Were You Injured in a Chicago Truck Accident? We Can Help
Time is critical in truck accident cases. When smaller cars are hit by a large tractor-trailer or commercial trucks, the victims may believe that the truck driver’s fault is obvious and the process of claiming compensation will be easy. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially for individuals who are dealing with extensive brain or spine injuries, loss of mobility, and months or years of recovery. That is why victims and their families need to take action as soon as possible to protect their rights.
In some situations, the trucking company may actually be liable for an accident that causes injuries. However, trucking companies carry large insurance policies, and their insurance carriers begin building a case to limit their own responsibility for potential damages immediately after a commercial truck is involved in an accident. While there are many situations in which it is completely reasonable for victims to handle an injury claim on their own, the aftermath of a catastrophic truck accident is not one of those occasions.
If you and your family are struggling to make sense of what happens after a serious truck accident, an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, get clear answers, and build a strong case in support of the compensation you deserve. For immediate assistance with your questions, contact our Chicago law office at 312-332-1400.
When Is a Trucking Company Responsible for an Accident?
Trucking companies have a duty to set policies, enforce procedures, and make sure numerous safety rules are followed. If they fail to do so, the trucking companies may be legally responsible for the injuries and deaths that result from ignoring those laws and regulations. For example, the trucking company may be liable for an accident if the company:
- Failed to hire a qualified driver or failed to do an appropriate background check on the driver.
- Encouraged the driver to speed, exceed the hours-of-service regulations, or otherwise violate trucking regulations.
- Failed to maintain a safe truck that was free of mechanical problems.
Of course, this list is not all-inclusive. There may be other ways in which the trucking company or another party was negligent, making it responsible for the truck accident injuries that were suffered.
How to Hold the Right Party Responsible
It is important to know exactly what caused your truck crash so that you can recover fair damages for your injuries and protect your rights. Whether it was the trucker’s mistake, a manufacturing defect, or the trucking company’s error, you deserve answers about what happened. An experienced attorney can help you sort through the details of the accident and determine both who is responsible and what you rights really are.
You Can’t Go Back in Time, But You Can Look to the Future
The costs of catastrophic injuries can devastate a family’s savings. Although no one is required to hire an attorney, it is important that victims understand their families’ rights and what to expect when trying to recover the costs of a major injury from a truck driver or trucking company. The legal process that follows a truck accident can be very unlike the process that follows an accident with another car, and the addition of tragic injuries means that affected families have a lot to lose.
Although it is difficult, it is possible to put a monetary value what an individual or family loses because of an injury or wrongful death in an accident. The value of a truck accident recovery may include compensation for the victim’s past, current, and future:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of hospital stays, doctors’ appointments, surgeries, and rehabilitation therapies
- Lost income, depending on how the injuries affect the victim’s ability to work
- Out-of-pocket costs, including property damage
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Other damages
Victims deserve to know what their cases might be worth, and they deserve to get fair damages after a negligent trucker or trucking company has made a mistake that resulted in serious consequences for victims. Unfortunately, they often have trouble getting clear information about how to go through the legal process and recover the compensation they need for recovery.
The Difficulty for Victims in Illinois Truck Accident Claims
Although many truck accident victims have a legal right to compensation for their injuries and other losses, it can sometimes be a struggle to legally “prove” that claim and collect a recovery. The truth is that insurance companies and trucking companies are interested in protecting their own interests after a wreck. It is not unusual for the company’s or truck driver’s insurance company to:
- Avoid responsibility for an accident. Insurance companies benefit from minimizing victims’ claims and avoiding or minimizing the company’s financial responsibility for accidents.
- Underestimate victims’ medical needs. Some insurance companies may initially deny a claim for compensation or offer a settlement that doesn’t cover the victims’ total medical needs.
- Ignore less-obvious injuries and losses. Insurance companies may also be quick to discount emotional and psychological injuries, as well as additional treatments that can improve a victim’s quality of life.
- Ignore future needs. The medical needs of a victim injured in a truck accident can go far beyond the price of initial treatment, and many serious injuries will require future or ongoing care. However, some victims are unaware that they may be able to collect compensation for their needs in the years to come.
Building a Truck Accident Case
It’s up to you and your attorney to prove how seriously you’ve been injured and why the responsible party should pay for damages. No matter how obvious the injury to you and your family may seem, you still need documentation and evidence that will support your claim. An experienced attorney will know exactly what to look for and what will be needed to resolve your case. However, victims and families can take important steps to collect and preserve documentation by:
- Keeping all documentation related to an injury. This might include medical records, doctor’s bills, pill bottles, letters from the trucking company, photographs you took of your injuries, etc.
- Having a friend or family member help out. Truck accident injuries are often very serious, and it may not be possible for a seriously injured victim to collect evidence. If possible, a family member or close friend should collect witness information, take some pictures of the scene, and get copies of the police report.
- Talking with an attorney as soon as possible. Trucking accidents are much more complicated for victims than collisions with other automobiles. An attorney can immediately start working to obtain and preserve evidence that victims might not think to look for or have access to, as well as make sure they understand their rights.
When a truck accident victims hires our law firm, an experienced attorney will immediately begin investigating and building the accident case, including collecting necessary evidence and documentation. At the Law Offices of Lane & Lane, LLC, we work hard on behalf of our clients to build a case that is designed to succeed.
A Chicago Law Firm Noted for Our History of Success
Our attorneys have more than 130 years of combined experience representing truck accident victims. We know that commercial trucking accidents happen to individuals, but the impact of those accidents can affect entire families. We have a deep and thorough understanding of:
- The common causes of truck accidents. From speeding drivers to drivers who have spent too many hours on the road, our attorneys know all about the various causes of truck accidents.
- Federal regulations in truck accident cases. The rules of the road for semi-trucks are not the same as they are for other vehicles. We know the importance of knowing federal regulations in truck crash cases.
Our lawyers are leaders in our fields of practice. Our attorneys have written several best-selling legal textbooks and have instructed lawyers in trial techniques, litigation skills, and medical litigation issues. Members of our firm have held leadership positions in the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and other prestigious national, international, and state organizations.
Of course, it is our ability to succeed that keeps drawing attention to our law firm. We have a long history of multimillion dollar awards and settlements. The efforts we’ve made for our clients have resulted in life-saving changes in hospital and medical procedures. While our history of success is important to us, succeeding on behalf of our clients is what we are focused on.
Illinois Truck Accident Victims Can Start Investigating Their Cases Today
If you or someone you know has been very seriously hurt in an accident with a tractor-trailer or heavy truck, don’t assume that the trucking company will automatically take responsibility or take care of your needs. Start investigating your case with the help of an experienced attorney who can answer your questions and help you move forward with confidence. For a free case review and more information, you can contact our legal team at 312-332-1400 or toll-free at 888-484-9881.