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Articles Posted in Truck Accident

There is no question that truck accidents can be some of the most serious accidents regarding injury and magnitude of damage. Our attorneys have seen the effects of truck accidents span large stretches of highway, shut down roads for long periods of time requiring extensive cleanup and investigation, and cause life-threatening and life-changing personal injuries.

One recent accident, reported by KWQC, is evident of the gravity of truck accidents, leaving all westbound lanes of Interstate 24 closed from early morning until late evening. The truck driver was hauling wood pallets at the time of the accident. He lost control of the semi-truck, crossed over the median, and collided with a FedEx truck driven by an Illinois man. The wood pallets from the semi-truck hit the fuel tanks of the FedEx truck. As a result of the collision, a fire erupted, and both drivers were trapped in the crash. Both truck divers died as a result of the accident, and a third driver who hit the FedEx truck from behind suffered personal injuries.

Vehicle fires are incredibly dangerous and can lead to loss of life, as seen in this accident. According to a fact sheet by the National Fire Protection Association, vehicles can catch fire for several reasons. While mechanical and electrical issues are the most common causes of vehicle fires because heat and sparks can ignite leaking fuel, crashes can also cause fires due to the fact that vehicles run on combustible fuels. It is important for drivers and passengers to know the warning signs of a vehicle fire. If you see smoke or flames or smell any burning rubber or plastic, it is imperative that you respond immediately. If you are driving and sense there is a fire, pull over as quickly as you can to a safe location such as a breakdown lane or rest stop. Then turn off your engine, and get everyone out of your car, and move at least 100 feet away from the burning car and traffic while calling for emergency help.
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Normally we think of truck crashes as accidents involving other trucks, motor vehicles, and occurring on the roadways. However, negligence can put lives in danger both on and off the roads. Trucks and other vehicles tend to share space with bicyclists and pedestrians, and although this usually results in harmony, when a vehicle veers off the road or street or a pedestrian enters into moving traffic, accidents with pedestrians can occur. Pedestrians are owed a duty of care by drivers, while walkers should always remain alert for vehicles as dangers. However, people naturally let down their guards when they are nowhere near roads, and safe inside homes, offices and commercial buildings. However from time to time we hear of news where unsuspecting victims are injured when negligent drivers leave the road and crash into homes, stores and other seemingly safe structures.

In one such recent news story, six patrons of a bagel shop were injured when a box truck crashed into the establishment. According to the article by CBS, images show the large truck almost entirely inside of the shop with glass and debris strewn everywhere. After the crash, 5 adults and 1 child needed immediate medical treatment. Police are still investigating the cause of this accident.

One witness described the accident saying that the truck sideswiped a car that was parked in front of a chapel, which put the car onto the sidewalk. The truck then continued to travel another half block straight into the front of the bagel shop. The witness described the accident as strange because he did not see any brake usage involved, and there was no other traffic in the vicinity. Another witness and individual involved in the accident, the store clerk, described the accident involving a big explosion and that customers were hit by the truck. He too mentioned how the truck used no brakes but just went straight through the shop.
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Time and again distracted driving is making headlines, but this is a dangerous trend that we should all work together to end. Because distracted driving is all too common, there have been many accidents in Chicagoland and throughout Illinois which would have been prevented but for negligent driving and not paying attention to the road.

Unfortunately, distracted driving was once again in recent news when a tractor-trailer collided with a bus, according to the Quincy Herald-Whig. The truck collided with a bus and drove straight through an interstate median without any signs of braking or trying to avoid colliding with the bus. As a result of the collision, four members of a Texas community college women’s softball team were killed.

At the time of the accident the truck had been traveling northbound on Friday night. At this spot on Interstate 35 the road curves gently to the right, but the truck continued straight, traveling approximately 820 feet through the median, and collided with the southbound headed bus that was carrying 15 members of the softball team and their coach. However, even after striking the side of the bus, the truck continued to drive for about another 300 feet. It then crossed over the southbound lanes and then uprooted some trees.
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Motor vehicle and truck accidents are extremely frightening and traumatic for survivors of these crashes. When a crash goes beyond a collision and the impact causes a vehicle to flip and roll over, these accidents can be much worse for surviving victims. Not only is it extremely scary to be stuck inside a vehicle that is hurtling through the air or skidding upside down across the blacktop highway, but such high impact collisions and rollovers can create permanent and life-changing injuries resulting in long-term physical suffering, expensive medical bills, and lost wages from inability to work.

Recent news by KWQC exemplifies how dangerous rollover accidents can be. According to the article, a semi-truck rolled over on I-80 near Atkinson. Police described that the driver was traveling westbound on I-80 and came upon a curve where he over-corrected. This resulted in the driver losing control of the truck and crossing into the median. The truck then rolled over on the driver side and entrapped both the truck driver and passenger inside. Local fire and rescue services had to rush to the scene to extricate these people out of the truck and take them by ambulance for emergency care. The victims’ current condition is unknown, but the accident remains under investigation. The driver has been charged with improper lane usage, and other charges are pending.
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For anyone who has ever been in an accident, you know how frustrating they are, sometimes even for the long term. In a matter of just minutes victims sustain injuries and incur heavy financial burdens from damage to their vehicles, medical bills, and possibly lost wages when injuries are serious enough to keep someone from work. However, we all know that the right and lawful thing to do after an accident is to pull over to the side of the road and exchange information with the other party or parties involved. When this doesn’t happen though, and other people flee the scene of the accident, victims are left helpless and responsible parties evade accountability.

In recent news by Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, police are trying to identify a truck driver after a hit-and-run accident. The accident occurred in Charleston near Stevenson Hall on the Eastern Illinois University campus. At the intersection of Fourth and Grant, officers had been called out to the scene of an accident where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that immediately fled the scene. Authorities gathered information from witnesses, who described the fleeing vehicle as an aqua green full-size truck with a regular cab. The victim had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. The incident is still under investigation.

As you know, it is the law in Illinois to stop when in a motor vehicle accident. Illinois law, under 625 ILCS 5/11-401, describes that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or death to another person must immediately stop at the scene of the accident. The individual must also remain at the scene.
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While we often discuss personal injuries and wrongful death resulting from collisions with large trucks like semis and tractor-trailers, it is important to remember that accidents can and do occur with trucks of all types, not just commercial ones. Furthermore, trucks of all types are significantly larger than typical passenger vehicles, and for this reason the injuries suffered from these collisions are often serious or fatal.

In the town of Sugar Grove, a suburb of Chicago in Kane County, a garbage truck and minivan collided, according to recent news by CBS Chicago. According to the Kane County Sheriff’s police, the minivan driver was headed east on U.S. Route 30 at 7:30 in the morning and crossed to the westbound lane for unknown reasons. At the same time, a Waste Management garbage truck was heading west and had to suddenly veer to attempt to avoid a collision, but veered into the eastbound lane. The vehicles collided, and the collision caused the minivan to roll over.

The article states that neither driver has been issued any traffic citations, and that the cause of the crash is still under investigation. In incidences like these involving serious personal injuries or death, courts can find negligence on behalf of both drivers under a tort law theory called comparative negligence. According to Cornell University, comparative negligence is a rule used for allocating damages when both parties are somewhat at fault for an accident. In these situations where both a plaintiff and defendant were negligence, juries often allocate a percentage of fault to both parties. Then, each party pays a share of the other’s damages.
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It is too often that serious and fatal truck accidents are reported in the news and that we learn about deaths and injuries happening to innocent people. However, it is refreshing and enjoyable to report to our readers when such accidents have happy endings and lives are saved.

According to a recent article by Fox 13, a truck driver has been hailed for his heroic acts after a highway collision. A car slammed into a semi-truck and immediately exploded into flames. The truck driver ran from his truck to the car with a fire extinguisher and along with several witnesses pulled a grandmother and her one-year-old granddaughter to safety. As a result of helping one another, everyone survived this accident.

While in this accident it is unclear who was at fault, it is nevertheless admirable that an individual went into danger to save others. However, this is also a good opportunity to discuss with our readers a legal theory known as “duty of care” under tort law. We have often discussed that drivers have a legal duty of care when they get behind the wheel of the car and to drive in a safe manner as to not cause an accident and injury to others. The duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on individuals that requires them to adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing acts that could foreseeably harm others. In a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care that was breached.
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Throughout the past few months, our law firm has frequently written about issues of negligence making truck accidents more frequent and especially dangerous. While it is not only truck drivers who are guilty of negligent acts like distracted driving, driving while fatigued, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and driving for too many hours straight, recent accidents have brought truck safety to the spotlight. Such accidents have made the media and public focus on ways to increase safety in the trucking industry in order to decrease the number of lives lost each year due to negligence.

According to a recent article by the Supply Chain Digest, fatal truck accidents have been on the rise. This is especially important for lawmakers, truck companies, and all citizens to reflect on because truck accidents had been on the decline for over a decade and have now sharply increased. In fact, the national statistics for fatal accidents involving large trucks fell from 4573 in 2000 to 2983 in 2009, which was a decrease of 35%. However, after 2009, fatal truck accident again went on the rise. As of 2012, fatal accidents reported in at 3464, which was a 16% increase from 2009.

The article also breaks down how frequently these accidents occur. For the most part, the number of trucks on our highways has remained constant, despite some recovery from the recession. Even with the same number of trucks on the roads though, the number of fatalities has increased. Fatal accidents per million vehicle miles traveled has jumped from 1.03 in 2009 to 1.29 in 2012. This is approximately 9.4 fatal truck accidents per day in the United States, in addition to the 100,000 individuals that are injured every year in truck accidents.
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It is always unfortunate to report the death of a member of the Chicago community. This is especially true because these fatalities occur all too often, especially as the result of truck and motor vehicle accidents. This past week has been no different, as local news reports the death and injuries of several people in a semi-truck crash.

According to news from the Chicago Tribune, a Chicago woman was killed and three others were injured in a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 65. The report explains that a vehicle with a flat tire pulled over to the side of the interstate. The driver turned on the hazard lights and attempted to call authorities for assistant. However, while making the call, a semi-truck ran over the top of the vehicle. The front seat passenger of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The others suffered injuries and required hospital care. As of now, no citations have been given, and police are still investigating the crash.
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On our truck accident blog we frequently remind readers of the dangers of truck accidents, especially those involving large trucks such as semis. A major reason these accidents are so dangerous is the size of the trucks as they are extremely large in height and weight. Oftentimes, these traits of a truck leave victims involved in collisions with these vehicles facing life-threatening or permanent personal injuries. However, it is important to consider that the purpose of large trucks is often to carry significant amounts of cargo. When a truck is transporting cargo and winds up in an accident, this cargo can spill and become an additional danger to people or the environment and may require intensive cleanup to make the roadways safe for travel again.

According to a recent story by CBS Chicago, a beer truck was in a rollover accident on I-65. As a result of rolling over, the semi-truck spilled part of its load and blocked the northbound traffic. According to reports, the truck driver was heading north in the left lane of I-65 when, upon adjusting his radio, the truck drifted off the roadway. The driver then overcorrected to the right and lost control of the semi. The truck then went into the median, rolled over, and slid approximately 200 feet. The driver has been cited for unsafe lane movement.

As our readers are well aware, distracted driving is a major factor in truck and motor vehicle accidents. As exemplified in this rollover accident, it takes only a moment for a serious collision to occur when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road. Looking away from the road for just a few seconds can result in drifting or not noticing the need to stop to avoid collision. Oftentimes, when the driver realizes that something is wrong, it can be too late and the driver will panic and end up in a collision.
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