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Tractor-trailer accidents are not a rarity here in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that in the year 2012 alone, there were 9,739 reported auto accidents involving tractor-trailers. These tractor-trailer accidents account for 3.8 percent of all reported auto accidents in Illinois. Tractor-trailer involved accidents often result in fatalities! This is a problem across the nation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2012 there were 3,802 tractor-trailers connected to fatal auto accidents.

Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents and Automated Tests

There are numerous causes of tractor-trailer accidents; some are more common than others. The common causes are driver fatigue, defective brakes, traffic patterns, drugs and speeding. In hopes of reducing tractor-trailer related accidents, Peloton Technology is experimenting with automated tractor-trailers.  

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The amount of damages caused by commercial motor vehicle accidents is staggering. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2012 there were $87 Billion dollars worth of damages caused by commercial motor vehicle crashes. Because accidents are influenced by a variety of factors, it can be difficult to assess exactly how much the damages from a commercial motor vehicle accident are worth. This article will examine exactly how much our firm charges to handle a tractor-trailer truck accident personal injury claim based on the various statistics available about these types of crashes.

Important Elements About How Much Your Case Is Worth

There are several important elements to understand about the cost of damages that result from tractor-trailer truck accidents, which include the following:

Vast Differences in Cost. It is important to understand that a client’s claim process will be very different from an automobile accident involving a passenger vehicle. Based on the types of commercial motor vehicle insurance that exists, it might even be possible that there are multiple commercial policies that exist for a truck that has caused injuries in a commercial motor vehicle wreck. The exact cost of an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle accident can vary greatly based on the circumstances of how an accident occurred.
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One negative aspect of being a tractor-trailer driver has to deal with road rage. Though normally it is the vehicles around the tractor-trailer with road rage, tractor-trailer drivers themselves tend to exhibit road rage behaviors, too.

In short, road rage is defined as a driver’s uncontrolled anger that is normally provoked by another driver’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or even violent behavior. Road rage sometimes results in death! For instance, on Highway 10 in Jacksonville, Florida, in an act of road rage, one tractor-trailer driver pulled up beside a second tractor-trailer driver and fired a fatal gun shot at the driver!  

Relevant Statistics and Causes

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Trucking accidents occur often here in Illinois. These accidents can be severe and even fatal. As a matter of fact, Illinois is one of a few states that account for over 50 percent of all truck fatalities in the United States. These happen often. In the past five years alone, Illinois experienced around 600 truck-related fatalities.

In the year 2014, across the United States, 3,660 people died in trucking accidents. Of these, 16 percent involved truck drivers or passengers, 68 percent involved occupants of passenger vehicles, such as cars, and 15 percent involved pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. There were 16 percent more truck-related accident deaths in 2014 when compared to 2009.

It is imperative that you hire a personal injury attorney if you or a loved one are injured from a truck-related accident.
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The results of truck-related accidents can be life altering. Fatalities often occur. Earlier this month, for instance, in southern Illinois, an automobile carrying three young girls was involved in a fatal accident with a tractor-trailer. Two of the girls died and is currently in critical condition at a Peoria hospital. This accident took place on Interstate 55 in Logan County.

If you are involved in such an accident, it is nearly inevitable that you will incur significant expenses and will perhaps miss work for several days. If the accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to major compensation. It is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. This post is aimed at explaining why hiring an attorney in a truck-related accident case is in your best interest.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney for my Case?

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It is common knowledge that the streets of Chicago are a busy place to say the least. On a given day you’ll hear the zoom of passing tires and honking horns as countless cars, buses, and trucks go by. Chicago is a major destination for business traveling in and out of the city and tourism, meaning there is a high volume of traffic on a daily basis, even in addition to the high number of residents. However, the streets of Chicago are not just filled with vehicles, but many pedestrians as well. People in the city do not only travel by vehicle but often by foot as well. With a mix of wheels and feet, we must all take extra caution and be alert for each other. When parties are negligent, serious accidents can and do occur. When these are between vehicles and pedestrians, these collisions are especially dangerous.

A recent report by ABC 7 Chicago relays news of an accident where a mother and toddler were hit by a semi-truck on Chicago’s South Side. At the time of the accident, the victims were in the crosswalk of 69th and S. Prairie heading toward a CTA bus stop. The mother was pushing her 2-year-old daughter in a stroller when they were hit head-on by a semi-truck and pinned beneath the truck.

Both the mother and child required hospitalization. The young girl sustained brain injuries and a leg injury. A CTA bus was behind the truck at the time of the collision, and passengers witnessed the accident occur. Many got off the bus at the time of the collision to try to help the mother and child trapped beneath the truck. Firefighters responded to the scene and eventually freed the victims from the entrapment.
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It is evident to our readers that truck accidents are a serious matter. We know that these are large vehicles in height and weight often traveling at very fast speeds in busy areas, like interstates. However, consider when an accident involves more than one large truck with these same conditions present. That makes an accident even more serious and dangerous, with a greater risk of potentially life-changing injuries for those involved..

Consider recent events in Coal City that were reported by CBS Chicago. The accident, occurring on Interstate 55, involved not one, but two semi-trucks. The accident resulted in one fatality when two semi-tractor-trailer trucks collided and one of the semi-trucks caught fire as a result of the accident. The accident shut down traffic in both directions. One semi-truck was carrying food, and the other was carrying automotive parts. Photos from the accidents show debris and the vehicles strewn about the interstate in both directions and on both sides of the median, exemplifying how serious the collision was.

While the cause of this truck accident is unknown at the present time, there are many common reasons that truck accidents occur, often involving negligence on the part of one or more drivers. Many accidents involve distracted drivers, fatigued and sleep-deprived drivers, intoxicated drivers, overloaded or unsafe trucks, and hit-and-run accidents.
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Our attorneys cannot stress enough that railroad tracks and train crossings are places in which we should never cease to be vigilant and safe. These are never locations where our attention can slip or where we can bend the rules. When motorists and pedestrians act negligently near railroad tracks or crossings they endanger the lives of themselves and others around them and serious accidents can occur. Trains always have the right of way at these designated crossings and cannot stop quickly, even in the case of an emergency, because they travel at high speeds. If lights are flashing and gates are down, this means a train is near and motorists should use caution.

Even through frequent safety campaigns, warning signs posted, and laws on the books, train accidents unfortunately still frequently happen when people are negligent and ignore the rules. In a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a semitrailer blocked railroad tracks and was struck by an oncoming Chicago bound Amtrak train in southwest Wilmington, located 14 miles south of the Joliet train station. As a result of the collision, 10 people were taken to area hospitals, according to Wilmington police. Due to the impact of the collision, the train’s cargo of 70,000 pounds of bacon was strewn across the ground near the tracks. The truck’s cab also separated from the trailer and ended up on the other side of the train. Twenty minutes after the accident occurred, passengers were told to leave the train and learned about the accident.
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Driver fatigue is an ongoing issue and danger on our roads that needs addressed. It is far too often that truck drivers get behind the wheel when exhausted thereby creating an extreme danger for all others on the road with them. Our attorneys file lawsuits to punish wrongdoers like these and prevent future incidents of recklessness through our legal action. We encourage our readers to also take a stance against this important safety issue and spread the awareness to their loved ones and friends. Driver fatigue is a serious issue, so it is important to raise awareness of tragic events linked to fatigue to help put a stop to these dangerous behaviors.

According to a recent article by ABC, truck driver fatigue was a major factor in a recent Stevenson Expressway crash in which six people were injured. The accident occurred on the Stevenson Expressway near 1st Avenue. The driver of a semi-truck fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into 13 vehicles. Not only did the crash occur on a busy Chicago highway, but this was also in a construction zone and around 5 a.m. on a weekday when commuters are hitting the road. As a result, six people suffered personal injuries, and all inbound lanes of I-55 at 1st Avenue were shut down. The truck driver admitted to state police that he fell asleep at the wheel. Charges have not been filed, but the investigation is still ongoing.

One commuter was on her way to work at the time when her vehicle was hit by the semi. She suffered a broken neck and clavicle as a result of the accident and has ongoing pains in her side. A car in the accident was ejected into the air, flew over, and landed directly on top of this victim’s car.
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Trucks and trains are among the largest and most powerful vehicles on the roadways. They are extremely large in height and weight and travel at high speeds. While all drivers already have a legal duty to be safe drivers, it is arguable that it is even more important for drivers of these large means of transportation to be especially safe and vigilant, for when they are negligent, extremely serious accidents often occur which result in significant personal injuries.

Even though these vehicle may be large and have the potential to be dangerous, does not mean that they have to be. When operated responsibly, these vehicles are great for business operations or for people to travel long distances. Furthermore, our state has gates and lights at railroad crossings for a reason: to signal that a train is approaching in that very instant and to not cross the track. Signs, lights, and gates are there for our protection and to give us notice. If we follow these warnings and signs and do not act in a negligent manner at crossings, there is no reason that collisions should have to occur. Many of these incidents are entirely avoidable.
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