When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, few are as devastating as those involving large trucks and commercial vehicles. Due to their size and weight, these oversized vehicles can cause catastrophic damage and life-threatening injuries to motorists and pedestrians alike.
In Illinois, truck accidents are common and can leave crash victims struggling to pay costly medical bills for years. If a truck driver in Lake County injured you, consider consulting a seasoned personal injury firm to determine the best course of action.
At Stein & Shulman, LLC, we’ve represented truck accident victims for over 20 years. Our team of dedicated attorneys is determined to hold negligent truckers responsible. Connect with us today to learn how we can help.
Commercial Vehicle Laws in Illinois
Illinois, like other states, has strict laws in place to regulate commercial vehicles. Many of the laws that govern oversized trucks are designed to prevent accidents and injuries.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Requirements
For drivers to legally operate commercial vehicles in Illinois, they must have valid CDLs. These special permits require drivers to pass strict road safety tests and meet certain age and health standards to drive large, heavy vehicles.
Driving a commercial truck without a CDL is dangerous and can have serious legal implications. If you were injured by a truck driver who did not have a valid CDL, you can use this evidence to strengthen your claim.
Commercial truckers in Illinois are subject to federal hours-of-service regulations, which limit the number of hours they can drive in a given day or week. These regulations aim to prevent driver fatigue, a condition that can significantly increase the risk of truck accidents.
Weight and Size Limitations
Not all cargo is made the same. That’s why federal and state legislators have passed laws to regulate the weight and loads of commercial vehicles.
Overloaded trucks can pose a major threat to other motorists. As such, the trucking industry must comply with weight restrictions to ensure that vehicles are safe to operate on public roadways.
The Dangers of Truck Accidents
Trucks are dangerous because of their sheer weight and size, especially compared to passenger vehicles like cars and motorcycles.
In a collision, occupants of a smaller vehicle are at a substantial disadvantage. Even a seemingly minor crash can cause a range of bodily injuries, such as:
Trucks also pose a significant threat to pedestrians and cyclists. Truck drivers have limited visibility, especially to the sides and rear. When these large vehicles make wide turns or lane changes, bystanders can be struck without warning and sustain life-threatening injuries.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim in Lake County
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Illinois, working with a personal injury attorney can be the key to recovering the compensation you deserve. Filing a personal injury claim after a truck accident typically involves the following steps:
Evidence is critical in proving a personal injury claim. Your attorney will have to investigate to gather as much information and evidence as possible. For truck collisions, this process may involve:
- Reviewing truck driver log books
- Analyzing truck maintenance records
- Interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining surveillance footage
- Consulting with traffic accident experts
- Reviewing police and medical records
Depending on the nature of the crash, this evidence may be easy or difficult to obtain. A seasoned personal injury attorney will know how to proceed accordingly.
Filing a Claim
The most important step in recovering damages after a negligent truck accident is filing a claim. This process involves outlining the most relevant facts and findings about the crash and presenting a convincing argument.
After filing a claim, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company or the opposing party’s legal counsel. In most cases, all of the parties involved will prefer to settle the claim without going to court.
While some negotiations are harmonious and fair, others may be contentious. Whenever an agreement cannot be reached, a lawsuit may be necessary.
Before a trial, your attorney must prepare the evidence they plan to present. This process can involve a long period of discovery, depositions, motion hearings, and other legal procedures.
Eventually, your attorney will have the opportunity to argue the case before a judge or jury. Through a convincing argument, they’ll work to obtain a verdict in your favor.
Our Lake County Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
Truck drivers in Illinois are held to high safety standards, and serious injuries can occur when they fail to follow protocols. Whether you were involved in a minor fender bender or a severe crash, you have the legal right to pursue a claim and hold negligent truckers responsible.
At Stein & Shulman, LLC, we focus on truck accident and personal injury claims. If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact us today.