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Chicago Truck Accident Attorney

Traffic accidents involving large, commercial trucks like tankers, big rigs, and tractor-trailers, can cause major devastation. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles, when coupled with significant speeds, can crush smaller vehicles in the event of a collision. Unfortunately, the occupants of smaller cars and SUVs have a much higher risk of injury or death than truck drivers. In fact, it is not uncommon for truck accident victims to suffer injuries that are catastrophic, or permanent, in nature.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, it is important to act swiftly. The Chicago personal injury lawyer at Duncan Law Group has proven results in seeking fair compensation for accident victims. Whether your personal injury or wrongful death claim involves legal action against the truck driver, the trucking company, or even the manufacturer of defective equipment, you can come to our firm for dedicated legal support and aggressive representation at every stage of your case.

Get started with your claim today! Call us at (312) 202-3283 for a free initial consultation.

Truck Accident Faq:

What are common types of injuries in truck accident claims?

Who is liable in a truck accident in Chicago?

What damages can be claimed in Chicago truck accidents?

What is the process of a truck accident claim in Chicago?

How long after an accident do you have to file a claim in Chicago?

What steps should you take immediately following a truck accident?

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Common Truck Accident Injuries in Chicago

Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, often requiring weeks or months of recovery time and expensive treatments. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles combined with the vulnerability of a regular car can lead to permanent consequences and a significant financial toll.

Some of the most common truck accident injuries include the following:

  • Facial injuries: It is common to suffer fractures to your face, as well as eye injuries, during a truck accident. Eye injuries can lead to blindness, and a facial fracture can result in permanent nerve damage.
  • Burn injuries: If a fire starts during the crash, you can sustain serious burns and long-lasting damages. Burns can lead to damage to the surface of the skin, as well as the tissues, muscles, and bones underneath the skin. Burns may result in permanent nerve damage and scarring, and you may need intensive surgeries to recover from these injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Any damage to your spinal cord can result in permanent consequences. You can lose function and feeling below the injury site, and may even develop paralysis. Spinal cord injuries may require lifelong care, physical therapy, disability accommodations, and expensive medical treatments.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: You can sustain a sharp blow to the head during a truck accident, which can result in serious brain damage. Traumatic brain injuries often involve bleeding and swelling in the brain, leading to permanent dysfunction. You may experience issues with memory, concentration, and movement, and may not be able to function without assistance.
  • Amputations: A truck accident can easily mangle your limbs or lead to a loss of a limb completely. If your limbs suffer serious damage during the crash, a surgeon may need to remove them. Amputations can severely impact each aspect of your life, and you may need accommodations and assistance to perform daily tasks.

Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident Claim in Chicago?

Truck accidents often involve more complex questions of liability than motor vehicle collisions. In a car crash, the at-fault driver is usually the person who is responsible for paying for the damages of the victims.

In truck accidents, you usually do not file a lawsuit against the driver directly. In most cases, his or her employer is liable for any harm the driver causes while on the job. You may also hold a government agency or third-party driver liable, or even the manufacturer of a defective part that caused the crash.

These cases require significant investigation to determine the cause of the accident, since truck drivers must follow strict state and federal regulations. If he or she did not follow these regulations, or his or her employer did not uphold them, you could hold the driver’s employer responsible.

What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Chicago Truck Accident?

Illinois law allows victims of truck accidents to collect compensation for the losses they sustained in the crash, as long as they can prove the truck driver is responsible. These damages can be economic, or related to the financial impact of the collision. You can also collect compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, known as non-economic damages.

Economic damages will likely make up the bulk of your settlement. You can claim compensation for your past and future medical expenses, including surgeries, hospitalizations, prescriptions, and any physical therapy you require after the crash. Economic damages also cover lost wages, property damage, and loss of future earnings, if applicable. You can prove your need for economic damages through documents like receipts, invoices, and medical bills.

Non-economic losses are more difficult to quantify. Different insurance companies use different formulas to calculate pain and suffering damages, which may include the following.

  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Chronic pain
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Some insurance companies use a per diem formula where they assign a dollar value to every day you cannot work due to your injuries. Other companies may use the multiplier method, where you will receive a number based on the severity of your injuries. The company will then multiply this number by the amount of economic damages you claim to receive your pain and suffering total. Others may use another method altogether.

Your attorney from Duncan Law Group can help you calculate the estimated value of your settlement so you do not accept a lower offer than you deserve. We will also negotiate with insurance companies for a higher payout if they offer an insufficient settlement.

Building a Case in Chicago For a Truck Accident

Gathering and preserving vital evidence must be done as soon as possible before it is lost. Commercial vehicles frequently contain data recording devices – commonly known as black boxes – which record crucial data related to the RPMs of the wheels, braking, and speed immediately prior to a collision. This information can be crucial in proving a case against a commercial carrier and its driver. In addition, witness information needs to be obtained as soon as possible while the information is still fresh.

Acting quickly can mean the difference between being able to establish negligence against the trucking company or not. Truck accidents can be caused by several different factors, from mechanical failure to driver error to improper cargo loading to faulty road conditions; therefore, multiple parties may be responsible for causing or contributing to the accident. Having a Chicago injury attorney who is familiar with all of these factors is important so that all sources of compensation are identified.

We may be able to help you establish that the truck driver:

  • Failed to take their designated rest breaks
  • Drove while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failed to abide by state or federal trucking laws
  • Conducted themselves in a reckless or careless manner
  • Failed to secure their cargo properly and/or safely
  • Failed to inspect the condition of their vehicle

How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in Chicago?

All civil lawsuits in Illinois are subject to the statute of limitations, which is a deadline that you must file your case by, or the court will dismiss it. In Illinois, you have two years from the date of your accident to file.

Filing your claim as soon as possible is important for a number of reasons. First, it ensures that you meet the statute of limitations and protect your right to compensation. Second, the statute of limitations helps you file before evidence suffers any damage or becomes lost, and witnesses are still available to give testimony.

Finally, the sooner you file your claim, the more credibility you have. Speak to an attorney at Duncan Law Group to discuss your case and begin your initial steps toward compensation.

Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Chicago

After a truck accident, you can feel scared, disoriented, and confused. Since trucks are large vehicles, they have the likelihood of causing serious damage to the average motor vehicle. If you are suffering from severe injuries or your vehicle sustained heavy damage, you should always call 911 immediately after the accident. Seek medical attention immediately and do not put yourself in further danger at the scene of the crash.

If you can move around safely and without further injury, you may want to take steps to preserve evidence after the collision. Collecting this information can help your lawyer investigate your claim and support your credibility.

  • Call 911 and report the crash to law enforcement. This will create an accident report you can use as evidence in your future case. Answer the responding officer’s questions truthfully, and if you do not know the answer, say that you do not know.
  • Seek emergency medical attention immediately, even if you feel uninjured. You may have underlying injuries you are not aware of, and your medical records will be important pieces of evidence for your case.
  • Take photographs of as much evidence as possible. Capture your vehicle damage, visible injuries, and the area around the accident site. Photograph the semi-truck from a safe distance.
  • Collect contact, license, and insurance information from the truck driver. If there are any witnesses who saw the accident, ask them for their contact information as well.
  • After seeking medical attention, contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Do not speak with any insurance representatives or make any statements about your accident before contacting your Duncan Law Group attorney.

Let the Team at Duncan Law Group Handle Your Claim

Trucking companies are subject to both state and federal regulations, and violations of these regulations often contribute to serious trucking accidents. Accident reconstruction experts may be needed to review and reconstruct what occurred, which is something that the team at Duncan Law Group can assist you with.

Not only do we have the resources to skillfully manage your personal injury claim, but we are backed by more than a decade of experience. We have also recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of past clients, so you can rest assured that your future will be in good hands.

Learn more about your case with a truck accident lawyer in Chicago from our firm by setting up a free case evaluation. Call us at (312) 202-3283 or fill out our convenient online form.