The term ‘trucking accident‘ encompasses any collision that involves a large trailer, usually with a frame weighing in excess of 10,000 lbs. Approximately 500,000 of these accidents occur every year in the United States, adding up to one out of every eight traffic fatalities. Still, with the economy doing well and revenues connected to the trucking industry totaling well over $600 billion last year, it’s safe to say that sharing our roadways with large trucks is not an option, it’s simply reality. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
If we take a moment to look at the issue from the other side, it is important to remember that truck drivers have a very tough job. In the trucking industry, time is money, and this leads many companies to push their drivers and trucks to the limits of safety in the name of profit. Drivers are often asked to spend many hours behind the wheel, traveling hundreds of miles across North America in a single day. Operating any automobile is a big responsibility, but because of their massive sizes and heavy weights, the drivers of semi-trucks, and the companies that employ them, assume a tremendous amount of responsibility when on the road.
According to statistics recently released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), roughly 10% of these crashes resulting in one or more fatality, and 98% of those fatalities occur in the other vehicle involved in the accident, as opposed to the truck itself. When an accident does occur because of irresponsible or reckless work standards, or because of negligence on the part of a truck driver, it is that driver and the owner of the truck who are accountable for the damage done. (Legal Info; United States Department of Transportation)
The nuances of truck accident law are often difficult to navigate, so if you have been the victim of a truck accident because of someone else’s negligence (or the negligence of a company), it is essential that you have an experienced legal team on your side. As Illinois car accident lawyers, our legal team knows first-hand how incredibly devastating truck accidents can be. In one of our previous trucking accident cases, our attorneys represented the family of a 32-year-old woman who was killed after their pick-up truck was rear-ended by a semi-truck. Our client and his young son were both seriously injured in the crash, and were facing mounting medical bills, insurance costs, final expenses and worst of all, tremendous grief.
Our attorneys discovered that the defendant had been under the influence of an illicit substance while driving at the time of the accident, and was operating an overloaded and unsafe truck, in violation of regulations. Additionally, in violation of federal regulations, the defendant truck owner had failed to perform proper background checks and conduct drug screenings on their drivers prior to their employment. Our legal team was able to secure a $6.5 million settlement for our client and his son, giving them the compensation that they needed to pay their bills and cover expenses for their loved one.