or using a cell phone while driving.
As stated in Quinn v. Sigma Rho Chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, 155 Ill.App.3d 231 (4th Dist. 1987), legal negligence is defined by the “existence of a duty on the part of the person charged to protect the complaining party from injury, a failure to perform or breach of that duty, and a consequent injury so connected with the failure to perform that such failure is the proximate cause of the injury.”
All motorists have a duty to avoid operating their vehicle in a negligent manner. However, the elements of legal negligence often become more complicated in a truck accident case.
Firstly, it is imperative to determine the parties who may be held liable for a truck accident. Other than the driver, other parties who may be held liable for a truck accident include the trucking company, the vehicle manufacturer, the cargo company, and the truck’s loaders and handlers.
Liability issues can also become more complicated thanks to Illinois’ comparative fault statute listed under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116. This doctrine for fault law weighs each party’s individual liability and decreases their overall damage award by the same percentage of fault they are found to bear.
Determining who is liable for a truck accident requires a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances of an accident. This may include reviewing accident reports, taking photos at the scene of an accident, conducting interviews, and reviewing driving logs—all of which a skilled truck accident lawyer in Oak Lawn could provide assistance with.
Depending on the circumstances, injuries sustained in a truck accident may affect you for the rest of your life. Therefore, if you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident, contact a dedicated and knowledgeable Oak Lawn truck accident lawyer who could explain your rights under Illinois’ negligence laws and help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve. Call now to set up a consultation.