The trucking industry employs over three million drivers annually. As commercial trucks grow to be bigger and heavier than ever, so does the devastation left in their paths after an accident.
Every year, more than 38,000 people are killed in truck-related accidents on the nation’s highways. Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates helps clients through their recovery from severe injuries they received in a trucking accident.
If you were injured by a commercial trucker, you need to speak with a Joliet personal injury lawyer right away. Our attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have 355 years of combined experience and know how to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
We represent clients from Chicago, Cook County, and all across Illinois in serious injury cases. With more than $1 billion in money recovered for our clients, we pride ourselves on being there when you need us most.
Don’t wait another minute. Call Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates at (800) 985-1819.
What is the truck’s “black box” and what does it track?
Electronic Control Module and Event Data Recorder
Electronic control modules (ECM) are installed in the electronic or subsystems of a truck’s engine, typically by the manufacturers. This system monitors the engine, transmission, and the truck’s mechanical functions. The Engine Control Module (ECM) is found in almost all modern heavy trucks. Data from the ECM is collected and stored in the event data recorder (EDR).
The ECM records the speed of the vehicle, whether the accelerator is pressed, whether the brake is pressed, how long the brake or accelerator is pressed, whether the wheels are turning or stopped (as happens in a slide on ice, for example) and a variety of other things. Downloading data from the truck provides information related to the vehicle’s speed, braking, clutch and throttle position. The ECM is designed to take “snapshot” data under various scenarios related to the truck’s operation, such as “fast stop” and “last stop”.
An experienced trucking lawyer knows that requesting, preserving and obtaining this information immediately after a crash is essential to protecting your rights.
Electronic Logging Devices
Historically, truck drivers would log their hours on paper and submit them to their companies. As technology has advanced, this has become an electronic process.
But with many trucking companies pushing drivers to go past the point of safety by working additional hours or overloading their trucks, the US government started to require this electronic reporting to be linked to the dashboard of the truck.
These electronic logging devices register not only the hours driven by the driver but also can be used to determine the speed at which they drove and other driving habits.
Why Commercial Truck Black Boxes Are Crucial for Tractor-Trailer Accident Victims
The black box of a commercial truck is just one piece of evidence that needs to be successfully presented in any tractor-trailer accident case.
These boxes can provide vital information about the hours driven, the speed at which a vehicle was driven, and other issues with the truck at the time of a collision. They can also paint a picture of whether the truck’s driver was acting recklessly. Although these boxes only record a short period of time before an accident, they can still have a dramatic impact on your case.
Additionally, Federal Regulations allow the trucking company to start destroying paperwork as early as 6 months after a crash (i.e., driver log books are only required by law to be maintained for 6 months) and the trucking companies are quick to purge that info as soon as permitted.
Most truck companies know the logbook’s value in a case against them, so they work to override it or to prevent handing it over until those precious six months are up. This is why you need to hire an experienced Joliet truck accident lawyer who can assist you in retrieving this valuable evidence before it’s lost.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents are extremely hectic events. With all of the shock you will experience, it can be a confusing time. If the police have not been called and you are able, call the police. Even if your vehicle is drivable, do not move it until instructed by police.
Police officers may want to take photos or measurements. Law enforcement will often measure skid marks, take pictures of the road and pavement, obtain information when possible from witnesses at the scene, and complete a report of the accident.
Paramedics will arrive. After being treated by emergency medical personnel on the scene, they may ask whether you want to be taken to a medical facility near you for a full assessment of your injuries.
You should go for further evaluation. Describe any pain or problems you are experiencing. Do not assume it is nothing or will be okay, tell the professionals what you are feeling.
Once you have been checked and cleared by a doctor, make sure you talk with a truck accident attorney before you make any statements about the incident. It is very common for the trucking company’s insurance to call you in the days after a crash. The trucking company’s insurance is concerned about how much the accident may cost them, not how you are doing.
You are not obligated to speak with anyone. Take care of yourself. Give us a call so we can guide you through this.
If you’re looking for a top tractor-trailer accident attorney, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is the way to go. We have extensive experience representing clients who have been involved in truck accidents.
Contact us today to see if we’re the right fit for your case.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks are a vital part of the American economy, but when they’re involved in accidents, the results can be catastrophic. Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and even death to those involved, and the trucking companies often try to shift the blame to innocent victims.
That’s why it’s important to know what causes truck accidents so that you can be better prepared if one happens to you or a loved one. Some of the most common causes include:
This is when a truck driver is not paying attention to the road while they should be. Some examples of this include using a cell phone, texting, adjusting dash components, and eating while driving.
A truck driver is driving aggressively when they are purposefully driving a commercial vehicle with disregard for the safety of others. They may do this to meet demands for their company or to deliver items faster to increase their pay. However, this type of driving puts everyone on the road at risk.
The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that fatigue is a major cause of trucking accidents, particularly when it causes drivers to go beyond the maximum number of hours legally allowed before taking a break.
Truck drivers are required to successfully complete both written and behind-the-wheel tests. However, if a truck company hires drivers without performing the necessary tests, it means that the driver has not been properly trained.
When a vehicle is poorly designed or manufactured, it can cause serious accidents. Faulty brakes, steering components that fail to function properly, bad tires, and an improper weight balance are just some of the issues that defective vehicles have been known to have.
Bad Weather Conditions
If weather conditions are poor on the road, it can cause accidents. Heavy rains, for example, might make roads slippery and hard to navigate.
Road Design & Maintenance
Some highways are poorly planned, which can make the road itself a safety hazard. For example, sharp curves might not have adequate warning signs or lighting.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
- Head trauma – This is an injury that can lead to brain damage or death if it’s not treated quickly by medical professionals. These are also called traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can mean concussions, comas, and permanent brain damage.
- Severe burn injuries – When a truck crashes into another vehicle, spilled fuel can ignite, starting a fire that causes severe burns. These burns might be so severe that they can lead to disfigurement and even death.
- Whiplash – The neck muscles are strained to the point where they may become torn or even dislocated, which leads to intense pain and headaches that can last for months at a time.
- Broken or fractured bones – Truck accidents can cause victims to break multiple bones, which are often very painful. Some broken bones require surgery and months of recovery.
- Internal injuries – Victims of truck accidents may suffer internal injuries, including broken ribs and abdominal bleeding. Without proper treatment, internal injuries and bleeding can lead to death. These are often hidden injuries that one will not feel until it’s too late.
- Back injuries – The spine can be easily damaged in a truck accident due to the massive amount of force involved. This often leaves victims with permanent back issues like sciatica, slipped discs, and pinched nerves.
- Wrongful death – This happens when someone is killed as a direct result of another person’s negligent or reckless actions. The family members of the victim can file a wrongful death claim if their loved one is killed in an accident like this.
If you’re injured in a truck accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. This will require working with experienced attorneys such as Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, who have an outstanding record of successfully representing accident victims.
How much does it cost to hire a truck accident lawyer?
If you need a truck accident lawyer, it is important to understand how the lawyer will be compensated. Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates works on a contingency fee basis, which means that the lawyer will not be compensated unless you win your case.
This can be a great advantage for you, as the lawyer will have a strong incentive to work hard on your case. Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates work diligently to get you the maximum compensation. After all, we do not get paid unless you do.
What is the average car accident settlement in Joliet?
The average car accident settlement in Joliet can vary depending on the case. Each case is different because each person is different. The defendant’s insurance company is responsible for paying you what you deserve for your past and future medical bills, your past and future lost wages, your past and future pain and suffering and your past and future loss of normal life. You may be entitled to compensation for other or different damages. Your lawyer’s job is to fight for you.
For this reason, it is important to have a qualified truck accident lawyer who will fight for your rights and maximize your compensation for your injuries.
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you through this process. Contact us if you are involved in a truck accident.
What damages can I collect in a truck accident?
The damages that you can collect in a truck accident vary depending on the situation. Truck accidents are often much more serious than car accidents.
There is typically more damage, and there is usually one or possibly multiple victims as well as injuries to those involved. Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates will investigate your case and let you know what types of damages you may be eligible to receive.
In the past, we have helped victims recover damages for things like medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, loss of consortium, and more.
How Our Joliet Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You
If you are looking for a Joliet truck accident attorney, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help. We have the experience and resources to handle your case and fight it until we achieve the desired result: maximum compensation.
We understand how difficult it is to be injured in a truck accident and we will do everything we can to help you during this difficult time.
Our firm has a proven track record of success and will provide you with the best representation possible. You can let us handle the legalities while you focus on your health and recovery, which lets you have peace of mind as we fight for your rights.
Maximum Results for Truck Wreck Victims
When you have been involved in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another driver, it is important that legal action be taken immediately. The sooner you begin working on your claim, the better your chances of preserving valuable evidence and receiving maximum compensation.
Our firm understands the toll that a truck accident takes on an individual. That’s why we always aim to get out clients the maximum amount of damages that can be awarded. This involves preparing all cases for trial with the goal of fighting for the highest possible settlement.
Our Joliet truck accident lawyers understand that you need to be compensated for your injuries, and we aim to help you through this difficult time while fighting for your rights.
Call a Joliet Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, we can help.
Waiting makes evidence collection more difficult, which is why it is important to call us today. Working with us maximizes your chances of receiving the highest possible settlement.
Call us today for a free consultation.
Truck Accident Questions and Answers
What can I do to protect my rights after a truck accident?
The most important thing you can do after a truck accident is to seek immediate medical attention at the nearest hospital. It may also be helpful to write down everything that happened as soon as possible so you will have a record of what occurred.
Finally, it is critical to call Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates and talk with one of our truck accident attorneys as soon as possible to make sure your legal rights are protected.
What if I was not in my car when the accident occurred but another vehicle?
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, secure medical attention as soon as possible and then call Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates to protect your rights.
What should I do if someone from the trucking insurance company calls me before I’ve picked a truck accident lawyer?
It is important to remember that insurance companies are focused on protecting their own profits. Whether it is your insurance company or the trucking company’s insurance agency, you should not speak with them until you have spoken to your lawyer.
Before you speak to the insurance company, talk to a qualified Joliet truck accident lawyer who can advise you on how you can protect your rights unique to your specific case. If you don’t have a lawyer yet, you should tell them that you will be working through your truck accident lawyer. Get their details and hang up. Then, immediately hire a truck accident lawyer, like those at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates.
What should I tell the police on the scene of a truck accident?
It is important to remember that you are not under any obligation to speak with the police on the scene of your accident without an attorney present. However, in most cases, it is best to cooperate with their questions.
Remember that the police are a neutral party who have no stake in your case. They don’t care who is at fault, which can lead to them making mistakes.
If you misspeak, you risk your chance to get maximum compensation. Do not offer information and only answer questions directly asked of you. Do not guess or assume anything. Provide only the facts.
Who can be sued in a truck accident case?
All commercial motor vehicles are required to be registered with the state and/or federal government. If there is a logo on the driver’s door, the company whose logo is there is liable for operation of the truck. Of course, the truck’s driver can be sued if he or she negligently operated the vehicle.
Sometimes maintenance of the vehicle or mechanical defects are to blame for a crash. Other times a load broker or shipper may control a driver so much that they are liable for a crash.
Trucking is big business. It can be challenging to figure out who is at-fault for your truck accident. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you figure out who is to blame.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a truck wreck?
In most cases, you have two years from the date of your truck accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to do so within that time frame, you lose your chance to ask for compensation in the courts.
Two years can feel like a long time, but it goes by quickly. It is best to talk with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates as soon as possible. Call (800) 985-1819 now.