Trucks on U.S. Highways pose serious dangers to passenger vehicles based purely on size, and when you add other factors, it increases the likelihood for accidents that may cause significant injury. Contact an attorney for help.
Large truck size discrepancy increases injury and damages.
The size and weight of a large truck against that of a passenger vehicle may result in extensive damage and serious injury after a truck’s heavy weight and length compromises maneuverability and braking distances leading to crash, jackknife and rollover scenarios where multi-vehicle involvement occurs. Cargo is an important safety consideration for trucking companies, and is often dependent solely on the people who load and/or drive these large trucks that already have limited maneuverability in certain traffic patterns. If an accident is caused by poorly or overloaded cargo, other parties besides the driver may be held responsible for damages from the accident.
Overloading cargo is when a truck is carrying more than the specific maximum weight designed for the truck. A trucking company may do this to avoid making more than one trip that would cost more road time and fuel. An overloaded truck can cause an accident because:
- the added weight requires longer stopping distances;
- tires may not be able to support the extra weight and cause blowout situations;
- mechanical components may not be able to bear the weight increasing downhill speeds and decreasing uphill speed of a truck, and most importantly a shift in cargo weight could cause an overturn or jackknife situation.
At-fault insurance state.
Illinois is an“at-fault” state for vehicle accidents and bases damage awards on comparative negligence, allowing the injured party to have some degree of fault in their accident and still recover reduced damages. The modified comparative negligence system, as used in Illinois, also looks at the degree of fault as a percentage. When a suing party is found more than 51% responsible for the accident, the lawsuit will be settled in favor of the defense. Insurance and legal settlements will be based on information obtained by the victims, witnesses and professionals who arrive at the scene. Multiple factors will assist in the determination of fault.
An accident victim may receive both compensatory damages, which are those damages that caused economic loss (loss of wages, medical bills, legal fees and property damage) and non-economic loss to victim (pain and suffering); and punitive damages can be awarded to punish the persons being sued, in the event of gross negligence causing extensive damage or death, or criminal acts while driving such as DUI.
Damages will be awarded after fault is determined and there are elements of support to that end including:
- Visual evidence: photographs taken at the scene and pictures of injuries.
- Witness testimony: If there were any people at the scene, including passengers, their testimony can be valuable.
- Police reports: Officers will be taking notes and documenting the events of the accident more precisely than the drivers after a collision and their version of events could help your case.
- Medical bills: The amount of settlements is largely contingent on the extent of injuries. Seek medical treatment with a doctor and keep records of the treatment, tests, prescriptions, and bills you receive.
- Verifiable proof of lost wages or lost job.
- Estimates of property damage to vehicle.
Hire legal counsel.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Chicago Illinois, contact a professional truck accident attorney at The Budin Law Office for assistance to effectively navigate a legal claim for damages.
Budin Law Offices
1 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2165
Chicago, IL 60602
Email: [email protected]