Chicago, IL Truck Accident Attorney
When a collision occurs between a semi-truck and another vehicle, the damage is often catastrophic. Debilitating or fatal injuries are common, leaving families reeling. Where do you go and who do you turn to for help? The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are here to help you through this process. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Why Choose Our Chicago Law Firm?
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is the Chicago area’s premiere truck collision law firm. Why do clients ultimately choose us?
- We have provided attorney services in the Chicago area for three generations.
- Our 19 attorneys have a combined 377 years of experience.
- We have recovered over $1 billion in damages for our clients and their families.
Beginning in 1924, Jacob W. Horwitz provided individuals with representation against the corporations that harmed them, and his son, Andrew J. Horwitz carried on the tradition. Since then, a third generation of Horwitz lawyers – Mitchell and Clifford – as well as a team of seven other partners and ten associate attorneys continues the legacy of litigation against corporate insurance companies. Rest assured that Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates do not represent the interests of large corporations – we are here for you.
What Causes Semi-Truck Collisions in Chicago, IL?
An accident with a semi-truck is very different than any other kind of collision. The cargo the truck is carrying, and its sheer size has an enormous effect on the gravity of the injuries sustained. A fully loaded semi weighs 80,000 lbs. When contacting a passenger vehicle, the impact often leads to permanent injuries or death – the passenger vehicle is simply crushed and unrecognizable.
There are federal safety regulations that drivers must adhere to when operating a commercial tractor-trailer. These regulations are in place in order to avoid serious injury to the truck driver or other. When those regulations are not followed, the consequences are disastrous. Some leading factors that contribute to tractor-trailer crashes include:
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Distracted driving
- Driving without adequate sleep
- Drug or alcohol intoxication
- Moving too fast for weather conditions
- Risky driving behavior such as rapidly changing lanes
While the government has issued strict guidelines regarding how many hours a driver can be on the road before resting, drivers and companies interested in increasing their bottom line frequently play games with the lives of others with whom they share the road. Tired truck drivers pose a huge risk to others sharing the road – and are the cause of many serious or deadly truck accidents in the Chicago area.
It is imperative that you seek legal assistance from a Chicago trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible. We invite you to contact our experienced trial lawyer team to arrange a free consultation. Our truck accident attorneys in Chicago will review the facts in your case and advise you of the next legal steps.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Chicago Truck Accident?
If you were not at fault, determining liability in a truck accident involves several considerations.
First, you must determine whether the driver has an employment relationship with a trucking company, is self-employed, or a contractor. The presence of an employer-employee relationship between a trucking company and a truck driver will likely allow your Chicago trucking accident attorney to assign liability to the company.
In many cases, the law assumes a company is liable for damages its employees’ negligence cause, as a cost of doing business – a concept called respondent superior. As long as the acts the employee committed were unintentional and within the scope of the employee’s employment with the company, respondent superior is in place. If the driver has an employment relationship with a trucking company and was acting as an employee at the time of your accident, the company is liable.
If a truck driver owns the truck and is responsible for insuring it, liability lands on the truck driver instead. If the accident occurs while the driver is not acting in the capacity of an employee, the driver may accept liability.
Still other situations exist where the accident is a result of some malfunction of the truck. In these cases, a truck manufacturer, parts manufacturer, and maintenance company, all have the potential for liability. A Chicago truck accident lawyer can help you determine the root cause of your crash, and assign liability to the parties responsible to ensure you receive compensation for their negligence.
How Much is my Truck Accident Case Worth in Chicago, IL?
While it is impossible to determine exactly how much your individual case is worth without consultation – and while every case is different – Illinois truck accident lawsuits typically settle for more than the average car accident lawsuit for three reasons.
- First, due to the larger size of trucks, they often cause more property damage, resulting in a larger average settlement amount.
- Second, the injuries victims suffer from these crashes are usually more severe.
- Lastly, respondeat superior doctrine allows the law to hold businesses liable for accidents their employees cause. Involving a commercial entity allows plaintiffs a greater chance of recovering damages for their injuries.
Depending on the property damage and injuries the accident caused, you may receive compensation for any of these damages.
- Medical bills for the treatment of your injuries
- Prescription medication costs resulting from your injuries
- Physical pain and suffering during treatment
- Diminished quality of life after the accident, as a result of decreased ability to take part in activities you enjoy
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma, such as PTSD
- Lost work wages during your treatment and recovery
- Diminished capacity to continue to earn wages in the future
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Wrongful death, including funeral costs, loss of companionship, emotional pain and suffering, loss of support, and other related expenses and damages
It is not easy to determine the worth of a truck accident personal injury suit. To evaluate your claim, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates will compile your damages and expenses and investigate their costs. It is important during this time that you do not accept a lowball settlement offer from the trucking company’s insurance company. Insurance companies exist to protect assets and achieve minimal settlements, and their lawyers are well versed in this type of litigation.
A Chicago truck accident lawyer has experience standing up to the insurance companies to ensure your compensation. Schedule a consultation with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today. A consultation will provide you with details unique to your case, and can answer questions you have surrounding the worth of your lawsuit.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents?
Truck accidents differ from car accidents in three major ways.
- First, car accident liability and truck accident liability differ significantly.
- Second, the nature of the damages resulting from a truck accident are often more severe than those from a car accident.
- Third, many trucking firms hire corporate insurance companies to prevent you from making a claim or receiving a large settlement they will eventually have to pay for.
Assigning liability in a car accident is often straightforward. If you were not at fault, liability for the accident is on the other driver, and the insurance company will be responsible for covering your damages. However, truck accidents present several different liability situations based on the relationship between the driver and any trucking companies, and the process of assigning liability becomes more challenging.
Nature of Injuries
Injuries stemming from truck accidents are often more severe, as well, endangering occupants of the car far more than the truck driver. According to the National Institute of Highway and Traffic safety, 73% of accident injuries in car vs. truck accidents are to the occupants of the car. Injuries are often severe and life-altering. Common injuries from a truck collision can include:
- Neck and back injuries ranging from mild pain to slipped discs and crushed vertebrae
- Head injuries like concussions or other traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones or extreme amputation of limbs
- Blunt trauma injuries, like crushed ribs or pelvis and the resulting damage to internal organs
- Lacerations, contusions, and abrasion injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, some resulting in paralysis
- Seat belt injuries
Sometimes, these traumatic injuries are readily apparent, and sometimes they do not appear until sometime after the crash. When a traumatic brain injury occurs, you may not notice the effects of the crash until after an MRI, or after you have shown other symptoms. After a truck accident, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately to address any hidden injuries.
Accidents involving trucks are ten times as likely to kill as accidents involving cars. If a loved one died as the result of a truck accident in Illinois, contact a Chicago wrongful death attorney. An attorney can determine fault, deal with the insurance companies, and perform all the services necessary in a wrongful death case while you focus on grieving.
Consult with Our Attorneys Before Speaking with an Insurance Company
Trucking companies hire insurance companies to protect themselves from liability and paying overly large settlements. As a result, the insurance company may contact you and ask you to accept a lowball offer, or attempt to push blame for the accident onto you. It is important to work with a Chicago trucking accident lawyer to ensure that the courts assign fault to the proper party. Do not fall victim to lowball claims or a shift in accident responsibility.
Contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates as soon as possible. Our trucking accident attorneys have the experience needed to properly deal with corporate insurance companies.
Truck Accident Statistics in Illinois
Connect with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
Many accidents involving semi-trucks are the direct result of driver error. Our experienced truck accident lawyers in Chicago will thoroughly review the facts in your case. Our resources include accident investigators, legal experts, and financial experts that provide professional support in filing a claim or lawsuit. Call us today for legal assistance you can trust. We are trial lawyers and not afraid to go the distance for you.