Truck accidents can be devastating. The sheer weight and size of trucks make them lethal. Brakes on trucks wear out much faster than on automobiles. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) show that hundreds of thousands of large trucks are involved in traffic accidents annually, killing thousands and accounting for roughly 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes. If you have been injured in a truck-related accident, you should seek the legal counsel of an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer to assist you with your claim.
Victims of Truck Accidents
When truckers drive unsafely, whether from being in a hurry, driving too long, or lacking adequate truck driver experience and training, they put other motorists and their passengers at great risk for bodily harm.
- Other Drivers: In a collision between an automobile or truck, the truck always wins. The weight, size and bulk of a truck and/or trailer always makes it a potentially deadly force to other drivers on the road who fall victim to truck driver negligence.
- Pedestrians: A trucker who is driving too fast, turning too sharply, or subject to blind spots cannot protect the safety of pedestrians, especially children and the elderly. It only takes a slight mishap, or momentary inattention, for very serious injury and accident to occur.
- Bicyclists: Against a truck, bicyclists do not have a chance. If a truck driver is not driving safely, with great caution, an accident with a bicyclist can be catastrophic.
- Other Motorists: Motorcyclists, scooter drivers, and other victims of truck driver negligence know that there is no room for error when it comes to driving a truck.
At the law firm of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we also assist victims who have been injured by trucks in the following ways:
- Alcohol/Drug Use
- Driver Fatigue
- Negligent Truck Maintenance
- Overloaded Trucks
- Tire Blowouts
Truck Liability Claims
Trucking revenues total over $600 billion annually and are expected to increase each year during an improving economy. Though that is good news for the trucking industry, it also means more trucks on the road, and as a result, more trucking accidents for the cars, vans and SUVs that share the road with these potentially lethal giants. In tractor trailer accidents, for example, 98% of deaths are those of individuals in the passenger vehicles.
Truck accident cases are far more complicated than the run-of-the-mill auto accident case. Determining who is responsible and allocation of fault requires expertise in this area of the law, beginning with the federal laws and regulations governing the trucking industry. These laws establish certain fixed standards that trucking companies, owners, and drivers must meet, and often determine who is responsible for a trucking accident.
Most of the laws and regulations addressing the trucking industry are located at Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The major federal agencies regulating truck driving safety and liability are the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In addition, every state also has its own department of transportation with its own set of trucking rules and regulations.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we have over 20 years of experience representing victims of truck accidents in Chicago, Cook County, and throughout the United States. Our legal team has an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations governing the trucking industry, and we put our experience to work to help our clients recover just compensation for their injuries. Contact a Chicago truck accident attorney at HM&M today for a free consultation.