The operation of a commercial truck is entrusted to only a select few drivers who have gone through additional vehicle training to obtain their commercial trucking license. With all the additional requirements of these drivers, there should be little room for driver negligence. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and negligent truck drivers still cause hundreds of accidents every year.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury in an Illinois truck accident because of a negligent driver, you not only have to deal with the pain and suffering after the accident, but also now face the stress of filing an insurance claim to recover damages. A Chicago truck accident attorney can take some of that stress away by helping you prepare your claim and seeing it through to settlement.
Physical Negligence in an Illinois Truck Accident
Just like drivers of normal passenger vehicles, truck drivers have the same responsibility to follow the rules of the road when operating commercial trucks. In many cases, commercial truck drivers have additional safety measures they must follow, such as stopping at railroad crossings.
A negligent truck driver can cause an Illinois truck accident if they fail to follow the basic rules of the road.
Failure to properly use turn signals during lane changes or turns often cause cars in their blind spots to be struck by the trailer portion of the truck. Tailgating and speeding are also serious problems, as the truck’s large size makes it difficult to stop on short notice.
Personal Negligence in an Illinois Truck Accident
Another duty truck drivers have to uphold for their own safety and that of others around them is to comply with the time limits they are allowed to drive. Drivers who are fatigued or otherwise emotionally compromised can have slowed reaction times or become easily distracted from concentrating on the road. Commercial truck drivers have specific federal laws to follow in regard to the amount of time they can continuously be driving. Neglecting to follow these rules often results in fatigued drivers who are more likely to cause an Illinois truck accident.
Intoxication by alcohol or drugs is also a serious problem when it comes to the causes of an Illinois truck accident.
Any driver operating a vehicle under the influence poses a higher risk to others around them, but a truck driver has a much more powerful vehicle in their hands.
Mechanical Negligence in an Illinois Truck Accident
Drivers of commercial trucks are also responsible for the maintenance and safe operation of their vehicles. Independent operators have routine inspections to conduct before, during and after a route, while drivers who work for a larger transport company have mechanics to report to.
The loads hauled during a route also play a critical factor in the cause of many Illinois truck accidents. An improperly balanced or unsecured load can shift during driving, causing spillage or loss of vehicle control. Drivers also need to be aware of adverse road conditions where it would be unsafe to operate their vehicles.
During a route, a driver cannot be negligent in responding to unfavorable vehicle responses. Many drivers try to ignore unusual engine sounds or vehicle conditions until they are off duty or at a more preferable area to break down. In many cases delaying proper attention to mechanical issues can cause unexpected vehicle failures which often result in Illinois truck accidents.
The Difficulty in Proving Illinois Truck Accident Negligence
Truck drivers have the added advantage of normally having their transport company dealing with the insurance companies. Many transport companies have an agent on site immediately following an accident to document the situation for their use as evidence.
The keeping of records also poses a challenge when you attempt to file your insurance claim. The federal laws for retaining records regarding crash data (driver’s logbook, vehicle maintenance, etc.) only require them to be kept for as little as 90 days before they can be destroyed. Having a Chicago truck accident attorney can help you file a notice to cease document destruction.
Hiring a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney
When you are involved in an Illinois truck accident your injury claims will usually be going against a trucking company’s insurance provider. Because the providers often dispatch adjusters to the scene immediately following your accident, you need to act quickly as well to protect your claim.
A Chicago truck accident attorney at the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. knows the ins-and-outs of Illinois car insurance coverage and can help you understand the claims process. Contact us today for a free case evaluation – 312-263-1080.