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Federal Legislation Proposed to Eliminate Funding for Truck Accidents

Our attorneys have emphasized many times not only how dangerous truck accidents are, but also the high costs of these accidents that burden innocent injured victims and families. After a collision, many times victims are drowning with costs of initial medical bills for hospitalization, vehicle repair, prolonged medical treatment and physical therapy for healing, and lost wages for inability to work. Now, proposed federal legislation may make the costs and recovery of a truck accident even harder to bear for innocent victims by placing the high costs on their shoulders.

According to news from the American Association of Justice through their Take Justice Back campaign, U.S. Senators have proposed legislation that would eliminate accountability for trucks and buses when victims are injured or killed. Currently there is law on the books from the 1980’s that only requires truck companies to hold minimum insurance policies for $750,000 to cover an entire crash. This is the same cost no matter how many people are injured or killed in the crash. When there is a higher cost than what the company can cover, the motorists and taxpayers have to pay the rest. Even though policies may be for $750,000, what many do not realize is that fatal trucking accidents often cost over $4.3 million.

Furthermore, nearly 4,000 people die every year in truck crashes. Yet, next week the U.S. Senate vote on a transportation spending bill that may include an amendment that will delete the necessary resources that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration needs to increase insurance minimums to cover the costs of crashes.

Illinoisans could particularly suffer from such legislation. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, as of today, there have been 335 fatal crashes in our state in 2014. Of these crashes, 361 people have died. From this data, it is clear that fatal accidents are frequently occurring on our state’s roads, streets and highways And therefore, it is important that lawmakers protect the victims of negligence.

Furthermore, according to a crash facts report from the governor and the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois has the fifth busiest interstate system in our nation, and has 140,000 miles of roads throughout the state. In the year 2012 alone, there were a total of 956 fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in Illinois. Many of these accidents occurred in Cook County too. In 2012, there were a total of 131,402 crashes in Cook County. At 47.9% of the total crashes, Cook County makes up for almost half of all motor vehicle accidents in the state. Of these 131,402 crashes, 252 were fatal, which accounts for 28.4% of all fatal crashes in Illinois. The next highest counties were DuPage, Lake, Will, and Kane, respectively, which are all just outside our city of Chicago. Additionally, crashes involving tractor-trailers account for 3.6% of all crashes, and 9.1% of fatal crashes. By accounting for almost a tenth of fatal crashes throughout the state, it is event that trucking crashes are a significant danger to Illinois citizens.

Because truck accidents are a serious and grave problem throughout the nation, and in our own state of Illinois already, this proposed legislation could make the state of things even worse. Contact your local representative lawmaker to speak your voice and prevent this legislation from being passed.

Our attorneys believe in holding negligent drivers accountable. Through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, not only can we help injured victims and their families obtain fair and just compensation for their pain and suffering, but we can use lawsuits to set an example and use this legal precedent to prevent future accidents from occurring and save lives. Our attorneys stand by innocent victims and have been successful doing so since 1992, so if you or a loved one has suffered from a trucking accident, we would be happy to talk to you about your legal options. Call us for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you with your lawsuit.