Losing a loved one in a truck accident, or suffering an injury yourself, can be shocking. When you are involved in a truck accident, be sure to contact our experienced Rockford, Illinois Truck Accident Attorneys. A member of our team can meet with you to discuss your case and determine whether you qualify for compensation. Please contact our law firm right away to begin working on your case.
Different Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents not only occur for a number of different reasons – all of which typically involve human error – but in myriad different ways, too. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
- Override truck accidents. An override truck accident is true to its name; a large truck literally rides over the car in front of it. This may occur because the truck driver is driving too fast for conditions, following the car in front of it too closely, or because the passenger vehicle cuts in front of the truck too closely.
- Underride truck accidents. An underride truck accident is the opposite of an override truck accident. Rather than the truck riding over the passenger vehicle in front of it, the passenger car rides under the rear of the tractor-trailer.
- Jackknife crashes. A jackknife accident refers to a type of crash where the tractor-trailer swings around to becoming parallel to the truck’s cab, much like a jackknife opens and closes. This type of accident can impact many other vehicles as it occurs.
- Squeeze play. When a car attempts to pass to the right of a truck when the truck is attempting to make a right-hand turn – and therefore moves to the left-hand lane in order to safely make the turn – the car may become “squeezed” between the truck and the curb.
- Rollover. When trucks make turns too quickly, travel at unsafe speeds, or are improperly loaded and experience a cargo shift, a rollover crash may occur. These types of accidents are often devastating for everyone involved.
The above list of truck accidents is not inclusive; standard sideswipe, rear-end, and head-on collisions are also possible. The attorneys at Tuite Law have experience representing the victims of all truck accident types.
Evidence to Gather after a Truck Accident
After you have been in a truck accident, it is important to gather evidence to determine how the truck accident occurred and who is liable. Important evidence includes:
- The names of all witnesses to the accident, as well as witnesses’ contact information;
- The names of the responding officers;
- A copy of the accident report;
- Photos of damage to vehicles involved, injuries, road debris, skid marks, traffic signs, and weather conditions;
- Medical bills and doctors’ notes/orders;
- Video footage of the accident, if in existence;
- Truck driver logs; and
- Electronic control module data.
Because gathering evidence on your own can be difficult, especially if you are significantly injured, our legal team will gather evidence on your behalf. The sooner we can get started, the better it will be for your case.
Negligence and Truck Accidents
In many truck accident cases, either the truck driver or the trucking company was negligent. This means the defendant did not use adequate care, and this carelessness ended up hurting someone.
Truck drivers cause accidents for the following common reasons:
- Distracted driving (cell phone or text message use, email, etc.)
- Failure to pay attention
- Reckless driving, such as speeding
- Improperly loading cargo
When a truck driver’s negligence ends up hurting you, then you can sue the driver personally. He has an obligation to operate his truck carefully, and any violation of the duty can make him liable for all your losses.
However, the driver’s employer is also responsible by virtue of hiring the driver. This means the trucking company can be on the hook to pay compensation for your injuries. This is a type of “vicarious liability” under Illinois law, which is automatic. Even if the trucking company didn’t do anything wrong, it can still be liable by virtue of being the employer.
Sometimes, however, a trucking company will be negligent in its own right. For example, it might not have performed adequate background checks on the driver or not have properly maintained its fleet. It might know that a driver is dangerous but continue to send him out on the road, or it could put pressure on drivers to drive more than the federal “hours of service” rules. These kinds of errors can make the trucking company liable as well.
Why You Need an Attorney’s Help
Truck accident cases are not like regular fender benders involving two passenger sedans. Instead, the stakes are much higher.
For one thing, you probably have suffered more serious injuries in the truck accident. Given their size, big rigs and other commercial vehicles can cause life-changing injuries. Many of our clients suffer from:
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Permanent disability
These injuries can cost much more to treat than the types of injuries we see in car accidents. Indeed, many truck accident victims need years of rehabilitation and physical therapy before they return to their own selves.
For another, trucking companies are much more aggressive in how they defend against lawsuits. If you were in a car accident, then the other driver’s insurer will probably play hardball but nearly to the extent that a trucking company will. Trucking companies have been known to hire investigators to spy on victims and to employ other tactics, all with the goal of limiting the amount of compensation they pay.
Only an attorney can adequately represent your interests. Remember to hire someone who has sat across the table from our state’s largest trucking companies and their army of attorneys. Contact a Rockford truck accident lawyer today.
Contact Our Rockford Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If you are involved in a truck accident in Rockford, Illinois, we want to help you. We will go to work as soon as we meet with you and learn about your crash, and will do everything we can to get you the money you deserve. You only have two years after the date of your accident to file a claim, so it is important that you act quickly.
At Tuite Law, our determined truck accident attorneys in Rockford are experienced and compassionate – a winning combination when representing victims and dealing with insurance companies. Contact us today for your free case review.