Semi-trailer trucks are a common sight on the roads and highways in Chicagoland, and unfortunately, collisions involving these vehicles happen all too often. Due to the difference in size between 18-wheelers and passenger cars and trucks, truck accidents can result in severe, catastrophic injuries. When collisions occur because of errors by a truck driver, mechanical failures, unsecured cargo, or other reasons, a skilled personal injury attorney can help victims take the right steps to make sure they can receive the financial compensation they need.
At Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C., he understands the devastating impact that truck accident injuries can have on you and your family, and we are here to help with your case. Since 1994, he has helped his clients recover millions in verdicts and settlements, including many truck accident cases. He will work with you to determine the causes of your accident, identify the parties who were responsible, and pursue compensation for all of the damages your family has experienced.
How Many People Are Injured in Illinois Truck Accidents?
With hundreds of thousands of commercial trucks transporting goods throughout the United States on a daily basis, it is understandable to be concerned about the possibility of dangerous truck accidents and serious injuries. Even if a small percentage of trucks are involved in collisions, these can add up to tens of thousands of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the state sees an average of around 25,000 truck accidents each year, with more than 4,000 of these accidents resulting in injuries and more than 150 crashes leading to fatalities. While this is only a fraction of the over 350,000 motor vehicle accidents that take place in Illinois each year, the large number of annual truck accidents shows that these types of collisions are all too common, and they can be very dangerous.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Crashes?
Tractor-trailer trucks are large, complicated pieces of equipment, and truck drivers are required to obtain the proper training and maintain special licenses that allow them to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Even if a driver has met all of these requirements, they may still commit errors that lead to dangerous collisions. Other parties, such as a trucking company or a parts manufacturer, may also commit acts of negligence that lead to truck accidents. Some common reasons these accidents occur include:
- Driver Fatigue -A tired driver is unable to drive to be unable to react in time to other vehicles or road conditions, leading to deadly collisions
- Speeding - Driving above the speed limit is illegal for any driver, and it is especially dangerous for truck drivers, since their vehicles require more time and distance to slow down or come to a stop. When truck drivers exceed safe speeds, this makes it more likely that they will be unable to react in time to other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles and slow down in time to avoid a dangerous collision
- Distracted Driving - When spending long hours on the road, truck drivers may attempt to multitask, or their attention may wander away from the road. Distractions such as cell phones, electronic logging devices, CB radios, or eating and drinking can cause a truck driver to take their eyes off the road, causing them to be unable to respond properly to the movement of the traffic around them and leading to deadly truck accidents.
- Intoxicated Driving - If a truck driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this can drastically affect their ability to operate their vehicle safely. In addition to driving while intoxicated by alcohol, truck drivers may use illegal drugs to combat driver fatigue and stay on the road longer than is safe, or their ability to drive safely may be affected by the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs
- Dropped Cargo Loads - Items may fall off a truck because they were not loaded or secured properly or because of faulty straps or equipment used to keep cargo in place. Drivers and passengers can be seriously injured if falling cargo strikes their vehicle, and accidents can occur when drivers swerve or slow down to avoid items in the road. Shifting cargo can also cause a truck driver to lose control of their truck and collide with other vehicles.
- Jackknifed Trucks - If a truck driver loses control of their vehicle, the truck's cab and trailer can move in different directions, causing the truck to become stuck in place or roll over. Even if a truck does not immediately collide with another vehicle, it may obstruct the road and cause secondary collisions.
If you have been injured in a semi-trailer truck accident, Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C. can help you understand your legal options, and he will work to protect your rights and financial interests. He will perform an investigation of your crash and obtain evidence showing who was at fault, including truck driver logs, maintenance records, police reports, photographs of the scene of the accident, and witness testimonies. Osvaldo Rodguez, P.C. will make sure you receive the medical treatment you need and assess the full extent of your damages, addressing ongoing health care costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering. He will work to make sure you are fully repaid for the harm that was done to you and your family.
In addition, all our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to pay upfront legal fees. Call us today for your free consultation.