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Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers

Because of their size and weight, Trucks cause serious damage when they are involved in accidents. In fact, recent Illinois Department of Transportation data shows that semi-truck accidents account for nearly a tenth of all fatal traffic accidents within the state.

If your passenger car collides with a massive, 80,000-pound tractor-trailer, your life may change in an instant.

You may suffer devastating injuries or face the tragic loss of a loved one. You will want answers and compensation for all of the harm that you have suffered.

As you move forward, you can turn to the experienced truck accident lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., for the help you will need. For more than three decades, our legal team has protected accident victims and their families in Chicago and throughout Illinois. We know how truck accidents are different than other types of crashes, and we know what it takes to seek the maximum recovery for our clients.

Due to the many challenging factual, legal and insurance issues that truck accidents present, we will need to start work on your case right away. Get help today. Call or reach us online to discuss your case in a free consultation.

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Truck Accident Compensation

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What Is Our Experience with Truck Accident Cases?

Through the years, we have secured more than $1.5 billion in verdicts and settlements, including more than 260 multi-million dollar settlements. Our record of success includes many truck crash cases, including:

  • $17.9 Million Verdict

We obtained this verdict after a two-week trial in Cook County Circuit Court. A semi-truck driver failed to yield the right of way at an intersection and struck our client, a 47-year-old Lombard woman. She suffered a severe spinal cord injury in the crash. Our client’s contributory negligence would have reduced her recovery to $12.6 million. We negotiated a settlement for $14 million.

  • $3.75 Million Settlement

We secured this settlement on behalf of the family of a 22-year-old Chicago man who died after a tractor-trailer hit him on I-57 in Champaign County as he traveled to visit his girlfriend at the University of Illinois. The truck driver had failed to slow down and rear-ended the man’s car, which became trapped beneath the trailer.

  • $987,000 Settlement

We represented two clients in this personal injury case – the driver and passenger of a motor vehicle that was involved in a collision with a large commercial truck in Illinois.

Every case is different. Our past results are in no way intended to guarantee that our law firm will reach the same or similar result in your case. However, we believe our record shows the extent of our experience when it comes to serious injury cases. Reach us today to discuss the unique facts in your case.

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How Can Our Chicago Truck Accident Attorneys Help You?

The attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., know how to tackle the many challenging issues in claims that involve commercial trucks, including large tractor-trailers or smaller delivery trucks such as a FedEx, UPS or USPS trucks. Those issues include:

  • Immediate, aggressive investigation. Trucking companies and their insurers have much at stake. To protect their interests, they often make it difficult to inspect the tractor-trailer, electronic data recorder (“black box”), logbooks, truck maintenance records, driver employment records and other important evidence. By taking immediate, aggressive action, we can knock down the walls that a trucking company will try to put around the evidence.
  • Multiple liable parties. Unlike most accident cases, the at-fault driver may not be the only one liable when a crash involves a commercial truck. The trucking company, broker, shipper, warehouse operator, manufacturer and even a government agency could be liable as well. These parties may be based in another state or country and carry different insurance policies. We have the resources to identify every source of compensation for your losses.
  • Violations of state or federal regulations. State and federal regulations govern nearly every aspect of trucking. Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules, for instance, control size and weight limits, driver qualifications, speed limits, inspections, maintenance, record-keeping and insurance requirements. Our lawyers have a thorough understanding of these regulations. We will determine whether a violation of these rules contributed to your crash.
  • Catastrophic injuries. The size and weight of tractor-trailers cause people in passenger cars to suffer severe injuries in crashes. These wrecks also tend to occur at high speeds on roads such as the Kennedy Expressway, Dan Ryan Expressway, Eisenhower Expressway and Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. We know how to pursue just compensation for catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spine injury, amputations, burns, scarring and disfigurement.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers often work with experts in engineering and accident reconstruction. These experts can help us to investigate and analyze the cause of a truck crash. We also review medical records and consult with health care and life care planning experts to determine the extent of our client’s injuries and their future medical needs.

We will work hard to prepare your case and seek a settlement with all of those who are responsible for your crash. If necessary, we will be ready to fight for you at trial. Because our lawyers represent truck accident clients on a contingency basis, you will pay no costs or attorney fees unless we obtain a financial recovery for you.

 

Other Chicago Truck Accidents Common FAQs

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit or Insurance Claim?

If you were injured in a truck accident in Illinois, you have two years from the date of your crash to file a lawsuit. This deadline is called a statute of limitations. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations is for the adversarial legal process. Many personal injury cases are settled before this in the form of an insurance claim. Ideally, your lawyer will have plenty of time before the statute of limitations to work on your claim and to prepare for a lawsuit, if necessary.

What Do I Do If I’m Involved in a Truck Accident?

First, clear your vehicle off of the road or out of traffic. Next, call 911 or the non-emergency line, so that the appropriate authorities can assist and file a police report. Document the scene and all vehicles involved, including license plates and any other identifying information. Cellphone pictures and video can serve as important evidence. Also remember to get witness contact information. Seek medical attention and ask your doctor to evaluate you thoroughly for any invisible or late-onset conditions, like whiplash and concussion. Finally, call a qualified lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in a truck crash, it’s a good idea to contact a truck accident attorney. Because truck accidents often result in much more serious injuries than most car crashes, you may have significant medical expenses and long-term losses. A personal injury claim can help you by recovering the money you’ve already spent on your treatment, the money you lost by missing work, and money to cover any future treatment you can expect. Don’t worry about paying your lawyer upfront. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., our attorneys only get paid upon the successful conclusion of your case.

How Common Are Truck Accidents?

Semi-truck crashes are much too common in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 12,267 semi-truck crashes in one recent year alone. Of these, 106 were fatal, and 2,075 resulted in injuries. The most dangerous roads were unmarked state roads in rural areas. The drivers and occupants of smaller vehicles were much more likely than truck operators to be injured or killed.

How Are Truck Accidents Worse Than Car Accidents?

Truck crashes result in more serious injuries than other kinds of collisions. Because of their weight and large size, tractor-trailers exert a greater force on the objects they hit, causing more damage. Often, truck’s large blind spots exacerbate crashes. Drivers can’t see the other vehicles, and so they fail to stop or slow down at all. Trucks may also cause catastrophic rollover or jackknife accidents, which often involve multiple vehicles and fatalities.

Who Is Responsible in a Truck Accident?

Legal responsibility is more complicated in truck crashes than in other kinds of accidents. Sometimes drivers cause crashes, but oftentimes multiple parties share the blame. Other potentially liable parties include the driver’s employer, the truck’s owner, the maintenance company, and the company that loaded the trailer. It’s important to choose a Chicago truck accident lawyer with plenty of experience in order to identify and prove who is responsible for your injuries.

Who Can You Sue After a Truck Crash?

In your case, we will investigate whether the truck driver’s careless or reckless conduct played a role in your crash. As we have seen, driver error frequently causes tractor-trailer accidents in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Some examples of truck driver negligence include:

  • Speeding, tailgating and other forms of aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while fatigued (or in violation of hours-of-service rules that limit the number of hours a driver can be on the road)
  • Failing to keep in the proper lane.

Under Illinois law, a trucking company can be liable for the negligent acts of its employees. However, the trucking company may be liable because it has acted negligently in its own right. For instance, the company may have:

  • Hired an unfit driver. Before hiring a driver, a trucking company should check the driver’s commercial driver’s license status, traffic violation record, criminal records and physical and mental fitness.
  • Poorly trained and supervised drivers. The trucking company may have failed to properly prepare the driver for his or her job duties and/or to monitor the driver’s performance. In particular, the trucking company should make sure that its employees always comply with state and federal safety rules.
  • Failed to inspect and maintain its vehicles. Your crash may have occurred because the company did not conduct mandatory inspection and maintenance of the vehicles in its fleet.
  • Allowed cargo to be improperly loaded. A company can be liable if it permits a truck to hit the road with excessive weight or unsecured cargo, causing the truck to jackknife or roll over or allowing objects to spill onto the road.
  • Forced or encouraged drivers to violate safety rules.Unfortunately, a trucking company’s string of violations of state and federal safety regulations may have caused your crash. For example, the company may have regularly forced drivers to meet delivery deadlines – even if it meant breaking hours-of-service rules.

Many trucking operations use third-party vendors. If one of these parties acted negligently, they could be responsible for your damages. Employment agencies, brokers, cargo shippers, loaders and mechanics are examples of third-party vendors.

If a defective truck or truck part contributed to your accident, you may be eligible to sue the manufacturer and others in the distribution chain. Many crashes can be traced to:

  • Brake problems
  • Defective tires
  • Steering column defects
  • Wheel roll-offs
  • Insufficient underride protection
  • Defective couplings and hitches
  • Flawed hydraulic systems.

Additionally, our legal team will look at whether a state or federal government agency or its contractors committed wrongdoing that caused your crash. For example, the agency may have failed to properly design or maintain roads.

What Damages Can You Recover for Your Injuries?

Many truck accident victims and their families are concerned about paying for medical treatment. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our truck accident attorneys understand how these crashes typically cause severe injuries. We will pursue compensation that includes:

  • Past and future medical expenses – All medical costs related your accident, including emergency treatment, surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, assistive devices and medication.
  • Lost income and diminished future earning capacity – All of the wages you have lost and will lose in the future due to your injuries, including benefits, bonuses, commissions and self-employment income.
  • Pain and suffering – The physical pain and emotional anguish you have endured to date and will likely experience in the future. For instance, you may have lingering back pain that prevents you from enjoying life as you did before the crash. You may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder due to the horrific nature of the accident.
  • Scarring and disfigurement – A crash may cause you to lose a limb or suffer severe scars due to cuts and burns. You have the right to seek just compensation for such harm.

Depending on the facts of your case, our team may seek punitive damages as well. These damages serve to punish and deter willful and wanton misconduct. For example, a mechanical defect may have caused your accident. If the trucking company had a long history of failing to conduct inspections that would have caught the defect, punitive damages may be warranted.

If a collision with an 18-wheeler caused you to lose a loved one, our attorneys can pursue a wrongful death claim on your behalf. The claim would seek a different set of damages, including compensation for funeral and burial expenses and the loss of money, goods and services that your loved one would have contributed if he or she had lived.

It will be important to identify all available insurance coverage for your damages. Many cases involve multiple insurance policies. For instance, the truck driver, trucking company and third-party vendors may all carry separate coverage. One policy may cover the truck, while another policy may cover the trailer. A manufacturer may carry special commercial liability coverage.

Generally, state and federal laws require commercial motor vehicles to carry a higher level of minimum liability insurance coverage than what the law requires for standard passenger motor vehicles. This coverage may range from $750,000 (for vehicles over 10,000 pounds carrying non-hazardous freight) to $5 million (for vehicles transporting hazardous materials).

If the amount of insurance coverage of the parties at fault in your crash fails to fully cover your losses, we may turn to your own underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Our goal will be to seek the maximum amount for you so that you can cover your medical expenses and experience the sense of security that you deserve.

Our Chicago Truck Accident Attorneys

Time is of the essence: Your lawyer will need to get started right away on preserving and gathering evidence after a tractor-trailer accident. The lawyer may need to take many other steps to pursue a full financial recovery for you.

Additionally, the statute of limitations for truck accident cases in Illinois, generally, requires you to file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident or within two years from the date of your loved one’s death. You cannot wait to take legal action.

Put your trust in the truck accident lawyers at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. With a record of more than $1.3 billion recovered on behalf of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including truck accident claims, we are ready to go to work for you. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Need Help? Call now: 312-372-1227 or START YOUR FREE CONSULTATION

Types of Truck Accidents

Alcohol, Drug Abuse & Trucking Accidents

When Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., takes on your truck accident case, we will thoroughly investigate the accident. We also will explore all options for holding the careless truck driver and / or trucking company behind your crash accountable for their actions.

Fatigued Truck Driving Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a distracted driving truck accident in Chicago or anywhere else in Illinois, you may be able to take legal action against the truck driver and the trucking company that employs him.

Distracted Driving Truck Accident Lawyers

We are dedicated to assisting you in recovering this money to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

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