Articles Posted in Trucking Accident

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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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As our regular readers know, trucking accidents are serious matters, often causing serious personal injuries and deaths due to the weight and speed of the vehicles involved. In recent years, truck driver fatigue has been in the spotlight as a major cause of accidents that could have been prevented. Due to tight deadlines and rigorous work schedules imposed by trucking companies, drivers are often forced to drive for too many hours straight, which can cause them to fall asleep behind the wheel. It is difficult for the trucking industry to regulate itself because the industry’s interests lie with both the truckers, who are often pushed to their physical limits to complete jobs, and the companies, who focus on profit, so it is important that lawmakers take a tough stance on such negligence to improve the safety of our roads.

In recent good news reported by Trucking News Online, the American Trucking Association told Congress’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee that safety investments are working. They relayed that they are proud of the difference that $7 billion in safety-related investments have made in reducing crashes and fatalities on the nation’s highways in the trucking industry. After the safety investments, large truck-related fatalities have dropped 21 percent and the large truck fatality rate has dropped 37 percent. Industry leaders have cited voluntary measures like crash prevention technology and lane departure devices as reasons for the decline.

According to the same article, these industry leaders have also called on the federal government to continue to focus on truck accidents to maintain the safety and continue to grow it. Among their proposals is to advance a rule requiring the use of speed limiters on large trucks. Additionally, they argue that focusing on on-road traffic enforcement and driver behavior will be effective. They also ask for timely publication of a strong and appropriate mandate for electronic logging devices and to monitor studies surrounding hours-of-service rules.
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Walking around downtown Chicago, you notice how the Chicago River twists and stretches through a vast majority of the business district. You would also observe the hustle and bustle of this busy city, with many CTA buses, taxi cabs, and commuters both on foot and in car. Despite a body of water traveling through the city, those hard at work must also travel too, and that is why Chicago traffic can travel on bridges across the river at various points through the city. However, even though these are bridges, they are still streets used by motor vehicles, which means accidents can and do occur on them.

All drivers must still use the vigilance they owe as their legal duty when driving on bridges. It can be argued that extra caution may be required of drivers to avoid negligence. Normally, in those last minutes before a collision of a motor vehicle accident occurs, drivers often swerve away from the object in which they are likely to collide. This can be to the shoulder of the road, to the next lane of traffic, etc. However, when you are on a bridge, there are limited areas in which a driver may swerve to avoid collision. If a driver swerves the wrong way or even hits another car, one or both drivers could end up in water if not stopped by the barriers. For these reasons, drivers should be extremely cautious when driving on bridges as to not cause an accident by ensuring that they are not excessively speeding and are allowing enough space between themselves and other vehicles so that they may come to a quick stop if needed.

Chicago is not alone as a major city with frequent bridge-related motor vehicle accidents either. In recent news by the New York Post, a deadly truck crash occurred on the George Washington Bridge. One truck driver was transporting appliances on the upper level of the bridge and rear-ended another truck that was carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken. The chicken-truck driver then rear-ended a tanker. The appliance-truck driver was then pinned inside the truck and died in the crash.
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In the past weeks our firm informed readers about the unfortunate semi-truck crash that occurred on I-88 in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois. We have been following the aftermath of this accident and want to bring to you readers the latest news surrounding this horrific and tragic accident. The surviving victim and his family have now taken legal action and commenced a lawsuit against the trucking company that is the employer of the truck driver that struck him and killed his colleague.

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, last Monday the family of the Illinois State trooper who survived the accident but suffered serious personal injuries filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against both the truck driver and his employer. The victims and his wife are named plaintiffs and are seeking compensation in excess of $1 million for pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, and economic losses. They may also be seeking punitive damages.

Oftentimes truck accident survivors are faced with life-threatening and permanent injuries The surviving victim in this case suffered a fractured clavicle, fractured ribs, head and facial lacerations, and second and third degree burns. This victim has remained in serious condition and in intensive care since the accident occurred on January 27th. In order to aid in recovery, healthcare professionals have had to keep the victim under sedation.

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Sharing the road with large trucks, such as semis, can be require extra caution. Semis, due to their sheer size and weight, pose a more significant risk for personal injury and fatalities than other vehicles, especially considering the high speeds at which they travel on Illinois interstates.

A serious crash in Illinois on I-57 North resulted in two people dying as a result of injuries from a collision with a semi-truck according to Mt. Vernon Register-News. Four others suffered major injuries as a result of the accident. The accident occurred on Interstate 57 North, south of Ina. An SUV traveling southbound had crossed the median and collided with a semi-truck traveling northbound. Illinois State Police are currently investigating the cause of the accident.

Because semi collisions pose such a great risk for fatalities, it is important that all drivers, both truck drivers and motorists, use caution on our shared roads. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, of the 10,496 trucking accidents that occurred in 2011, 94 of the crashes were fatal and 1,830 resulted in fatalities. Additionally, in 2011, 65,525 total crashes occurred on Illinois state highways, which is 23.2% of the total crashes in the state for that year. As you can observe, combining highway conditions with semi-trucks can pose great risk for injury when an accident occurs.

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Collisions with semis and other large vehicles are extremely dangerous, often leading to serious injuries or death. The city of Chicago is no stranger to hazardous driving conditions, especially in winter weather. Being a major business center, our city sees a lot of semis going in and out of the city.

According to the Dayton Daily News, on December 6th, an Illinois man died in a collision with a semi-tractor trailer. The vehicle he was driving was hit by the semi on Interstate 70 near Cambridge City, Indiana. The semi was traveling west in the right lane when the driver lost control on the snow covered roads and crossed over into the eastbound lanes of the highway. When the semi hit the car, the car became pinned underneath the semi. The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene.

Just because a vehicle is larger, doesn’t mean the driver shouldn’t take as much caution as everyone else. The same holds true for semi-truck drivers. A truck safety information website, Coops Are Open, recommends several pieces of advice for truck drivers travelling in winter weather. These drivers, often traveling long distances, should keep informed about the weather conditions in the area they are heading by paying attention to forecasts and talking to others on their radio. Similarly to other motor vehicles, trucks should also leave plenty of space between themselves and other drives on the road. Simply because traffic can bunch closely together on the road doesn’t mean drivers should follow each other closely. Even in congestion, maintain plenty of room. Also, if a truck driver notices four-wheelers and other large vehicles who have spun out or are on the shoulder, this is a sign that conditions are not good and the roads ahead are dangerous. This is a good sign to get off the roadway.

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A court has delivered a verdict for a 2009 crash in what one Montrose-LaCrescenta Patch article describes as what could be one of the largest verdicts of its kind. The driver of a big rig and his employer were found jointly liable for the SUV-big rig collision and death of three people. Now, a teenage girl has been awarded $150.75 million for the wrongful deaths of three of her family members. She, being 9 years old at the time of the crash, survived by crawling out of a window of the SUV, after it had hit the big rig parked on the shoulder of the freeway in the early morning dark.

According to reports, as a result of a truck driver knowingly and negligently violating highway rules, three people died. The highway had various warning signs that stopping on the shoulders was only allowed in emergencies. However, the driver of the truck had pulled over on the right shoulder to sleep. In court, the driver testified how he parked on the shoulder to relieve himself and to sleep due to a severe headache. As the shoulder is reserved for emergencies, the family tried to utilize this very shoulder after their SUV had been hit with debris on the road. Instead, they collided with the sleeping driver’s parked big rig. They never saw the truck due to the darkness and due to the fact that the truck driver failed to put out his emergency reflectors. Had he taken this precautionary measure, or had he not misused the shoulder of the road, the surviving girl may still have her family.

Truck drivers should be aware that the shoulders of the road intended for emergency use only, and trucking companies should stress the importance of following laws like this when they train their drivers. Had the driver’s fatigue been an emergency, he was only seconds away from an exit, where he could have left the freeway to find a place of rest and relief. Knowing that other options were available, and in a non-emergency, the driver chose the shoulder of the road instead, resulting in deaths and injuries to others in a true state of emergency.

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Chain-reaction crashes can lead to serious injury and even death, especially when involving semis. The need to transport goods via semis in addition to winter conditions can pose a lot of risks to both truck drivers and other motor vehicles on the highways.

According to the Dayton Daily News, two individuals were injured as the result of a crash involving for semitrailers on Interstate 75 in Wapakoneta, Ohio. It was reported that one vehicle was struck from behind and it slowed to enter a construction area. The next vehicle did not slow in time to avoid the collision. The following semi was following too closely and could also not avoid a collision. The two individuals that were injured as a result of the accident required hospital care.

This crash then created a chain reaction, causing two more vehicles to become involved in the crash. Many local authorities had to rush to the scene, including the highway patrol, the department of transportation, the state emergency management agency, and fire and EMS crews from three neighboring cities.

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Even when semi-crashes are thankfully not fatal, they have a lot of consequences calling for local authorities to take action and impact commuting drivers and travelers with road closures on major highways. This cleanup and inspection can take hours or even the day to tend to. When people survive semi-accidents, these result in serious injuries and lengthy healing time, and sometimes long hospital stays.

Similarly to dangerous winter conditions here in Chicago and the rest of the Midwest, the Northwest is experiencing driving hazards as well. On November 27th, in Spokane, Idaho, one person died and eight people were injured in a chain-reaction collision involving a semi, according to The Spokesman-Review. A Washington State Patrol Trooper concluded that the series of three accidents were due to the icy road conditions and several drives traveling too fast for said conditions. Wintertime requires cautious driving, which unfortunately not all with whom we share the roads with use.

One individual unfortunately died at the scene after being hit by a semi truck that had collided with a pickup that traveled into oncoming traffic. After colliding with the pickup truck, the semi went over the median and hit a car, causing the death of a passenger and serious injuries to the driver and a second passenger. In total, there were eight survivors, all of whom had to be taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital for treatment.

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Winter weather has begun in the Midwest, which means our roads have more slippery, snowy, icy, and wet conditions. Unfortunately, no matter how careful we are as drivers, our attorneys know that others with whom we share the road do not always employ the same caution.

This holds true for our Illinois truck drivers, often needing to cross state lines as they are on the job and transporting goods. Recently, according to NBC 15 of Madison, Wisconsin, Highway 11 was the site of a fatal semi-truck crash as the result of a snowy intersection. At the intersection of Summit Road and State Highway 11, a semi-tractor-trailer overturned, resulting in the death of one individual. When one truck was unable to stop due to the slippery snowy surface, both trucks collided at the intersection, resulting in one of these drivers being pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Not only do such conditions result in trucking accidents, but such accidents impact other drivers on the road as well, resulting in road closures and exposure to hazardous materials. The above-mentioned Highway 11 was closed from the time of the crash for more than several hours due to the overturned semi’s cargo of anhydrous ammonia. This required hazardous materials handlers to transfer the toxic substances to another semi, all the while the accident scene itself was still new and under investigation.