Trucks on Southern Illinois highways near Marion

Truck Accident Lawyer in Harrisburg, IL

Any traffic collision is a traumatic experience that can result in serious injuries. For drivers hit by a large commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, the consequences can be more severe due to the size and weight of the vehicle.

Accidents in Illinois involving semi-trucks are often more complex than typical car crashes. Federal and state regulations enforce strict safety standards for commercial trucks. When drivers and operators fail to meet these standards and accidents occur, many parties may be held liable in court.

If you’ve been injured by a truck in Illinois, knowing the laws and statutes involved in a personal injury lawsuit will help you better understand the process. An experienced semi-truck attorney can help secure the evidence you need to prevail in court.

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Truck Accident Statistics in Illinois

In 2019, there were 11,741 semi-truck-related accidents across Illinois. Of those crashes, 100 were fatalities and upwards of 2,011 caused serious injuries.

In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 146,930 truck crash injuries sustained across the United States.

A semi-trailer can generally weigh between 35,000 and 80,000 pounds, depending on the load. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause severe damage to a standard passenger vehicle, even if the collision is minimal or at low speeds. 

Because of their danger, trucks must adhere to weight restrictions, speed limits, and special traffic laws. Failure to do so can result in catastrophic accidents.

How Do Truck Accidents Occur?

When drivers and operators engage in negligence, accidents abound. The following are some common factors that can lead to catastrophic semi-truck collisions:

  • Distracted driving

  • Driving while sleepy

  • DUI or DWI

  • Poorly maintained truck (e.g., faulty brakes or tires)

  • Driving in unsafe weather conditions

  • Speeding or moving violations

  • Reckless or illegal driving maneuvers

If you file a claim in court after an accident, you’ll need to prove that the truck driver engaged in negligent behavior. A seasoned truck accident attorney will gather the evidence to establish liability and prevail in court.

Establishing Liability for Damages in a Truck Accident

Truck accident injuries can result in considerable damages you’ll likely want to recover. Damages you can sue for after a truck accident include:

  • Medical bills and expenses

  • Property damage to your vehicle

  • Lost wages from your injuries

  • Pain and suffering

When a truck causes an accident, it can be confusing to know who to sue because truck drivers often work for a company. Your truck accident lawyer will generally review this gray area to determine the best course of action.

Establishing liability could mean showing evidence of any of the following:

  • The truck did not comply with safety standards

  • The driver broke state or federal traffic laws

  • The trucking company engaged in negligent maintenance

  • The trucker was driving under the influence

  • Distracted driving was at fault

Evidence can include police reports, testimony from traffic experts, and video from nearby traffic cameras. 

Your truck accident law firm may pursue damages against the company that hired the driver, or they may decide to sue numerous parties.

Truck Accident Attorneys in Harrisburg, IL

If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Illinois and suffered losses, you have the right to sue for compensation. Trucking accidents are some of the most dangerous types of traffic collisions. The responsible party should be held accountable when negligent behavior results in harm. 

Lawler Lawler Injury Law in Harrisburg represents truck accident claims. Our semi-truck accident attorney will review your case and fight for your compensation. Call us at 616-889-4981 for a free consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re involved in a collision with a truck driver, you must obtain the truck driver’s information, including:

  • Full name
  • Driver’s license number
  • Name of the truck company they work for
  • U.S. Department of Transportation details

Additionally, you should document the scene of the accident if you can. If there are witnesses, getting their contact information can help you prove what happened. A truck accident attorney will largely handle the rest.

Many times, mechanical or maintenance problems are at fault for trucking accidents. Defective brakes or faulty wheel and engine repairs can result in crashes and collisions.

A truck accident lawyer will investigate the truck’s maintenance history and look for records to prove that negligence may be at fault. The investigation can involve making records requests, interviewing truck operators, or hiring a truck accident expert.

It’s important you carefully review any settlement offers before signing them. Often, insurers will attempt to provide the bare minimum to save money for themselves and their clients.

When you suffer significant damages, their offer may not come close to what a court may be able to provide. You should consult with an experienced semi-truck accident attorney who can review the proposal and help you make the best decision.

Sometimes, your attorney may negotiate directly with the insurance company to reach a better number and avoid court altogether.

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the incident.

Although two years may seem like plenty of time, a truck accident involves many complex parts. Because of this, you must seek an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. This will ensure that they have enough time to obtain the necessary evidence, conduct interviews, negotiate with the other party, and file your lawsuit on time.

Many times, police get the details wrong. No one is perfect, and there may be an oversight when investigations occur.

If a police report after an accident sways against your claim, our team has experience analyzing crash reports and other accident-related documents submitted by the police.

The best way to set the record straight is to hire a truck accident attorney who will diligently investigate the incident.

Victims typically receive their damages within about six weeks after a settlement. If the damages were awarded by a jury verdict after a trial, it could take longer. This is because the defendants may appeal the verdict and drag the legal process out. Once the settlement funds are received, the medical bills are paid first. Then all legal expenses, such as attorney’s fees and court costs, are paid. The victim receives their money last.