If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, you know the results can be extensive damage to your vehicle coupled with serious injuries to you and your automobile passengers.
An accident caused by a big-rig can be caused by the negligence of the driver or the company who owns or leases the truck, or an economic decision not to follow federal regulations – a decision to put profits over safety. A Clinton truck accident lawyer could listen to the facts of your case, answer any questions you may have, explain your rights, and walk you through the complex process of seeking compensation for the losses you, or your loved ones, have suffered as a result of the crash. Therefore you should not hesitate to reach out to a skilled local attorney.
Tractor-Trailer Collision Cases: Why Are They Different?
While any vehicular crash can lead to injury or death, the Illinois Department of Transportation Crash Information from 2015 reveals that 10.9% of accidents involving semis resulted in one or more fatalities. Because of the massive size of a commercial semi-tractor, these accidents cause more damage and more often result in serious or fatal injuries. Claims against trucking companies are also more complicated and can be difficult to establish liability.
There are several factors to consider when you have been involved in an accident with a semi-trailer:
- Was the accident caused by driver negligence or error?
- Was the truck poorly maintained or was there equipment failure?
- Was the truck overloaded or was the cargo loaded incorrectly?
- Was the driver following federal regulations for the number of hours he or she could safely drive?
- Was the vehicle up to date on inspections?
You will also need to determine if there are parties involved other than the driver who could be liable. This may include the owner of the truck, the leasing company or truckling company that the driver works for, the mechanic or maintenance company, the manufacturer of the vehicle, trailer or parts, or the shipper who hired the truck to make the delivery. In cases with serious injuries it is important to identify each potential source of recovery and every potential insurance policy that might be available to provide coverage for your injuries.
The insurance policies that commercial vehicles are required to carry are larger than those on a standard auto policy. Insurance companies are highly motivated to defend these cases aggressively to pay out as little as possible on claims against their clients. A local truck crash lawyer with experience in handling these types of claims and could understand how to best seek the financial compensation you deserve.
The Accident Was Not My Fault, But How Do I Prove It?
Insurance companies rarely accept fault in any accident involving their client – they naturally act in their own best financial interest to pay out as little as possible on any claim. When a commercial truck is involved, the case can be even more complex. Many cases involve experts who will be hired to do things like accident reconstruction, examine driver logs and maintenance records, or test traffic signals to determine who was at fault.
A semi-truck accident attorney in Clinton could review medical records and accident reports and know how to gather and preserve evidence that will help to prove your claim – things like data from the truck’s “black box”, accident photos, camera footage, and witness statements. An attorney could also seek out trucking experts and reconstruction experts to help prove your case.
A well-practiced lawyer in the area understands the complex nature of these claims, and could discuss the facts of your case with you, as well as explain your rights to financial compensation.
Compensation After a Semi-Truck Crash – What Can I Expect?
Compensation following an accident involving a commercial vehicle will fall into two categories:
Economic damages – this includes any financial losses you suffer related to the accident. Reimbursement for medical expenses are the first thing most people think of, but you may not know how to anticipate future medical costs that may last a lifetime. You may also be faced with lost wages while you recover, or lost earning capacity if you are not able to return to your previous work due to your injuries.
Non-economic damages – these are the losses that are less tangible, like pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, or loss of companionship. These can be more difficult to prove and put a dollar value on, but a skilled local attorney could have the necessary knowledge to build a truck collision claim to include these types of damages.
There is also the potential for an award for punitive damages if it can be established that there was reckless, willful, fraudulent or malicious activity that contributed to the accident. These damages are intended to not only punish the offender but to also encourage others to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
Call a Clinton Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by a commercial tractor trailer, we encourage you to call a Clinton truck accident lawyer at our office today. The sooner we can start to gather critical evidence, the better. The initial consultation is always free to you. If you are unable to come to us due to your injuries, we can come to you. To learn more, contact us for a consultation – we are here to help.