Rockford’s No. 1 Truck Accident Lawyers
Your Trusted Truck Accident Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash with a semi or other commercial vehicle it can have wide-ranging and often catastrophic consequences. When you need a law firm with the skills and determination to take on an insurance company, call or text message The Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers.
Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers
Defending Your Rights
When commercial vehicles are involved in collisions they are typically operating at a significant weight advantage to other passenger/commuter traffic. The average American passenger sedan weighs between 3000-5000 lbs compared to a fully laden semi-trailer which can be at 80,000 lbs. Depending on how a crash occurs, the weight difference could make an ordinary fender bender into something much more serious.
In our truck accident law firm, we have come across a number of semi and commercial vehicle-related cases that have resulted in injuries to our clients. Here are some of the things that we do IMMEDIATELY after a crash, that you may want to consider bringing on a lawyer for to protect your interests.
What We Do When You’re In a Trucking Accident
- We send a notice to the owner of the vehicle that they must preserve the vehicle’s systems and body panels until we can inspect and take photos of the vehicle post-crash.
- We send a spoliation notice that if the vehicle is tampered with in any way, that there can be a separate cause of action for a defendant destroying evidence that is in their exclusive possession. (Think of a case where someone may say that an accident occurred because a commercial vehicle did not have his or her headlights on, or did not have their caution lights on which lead to a crash occurring). We make the other side play fair by warning them that they will face harsh consequences should they try to manipulate the evidence to their advantage.
- We have experience with obtaining expert witnesses that can review and pull the data from a commercial vehicle’s “black box”, or “brain”, to be able to show what was happening in vehicles equipped with this technology leading up to a crash. This can show if the vehicle was speeding, GPS coordinates, if the brakes were used, whether cruise control was being utilized, what were the steering inputs, etc. In some cases simply reviewing the black box can tend to show if a driver was falling asleep, distracted, or otherwise driving recklessly leading up to a crash. This is material that the insurance company HATES revealing because once we have our hands on the data, it can break a case wide open when it comes to ascertaining liability of “who caused” the crash.
How Financial Recovery is Earned
Like in all personal injury related matters in Illinois these are two part issues to earn a recovery for a client.
First, we have to establish liability. Who caused the crash?
Some of the things we look at to help figure out if we have a case with strong liability against the Defendant are the following things:
- Was the vehicle overweight
- Was it speeding?
- Was the driver inexperienced, or operating with a significant traffic history showing negligent hiring or retention due to lax background checks.
- Did a load shift, come unstrapped, or was it not properly secured.
- Was there an equipment malfunction or failure on the defendant’s vehicle that could be from poor maintenance.
- Was the driver over the maximum allowed hours to be operating their commercial vehicle leading up to the crash?
Second, we have to show the extent of our client’s injuries. On this portion of a case we work closely with our clients while they are going through treatment to start working up the ultimate claim that we will be making on their behalf. In fatal cases, we work closely with the surviving family members to see first hand the loss that they have suffered, and how their lives have been impacted due to a family member being killed in a crash. Obviously every case is different, but generally on every case we handle there is personal service, and personal responsibility where you will always have lawyers in your corner at every step of the way.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Illinois sets a time limit of TWO YEARS to file MOST personal injury lawsuits in the state’s civil court system. In most cases, this two-year time limit, known as a “statute of limitations,” begins to run on the date of the accident. Sometimes, however, a statute of limitations might run from the date that you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you. This later date is known as a “discovery date.” Likewise, certain cases involving State entities may require suit to be filed in the Illinois Court of Claims, which carries a 1-year Statute of Limitations. The main thing is, talk to a lawyer immediately, or soon after an accident to ensure that your rights are protected. There is no more difficult meeting than looking over a prospective client’s paperwork and realizing that they did not come to a lawyer in time to initiate a lawsuit and that they are not able to recover anything for their injury because the filing deadline passed.
In Trucking cases, please be aware these are handled, and treated differently from a “normal” auto crash or “motor vehicle accident” because of the typically dramatic injuries associated with these types of crashes. If you neglect to seek representation, and you are attempting to deal with the insurance company on your own, be aware that they are not out to be your friend. Yes, they may placate you and offer to pay medical bills as they are coming in, but be cautioned that they will not be preserving a black box, or making a vehicle available to you for photos, or for an expert witness to view the commercial vehicle. The more time that you wait, can, and will often result in less available options for your lawyer to work up all angles of a case simply because some of the favorable evidence may become lost or tampered with.
Call or Text Rockford’s Best Truck Accident Lawyers
At the offices of Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that trucking accidents, commercial vehicles, and semi-trailer trucking accident victims may have questions about their legal rights following a motor vehicle accident. We are committed to helping injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians understand these rights and how they may be able to obtain compensation to cover damages such as medical bills and lost wages. Depending on the details of your crash, you may be able to seek compensation through insurance claims or a lawsuit against a negligent driver and his or her insurance provider.
For a free consultation to discuss your Rockford trucking accident case, call, or text message 24/7/365 the Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers at (815) 964-8303.