Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Chicago

Truck accidents are among the most dangerous and devastating collisions in Chicago and throughout the United States. Every day, thousands of large semi-trucks pass through the city of Chicago. When large trucks collide with passenger vehicles on the freeway, devastating multiple vehicle pile-up accidents can occur. In 2018, 4136 people died in truck accidents, and the number of people who died in large truck accidents increased by 31 percent between 2009 and 2018.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a Chicago truck accident, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. The personal injury attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC have a 45-year track record of securing large settlements on behalf of our clients. We will thoroughly investigate your truck accident case and gather evidence on your behalf. Our attorneys have significant experience negotiating with insurance companies and bringing cases to court to secure our clients’ best possible outcomes. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation. 

Drifting Out of the Lane

When truck drivers drift into another lane of traffic, they can collide with one or more passenger vehicles, crushing the smaller vehicles. The force of a semi-truck crashing with a passenger vehicle can cause the passenger vehicle to roll, increasing the likelihood of fatalities. In other cases, when a semi-truck drifts into another lane of traffic, multiple passenger vehicles can collide with the semi-truck, causing a dangerous pile-up. Oncoming drivers may lose their ability to stop in time to collide with the stopped vehicles. 

Loss of Control of the Truck

Brake failure is a common cause of a loss of control of commercial trucks. Truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal duty to ensure that they maintain their brakes to prevent losing control of their vehicles. When truck drivers lose control of their vehicles, the damage can be catastrophic. The large size and heavy weight of commercial trucks make it difficult for drivers to stop quickly after losing control. In some cases, truck drivers can safely pull over to the side of the road. In other cases, truck drivers will crash into passenger vehicles and oncoming traffic.

Rear-End Collisions 

When a truck driver fails to slow down or stop the truck in time to prevent a rear-end collision with the car in front, the results can be deadly. Passenger vehicles are lower to the ground than trucks, and when a large semi-truck collides with a small vehicle in front of it, the truck can completely crush the passenger vehicle and the occupants inside. Even when the truck doesn’t crush the passenger vehicle, the occupants are still at significant risk of injury. The collision force can cause the occupant’s neck and back injuries from flying forward and backward quickly. Sadly, when semi-trucks are involved in rear-end collisions, the backseat passengers, often children, have a high risk of death or severe injury.

Distracted Driving

Commercial truck drivers are not immune to the temptation of distracted driving. Truck drivers are on the road for more extended periods than most drivers. Many truck drivers depend on their cell phones, GPS devices, tablets, and other technology when driving. Looking down at a cell phone to check a text message can result in a truck driver slamming into another passenger vehicle. Truck drivers can also become distracted by daydreaming or failing to focus on their surroundings.

Wide Turns

Semi-truck drivers need to make wider turns than other passenger vehicle drivers. The weight, size, length, and limited turning radius make it challenging for truck drivers to turn their vehicles safely. Commercial truck drivers need the training to make wide turns while remaining in their traffic lane. Drivers must pay attention to their surroundings to avoid colliding with other vehicles when making turns.

Mechanical Problems 

Mechanical and maintenance problems cause a significant number of truck accidents. Federal and local laws require trucking companies and truck drivers to maintain their trucks to keep them in a safe condition. Unfortunately, many trucking companies cut corners when it comes to maintenance to save money. In other cases, drivers are in such a hurry to reach their next destination and receive a payment that they put off checking their brakes, tires, and engines. 

Brake failure is especially dangerous in large commercial trucks. When a truck driver cannot correctly use the brakes, multiple-vehicle collisions can occur. When mechanical problems result in devastating truck accidents, the injured victims have a right to bring a lawsuit against the truck driver and his or her employer for compensation.

Failure to Properly Secure Heavy Loads

Every day, hundreds of semi-trucks pass through Chicago, and they are often hauling tractor-trailers full of heavy products. Truck drivers have a legal duty to properly pack and secure their cargo so that the cargo’s weight is evenly distributed across the trailer. When drivers fail to distribute the load’s weight, the truck can become unmanageable, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Additionally, cargo that isn’t correctly stored can fly off the tractor-trailer and into the passenger vehicle’s windshield, causing the passenger vehicle to crash. 

Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accident cases can quickly become complicated.  Determining liability is the first step in bringing a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, the injured party can hold the truck driver and his or her employer liable for his or her injuries. When you work with Stein & Shulman, LLC, you can rest assured that we will investigate every possibility to determine who is liable for your truck accident injuries. After we determine who is at fault, we will hold them accountable for the injuries they caused you. Contact our Chicago truck accident lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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