When a motor vehicle accident involves a commercial truck, the results are often catastrophic and may result in severe or permanent damages to a person. The horrific outcome of a truck accident may occur due to a significantly heavier vehicle colliding with a small passenger vehicle. Expenses stemming from such an incident can pile up, leaving individuals with financial stress in addition to the physical and emotional challenges they may face.
If you were seriously injured in a collision with a truck, you may want to consider reaching out to a knowledgeable Will County truck accident lawyer with experience in this particular area of law. A persistent personal injury attorney may be able to help you determine your options and pursue compensation to which you may be entitled.
What Constitutes Liability in an Accident
Driver error or inattentiveness are common causes of tractor-trailer accidents, just as they could be for car accidents. Some potential examples of truck driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while fatigued
- Speeding or other reckless forms of driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
Under Illinois law, a trucking company could be held liable for the negligent acts of its employees or if it acted negligently in its own right.
The company may have failed to properly prepare the driver for their duties and monitor their performance. Companies could make sure their employees always comply with both state and federal safety regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Many trucking companies employ third-party vendors to handle a significant portion of their operations. If any of these parties acted carelessly, they could be held liable for an injured person’s damages. Some examples of third-party vendors include:
- Employment agencies
- Cargo shippers
If a defective truck contributed to the accident, a truck accident lawyer in Will County could bring a personal injury claim against the manufacturer and others in the distribution chain.
State Trucking Regulations
Illinois’s state trucking regulations cover an array of matters, from how trucks must operate and secure its cargo to the qualifications of truck drivers. Trucks must not exceed specific weight load limits on Illinois roads. Load tie-down requirements must also be met by trucking companies.
To lawfully operate a commercial truck, trucking companies may need to comply with these regulations and ensure that their drivers are cognizant of trucking laws. Any company that violates state trucking regulations and is involved in an accident may be held liable for damages.
Potential Recoverable Damages For a Plaintiff
When a person is injured in a collision with a commercial truck, they may be eligible to pursue compensation from the trucking company or other parties. Damages that a truck accident lawyer in Will County could work with a plaintiff to recover may include:
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity
- Past and future medical expenses
- Non-economic damages
- Scarring and permanent loss of bodily function
Depending on the facts of the case, a plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages to go along with economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages serve to punish and deter willful and wanton misconduct. If a trucking company had a history of failing to repair their trucks and a mechanical flaw caused an accident, punitive damages may be warranted.
How a Will County Truck Accident Attorney Could Help
Whether it was an owner’s failure to maintain its vehicle or a violation of Illinois’s federal trucking regulations, both truck drivers and trucking companies may be held liable for the harm resulting from an accident. To better understand your legal rights and options, get in touch with an accomplished Will County truck accident lawyer who could evaluate your claim and determine whether you have a claim worth pursuing. Call today to set up a consultation.