Due to the substantial difference in the size and strength between a passenger vehicle and a commercial vehicle, occupants in passenger vehicles often suffer much more severe injuries than those in much larger commercial vehicles. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we have seen firsthand how devastating wrecks can be when a driver of an 80,000-pound vehicle acts negligently and collides with a much smaller passenger vehicle. Sadly, many of these collisions result in deaths and debilitating injuries.
If you were injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, the experienced truck accident lawyer at Salvi Schostok & Pritchard can help. We have a diverse team of top litigators who have already recovered more than $1.5 billion to date for our deserving clients. Contact us today for a free case review with one of our knowledgeable truck accident lawyers.
How Our Commercial Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you were hurt in a truck accident, you can count on our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers to:
- Thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident – Our lawyers have worked with accident victims who were injured in all types of truck accidents. We will thoroughly investigate what caused your accident and who is legally responsible for it.
- Promptly gather evidence – We will deploy a rapid-response team to collect vital evidence in your case. We will take all steps to preserve important information in your case, such as electronic data stored in the truck’s “black box.”
- Fully calculate your damages – Accidents with semi-trucks can produce some of the most horrific traffic accidents. The damages can be extensive, potentially involving the loss of a loved one, life-altering damages, and a forever-altered future for victims and their families. Our team will identify every form of damage you have suffered and ensure it is included in our demand for compensation.
- Fiercely negotiate for fair compensation – We will work to hold the trucking company responsible for every element of your damages.
- Zealously represent your interests – For more than 35 years, our top litigators have held negligent parties responsible for the dire harm they cause our clients. We have the resources and skills to aggressively fight for the rights of our deserving clients.
How Many Commercial Truck Accidents Occur Locally and Nationally?
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT)’s most recent Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report shows that there were over 550,000 crashes involving large trucks and crashes for the most recent year reported. More than 121,000 of these truck crashes involved injuries.
Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) publishes a report about fatal truck accidents. It bases the report on statistical data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. According to this data, 4,119 people died in truck crashes for the most recent year for which data is available. 67 percent of fatalities were to occupants in cars and other passenger vehicles. 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. 143 of the deaths occurred in Illinois. These statistics show the devastating reality of how commercial truck accidents can change a life in an instant.
Most Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study to examine why serious crashes with large trucks occur. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that the top ten factors that contributed to these crashes were:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
The critical reason for trucking accidents in 87 percent of cases involved driver error or non-performance. The underlying reasons involved:
- Decision (38 percent) – Crashes involving this factor were due to the driver’s bad decision, such as driving too fast for conditions or misjudging the speed of other vehicles.
- Recognition (28 percent) – In crashes caused by this reason, the driver was inattentive, distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle, or failed to adequately observe the situation for some other reason.
- Non-Performance (12 percent) – This reason includes the driver falling asleep, becoming disabled because of a heart attack or seizure, or being physically impaired for another reason.
- Performance (9 percent) – The driver panicked, overcompensated, exercised poor directional control, or made similar performance mistakes.
Another 10 percent of accidents with large trucks were attributed to vehicle problems. The remaining 3 percent were assigned the reasoning of “environment.”
Single actions of truck drivers that resulted in collisions included:
- Running out of the travel lane into another lane or off the road (32 percent)
- Loss of vehicle control (29 percent)
- Following too closely (22 percent)
Who Is Liable in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, one or more of the following parties could be legally liable for the damages you sustained:
- The driver
- The trucking company
- The company that owns or leases the vehicle
- The company responsible for maintaining the truck
- The vehicle’s manufacturer
Filing a Lawsuit for Commercial Truck Accidents
Our fierce commercial truck accident lawyers will first seek to secure compensation for you through a settlement with the trucking company and their insurer. However, if they do not agree to fair compensation, we can discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. We will evaluate your case and ensure that you take legal action within the applicable timeline to preserve your right to compensation.
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Review
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, do not hesitate to reach out to us for help. Salvi Schostok & Pritchard is committed to protecting the rights of Illinois accident victims. Contact us today for your free consultation.