Experienced Chicago 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 accident 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. His son, Andrew J. Horwitz, continued this tradition.
Since then, three generations of Horwitz lawyers have continued 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 a car collides with a big rig, the impact often leads to permanent injuries or death. The car itself is usually crushed and no longer recognizable.
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
The government has issued strict guidelines regarding how many hours a driver can be on the road before stopping to rest. However, some drivers and companies prioritize making money over safety, and this can be dangerous for everyone on the road. Tired truck drivers are a major cause of serious, and often deadly, accidents in the Chicago area.
It is imperative that you seek legal assistance from a Chicago truck 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. Depending on the relationship, this will likely allow your Chicago trucking accident attorney to assign liability to the company.
In Illinois, trucking law states that companies are typically held responsible for any damages caused by their employees’ negligence. This is known as “respondent superior.” As long as the employee’s actions were unintentional and within their work scope, respondent superior is in place. The trucking company is liable if the driver was acting as an employee at the time of the accident.
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 receive the compensation you deserve by:
- Determining the root cause of your crash
- Assigning liability to those responsible
How Much is my Truck Accident Case Worth in Chicago, IL?
While every case is different, it is impossible to determine exactly how much your case is worth without meeting with a Chicago trucking accident attorney first. 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.
Types of Damages you May be Compensated For
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
- Diminished quality of life after the accident, as a result of decreased ability to take part in activities you enjoy
- Physical pain and suffering during treatment
- Lost work wages during your treatment and recovery
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Prescription medication costs resulting from your injuries
- Emotional trauma, such as PTSD
- Wrongful death, including funeral costs, loss of companionship, emotional pain and suffering, loss of support, and other related expenses and damages
- Diminished capacity to continue to earn wages in the future
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. During this time, 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 personal injury lawyer has experience standing up to the insurance companies to ensure your compensation. Schedule a consultation with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today. Meeting with a truck accident attorney can provide you with details unique to your case and answer any questions you have.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents?
Truck accidents differ from car accidents in three major ways.
- Car accident liability and truck accident liability differ significantly.
- The nature of the damages resulting from a truck accident are often more severe than those from a car accident.
- Many trucking firms hire corporate insurance companies to prevent them from having to pay for claims or large settlements.
Assigning liability in a car accident is often straightforward. If you weren’t at fault for the accident, the other driver will be held liable. The insurance company will be responsible for covering your damages.
However, truck accidents can create different liability situations depending on the relationship between the driver and any trucking companies. Assigning liability in these cases can be more complex.
Nature of Injuries
Injuries stemming from truck accidents are often more severe than those experienced in car crashes. Unsurprisingly, according to the National Institute of Highway and Traffic safety, 73% of car vs. truck accidents injuries 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. A brain injury may not cause any symptoms right away. You may not notice the effects of a brain injury until you have an MRI or show 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 lawyer. 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 Chicago Truck Accident 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 attempt to push blame for the accident onto you. It is important to work with a trucking accident lawyer in Chicago to ensure that the courts assign liability to the appropriate 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.