Illinois Personal Injury Attorney
Truck Accident Claims Illinois
JSemi-Truck accidents can be especially disastrous for motorists due to the enormous difference in mass and frame stiffness between semi-trucks and passenger cars. Every year, over 5,000 car drivers and passengers are killed in semi-truck accidents and over 500 truck drivers receive fatal injuries. Some have estimated that over 10% of all fatal truck accidents involve 18-wheel semi-trucks.
Due to their size, crashes involving 18-wheeler semi-trucks and other large semi-trucks also often involve more than one other vehicle.
Big rigs may weigh more than 80,000 pounds and be up to 75 feet long. This creates distinct issues in lawsuits. For example, a 40-ton 18-wheeler driving 10 miles over the speed limit will take an additional 100 feet to stop than a passenger vehicle.
Another unique quality of semi-truck accidents is the fact that they roll easily. In fact, a rig can be rolled at speeds as low as 5 mph. In addition, drivers often have reduced visibility in “no-zones” – places that cars may not be visible to drivers.
Sometimes, semi-truck accidents happen because of unsafe driving, loads that are too big or heavy, substandard equipment, dangerous tires and other unsafe practices.
Driver fatigue is a serious issue when it comes to roadway safety. The U.S. Department has implemented rules regulating how many hours a driver can be on the road before going off-duty. Short-haul semi-truck drivers – those that return to their dispatch after each duty and are then released from duty – have exceptions to these rules.
Some drivers may ignore these rules under pressure to deliver loads and serious accidents can result when drivers fall asleep at the wheel.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-truck accident, we understand that you need to focus on recovery or mourning your loss.
While you do this, let the experienced and professional personal injury lawyers at Murphy & Pressentin focus on your case.
Our team is skilled at analyzing and reconstructing truck accidents. We are familiar with the unique issues at hand as well as the federal regulations and commercial insurance issues that are involved. And, we are experienced in successfully resolving claims against semi-truck drivers and the companies that hire them, and getting you the justice you deserve.
Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a semi-truck:
- Document, document, document. If you are able, it’s important that you wait for police to arrive at the accident scene so that they can take and file a police report – even if you think you are not injured.
- Take pictures of your injuries, the automobile or truck, the accident scene and other vehicles. Ask for the name of the automobile driver, as well as his or her address, phone number, driver’s license number, vehicle license number, and insurance information. In addition, try to get the contact information for everyone who witnessed the accident. If you are injured and are unable to do this yourself, ask a bystander to do this for you.
- Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Murphy & Pressentin is experienced at getting professional quality documentation for your case including photos, witness interviews and police reports. It is absolutely critical that documentation is done the right way so that if or when you walk into a courtroom you have the best possible information. By letting us get this documentation for you as soon as possible after your semi-truck accident, you will be more likely to get a settlement later. We will focus on your case so that you are able to focus on recovery or grieving over the loss of your loved one(s).
- Don’t try to negotiate with the driver. Many drivers initially apologize and accept blame, only to later deny their negligence or even deny they were present at the accident. Instead, wait for police to arrive so they can document everything in the police report. They may also ticket the driver, which may be useful in settling the case with the insurance company.
- Don’t be in a hurry to talk to the other side’s insurance company. There’s no reason for you to be in a rush to tell your story. You should speak with an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer before speaking with any insurance company.