Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers
Representing Trucking Collision Victims and Their Families
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that 2019 saw around 510,000 crashes involving large trucks. Of those, 5,005 were fatal, and 119,000 were injury-causing.
Large trucks are vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds. Because they are significantly larger than passenger cars, occupants of the smaller vehicles more often suffer the greatest consequences. In 2019, 892 large truck occupants were killed in crashes, whereas 1,645 passenger car occupants lost their lives in accidents. Similarly, an occupant in a passenger vehicle is more likely to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries in a collision than a large truck occupant.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident with a big rig, please reach out to Pissetzky Law LLC as soon as possible. Our Chicago trucking collision attorneys know how important it is to obtain compensation to cover losses and expenses resulting from your crash. That is why we are prepared to get started right away and relentlessly work toward recovering a just settlement on your behalf. Backed by more than 20 years of combined experience, we know what it takes to pursue justice for our clients.
To schedule your initial consultation, call us at (312) 883-9466 or submit an online contact form today.
Types of Large Truck Accidents
A large truck can be involved in an accident in various ways. Some crashes are similar to the kind that can occur between two passenger vehicles, such as head-on collisions or rear impacts. Still, others are unique to big rigs because of their height, weight, design, and purpose.
Below are a few different types of trucking collisions:
- Rollover: A rollover occurs when a large truck topples onto its side. A multitude of causes exists for these kinds of crashes. For instance, the driver might have turned too fast, suddenly swerved, or had an improperly weighted cargo. If a passenger vehicle is nearby, the truck could roll over and smash it.
- Jackknife: If a truck driver loses control of the vehicle, the cab and trailer could end up folding in on themselves, causing the big rig to make an L-shape. As the trailer swings, passenger vehicles can collide with it. A jackknife accident can result from excessive speed, improper handling, or equipment failure, among other factors.
- Underride: If a passenger car collides with the back of a large truck, it could get stuck underneath the vehicle, crushing the front end. Underride can occur when the truck driver stops quickly or changes lanes improperly.
- Cargo spill: The cargo the truck is carrying should be safely and securely loaded onto the vehicle. If it’s not, it can topple out of the truck. Depending on the cargo, it can leave debris on the highway that cars can crash into, release particles into the air that can reduce visibility, or fall onto or crash into other vehicles.
Regardless of the type of truck accident you were in, allow our team to evaluate the situation. Depending on what caused the accident, you may be able to pursue a personal injury case.
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Going through the process of filing a large truck accident claim or lawsuit is complicated and can be overwhelming when you are trying to focus on recovering from serious or catastrophic injuries. Fortunately, you do not have to handle your case alone. Our team can provide the guidance you need at all stages.
What Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are complex. Often, it’s not just one element that leads to a collision. Still, there are what the FMCSA refers to as “critical reasons” for these types of crashes.
The FMCSA conducted a large truck crash causation study. The agency took a representative sample of collisions resulting in injury or death to determine what elements contributed to the accidents.
The analysis revealed the following common causes of truck accidents:
- Driver error: Nearly 90% of the collisions resulted from the truck driver’s actions or inactions. The FMCSA coded these factors as non-performance (e.g., falling asleep or being physically impaired while behind the wheel), recognition (e.g., not attending to the road, being districted, not properly assessing the situation), decision (e.g., speeding or following too closely), and performance (e.g., improperly controlling the vehicle or overcompensating).
- Vehicle issues: About 10% of truck accidents were caused by problems with the vehicle itself. These elements include brake, tire, cargo, design, and manufacturing problems.
- Environmental issues: Only 3% of trucking collisions resulted from roadway problems or weather conditions.
How Do You Determine Liability in a Truck Accident?
When bringing a personal injury claim, you assert that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Fault is based on negligence, meaning that the responsible party failed to act in a way that a reasonable person would have in a similar situation.
Depending on the cause, various parties may be liable for a trucking accident:
- The truck driver may be responsible if an error they made resulted in a crash.
- The trucking company might be liable if it hired unqualified drivers, did not provide proper training, or had lax policies.
- The maintenance company might be liable if it failed to repair issues with the vehicle.
- The loading company might be at fault if it did not properly secure the cargo, put too much weight in the truck, or did not adhere to other guidelines.
To seek maximum compensation after your accident, you must file a claim against each responsible party.
Our trucking collision lawyers in Chicago can collect and preserve evidence necessary to determine liability. We will obtain statements from witnesses, review driving logs, examine the scene of the accident, review the police report, and go through other relevant documents and information to build compelling arguments for your case.