Illinois Truck Accident Attorney Sam C. Mitchell & Associates Gives You the Help You Need
An ongoing shortage in skilled truckers could result in overtired and under-trained drivers, creating hazardous conditions on the road for other motor vehicle operators. Already, high turnover, poor maintenance, and quality issues plague the commercial trucking industry. It may only get worse, and if you have been involved in a trucking accident in Illinois, you understand what a serious issue this could become.
While an car auto accident may be devastating, commercial trucking accidents are almost always worse. Commercial tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers have more power to move freight and cargo, but this additional power can also cause serious damage to smaller vehicles. Furthermore, some trucks lack a fine degree of visibility and the ability to brake effectively on short notice.
If you have been involved in an accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle, you may need the services of an experienced Illinois truck accident attorney to help ensure you obtain a fair and commensurate settlement. Put more than a century of combined experience on your side!
Protecting Your Interests
Trucking companies know how to protect their interests through their insurance carriers. Insurance adjusters will be on the scene fast. Protect your interests, too, and do not provide any information until you have consulted with a trucking accident attorney in Illinois. Most importantly, make sure the lawyer you retain works for a reputable law firm. All areas of legal practice are unique, and only an experienced trucking accident lawyer can best protect your rights and interests.
The Best In Trucking Accident & OTR Trucking Representation:
18-wheelers are enormous vehicles. Due to their sheer size, impacts involving such vehicles often lead to very serious injuries affecting such body parts as the neck and back, spinal cord, and brain.
If you have sustained any injury in an 18-wheeler accident in Illinois, you may sue the individuals or legal entities that are found to be at fault for the accident. If a family member or loved one has been killed in such an accident, you may also sue the same parties.
18-Wheeler Accidents Involving Fatalities
In a truck accident that results in death, the driver and the company who is legally at fault for the accident can be sued. This may include:
- The truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owner of the trailer
- The shipping company
- The manufacturer of a vehicle or vehicle component involved in the accident if the vehicle or component was defective
- The owner of any property whose negligence contributed in any way to the accident
Truckers and trucking companies understand that accidents cost them money, and their insurance companies will likely send their best wrongful death defense attorneys in an effort to limit losses.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an 18-wheeler accident in Southern or Central Illinois, contact an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer at Sam C. Mitchell & Associates to help determine where the legal liability in your particular case lies.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
Truck accident injury claims are very different from passenger car accidents. This is because truckers are driving while at work, meaning various commercial policies can be in place at the time of your accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to follow specific rules and regulations to reduce the risk of accidents on the road.
Commercial truckers do not follow the same rules as drivers. If it is discovered that your accident was caused due to a trucker or a trucking company failing to follow these rules, it is not uncommon for claims like this to reach settlements of over $1 million.
The following factors determine the value of your case:
- Whether or not you lost wages due to your injuries
- The total cost of your medical bills
- Pain and suffering you endured
- Loss of companionship (if your loved one died in the crash)
- The severity of your injuries
What Regulations & Laws Affect Tractor-Trailers?
All tractor-trailers operating in the state of Illinois must adhere to stringent state and federal regulations. These regulations are designed to protect public safety. Failure to adhere to these laws is not only illegal but highly immoral, as it places all motorists at serious risk of injury.
For example, all tractor-trailer drivers must log a certain number of hours of sleep each day they are on the road. This law often leads to delays in transport times, so companies and drivers occasionally ignore it, allowing drivers to work extended hours in order to make their shipments on time. Driving a tractor-trailer while fatigued is a definite danger and can lead to accidents.
Such information would be essential to any lawsuit stemming from an accident involving a tractor-trailer driver.
Other such essential information could involve:
- Accidents due to overloaded tractor-trailers
- Poor or skipped tractor-trailer maintenance
- Driver drug and alcohol usage
An experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer in Illinois knows to identify, gather, and evaluate all necessary evidence for your case and engage a network of expert witnesses and accident reconstructionist to help.
What Are the Hours of Service Regulations?
Because trucks can be so dangerous in the event of an accident, truck drivers are required to follow more regulations than other motor vehicles. One of these truck driver specific rules, are called the hours of service regulation. These set of rules are aimed primarily at preventing fatigued driving which is a major cause of accidents. According to these rules:
- Truck drivers can work up to 14 hours in a day but can only drive for 11 hours of these hours. The remaining hours must be spent on rest or meal breaks.
- Drivers must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours before beginning a new workday
- Truck drivers are required to take days off work at regular intervals
What Is Different About Truck Accident Lawsuits?
Many 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers come equipped with black boxes that record key information regarding the performance of the vehicle should an accident occur. Drivers are also required by law to maintain logs, which can show whether federal and state trucking laws have been followed.
In a truck accident lawsuit, all evidence must be preserved. Black boxes can lose information depending on the condition of the truck, and logs often need only be kept for a matter of weeks. If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, it is essential to contact an attorney with a proven track record as soon as possible following the incident.
A Higher Standard of Attorney
It takes a knowledgeable and experienced truck accident attorney to understand all of the rules and regulations that apply to trucks and commercial vehicles and to obtain a proper trucking accident settlement in Illinois. Sam C. Mitchell & Associates employs such lawyers. We offer free initial consultation and you pay us only if we succeed in getting you compensation.