When a large commercial truck collides with a smaller vehicle, pedestrian, or even another 18-wheeler, property damage and injuries are often catastrophic. The medical costs to treat critical or disabling injuries quickly become astronomical and with no income to help you make ends meet, financial burdens are understandably overwhelming. Unfortunately, trucking companies are notorious for minimizing injuries, destroying evidence, and refusing to pay for the damage they cause. When you’re coping with the physical and emotional consequences of a commercial truck crash, the last thing you need to be worrying about is how you’re going to feed your family. Let our truck accident lawyers take some of the weight off of your shoulders.
Martay Law Office has the experience and resources necessary to help you stand up to large trucking companies and their insurers when a crash threatens your financial future. Give us a call at 312-372-9022. Consultations are free and there is no obligation.
Whether you’re a motorist who was hit by an 18-wheeler, a trucker who was injured in a wreck, or a pedestrian who was caught in the crossfire of a truck accident, if you were injured, chances are good that the commercial trucking company owes you money.
Trucking companies are generally responsible for the behavior of their employees including truckers, loaders, and even mechanics.
The primary theory of liability that makes companies responsible for injuries and accidents caused by truckers and other workers is known as “Respondeat superior” and it means “let the superior answer” in Latin. Under this theory, the trucking firm can be held liable for the actions or negligence of its employees, as long as the behavior was unintentional and performed within the scope of employment.
Trucking companies are also responsible for the condition of their trucks, the loads they haul, and the safety of drivers and passengers. So whether a collision occurred, a load came loose, or you were hurt by dangerous conditions in or on the truck, the trucking company may be able to be held liable.
Most trucking companies will generally do anything in their power to avoid paying for their mistakes. In fact, many of the larger trucking companies even keep a team of accident response attorneys and crash investigators on standby ready to swoop in at the first indication of a crash.
While property damage claims can usually be settled directly with the trucking company’s insurer, personal injury and wrongful death claims are a different story. Since large truck crashes usually result in serious injuries or fatalities, millions of dollars could be at stake after an accident. To avoid paying high-dollar settlements, trucking companies and their insurers will often take extreme measures such as:
Intense traffic, heavy winds, truckers who are unfamiliar with their routes, congested delivery areas, and poor road design is a recipe for disaster when it comes to truck accidents in Chicago. The main causes of trucking crashes in Chicagoland, however, are attributable to driver behaviors.
Truck Driver Distraction
Truckers often look for ways to keep themselves occupied during long trips and since many drivers virtually live in their trucks, eating, drinking, and using their cellphones behind the wheel is a way of life. Unfortunately, these driving distractions cost other motorists their lives. In fact, distracted driving is the second most common factor in trucking accidents in Illinois.
Long hours behind the wheel can wear on truckers and cause road hypnosis. Although hours of service (HOS) regulations are designed to help prevent truck driver fatigue and the accidents that follow, drowsy driving remains a major contributor to truck crashes that cause injuries and deaths. When truckers drive drowsy, their reaction times are slower, they make bad reckless maneuvers, and they often lack the ability to respond to emergency situations.
Speeding is the most common contributor to trucking accidents in Illinois. Desperate to keep up with hectic schedules and tight deadlines, truckers exceed speed limits and drive too fast for conditions on a daily basis. Sadly, the passengers of smaller cars are the ones who pay.