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AnnArbor.com recently released a news report detailing a semi truck rollover accident that sent four individuals to the hospital. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our office read the news article which stated that the accident in question transpired as the semi truck was traveling east along an interstate highway when an SUV attempted to pass the tractor-trailer. Both vehicles were traveling near an entrance ramp when a box truck entered the interstate highway. A subsequent collision resulted when the SUV attempted to move into the left lane – striking the semi truck.

As a result, the semi truck driver lost control of his trailer and collided into the roadway’s median wall before ultimately rolling over onto its passenger side. Although our Chicago truck accident lawyer learned that four individuals were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, all four individuals has to be extricated from their vehicles by an area fire department. Both east and westbound lanes of the highway remained closed for several hours while roadway crews managed to clean up the debris from the accident.

Any Illinois truck accident attorney will tell you that when a semi tractor-trailer rolls over, the risk for motor vehicle accidents resulting in severe injury or fatality significantly increases. Often times, semi truck rollover accidents ensue as a result of a wide variety of negligence. Some of the most common types of negligence attributed to a semi truck rollover include: an improperly maintained vehicle, improperly loaded trailer, or even improperly operation. In these types of cases where negligence plays a factor in a tragic accident, the truck driver, as well as, their trucking carrier may be found liable for personal injury or wrongful death in a civil court of law.

A Chicago accident lawyer at our firm recently read a news report detailing the settlement of a bus accident lawsuit. NJ.com reports that the devastating accident transpired in October 2008 when the 59 year-old accident victim was walking through a pedestrian crosswalk when she was struck by a city transit bus. The bus, which was being operating by a newly hired driver, ran over the woman’s legs and subsequently pinned her underneath the vehicle. According to the article, emergency medical personal described the woman’s injuries as the “worst they had ever seen.”

The accident victim was required to undergo an above-the-knee amputation to her left leg, in addition to, amputation to her right foot as a result of the bus accident. The woman also suffered traumatic brain injury and a fractured cheekbone that required numerous metal plates to be placed into her face. For 18 days, the 59 year-old was placed in intensive care and on a ventilator – requiring multiple additional surgeries that later led to her contraction of sepsis.

On Friday, a settlement was reached in the bus accident lawsuit and the 59 year-old was awarded $7.85 million dollars. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys read that the lawyer for the woman stated that the woman will receive the finest care available as a result of the settlement. Given the accident victim’s contraction of sepsis, she is unable to speak or stand. She presently requires a specialized wheelchair, lift, as well as, a mattress. The woman is currently bedridden in a rehabilitation center and will be moved to a private facility.

Two passengers that sustained serious injury after a destructive collision between a charter bus and a semi tractor-trailer have filed a lawsuit against the charter bus’s company for damages. In a news report posted on RecordOnline.com further detailing the lawsuit, both the 52 year-old and 59 year-old plaintiffs were traveling in the charter bus along an interstate highway when the bus slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer on the morning of October 18. According to local authorities, the tractor-trailer had slowed down to let a car enter the highway from a ramp when the charter bus failed to yield and collided into the commercial vehicle.

As a result of the accident, both plaintiffs sustained significant injuries with one of the men suffering from a crushed knee resulting from sitting in the front seat of the charter bus. Both men are still out of work due to their inability to work because of their injuries. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month, names both of the charter bus’s companies, the bus driver, as well as, the driver of the commercial vehicle that the bus driver rear-ended as defendants. Our Chicago truck accident lawyers read that in the court papers, both plaintiffs allege that they have suffered “severe, serious, and permanent personal injuries.” The plaintiffs are current seeking an unspecified amount of damages, citing that the injuries have prevented them from working.

When these types of accidents involving commercial vehicles occur, the results can be particularly devastating, as well as, life-threatening. Any Chicago truck accident attorney will tell you that commercial vehicle accidents are substantially different from any other types of accidents due to the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles and their ability to cause significant damage upon impact. With over 500,000 personal injuries resulting each year from trucking accidents involving large commercial vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial vehicle drivers must exhibit the utmost standard of care during operation.

Chicago truck accident lawyers applaud the efforts of several groups and individuals, including Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Dan England of the American Trucking Associations, to improve commercial vehicle safety for commercial and public drivers. According to TheTrucker.com, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey is leading the way to reform the trucking industry. Due to the recent surge in bus accidents and truck-related highway fatalities, the senator reported to Trucker.com that he will introduce a bill that will be a part of a larger transportation reauthorization package currently being developed in the House and the Senate. According to the senator, his bill will give the government the tools to “kick unsafe drivers and carriers out of the industry.” The bill requires drivers have more training before receiving a license to drive a truck or bus. Furthermore, on the business’ end, trucking companies would be obligated to demonstrate that their drivers know the rules before driving. To aid and take better care of their drivers, companies would be required to monitor their drivers through electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs). EOBRs help to manage the amount of time drivers spend on duty to ensure that drivers are alert. The senator’s bill is expected to be heard on Thursday.

While the senator focuses on drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) is advocating for more technical assistance. The FMCA employs only 1,100 individuals to oversee more than 500 thousand trucking companies and 5 million trucking drivers. The FCMA would like more focus on those carriers that are high risk for accidents. A carrier is considered high risk if it is one of the 10% that are involved in more than 40% of serious crashes. Although the agency has improved the industry through regulations since its start 11 years ago, statutory gaps still exist. Furthermore, commercial vehicle accidents cost the United States more than $60 million each year. Trucking accident lawsuits are on the rise including an Illinois multi-million dollar trucking accident settlement.

Although the senator and the FCMA are concerned with the current industry, Dan England of the American Trucking Association is worried about the future of the industry. England asks Congress to raise the standards for new companies to enter the industry. For example, he asks that the initial safety audit of new companies be completed within 6 months of starting operations, as opposed to the current 18 month standard. He also asks for more improvements in the Compliance Safety Accountability program created by the FCMA. England hopes that Congress will create a national system that would give employers timely notification of violations, accessible drug and alcohol test results, and other tools to improve highway safety.

Other voices in the industry are concerned with trucker safety issues such as the time drivers are detained loading docks, other motorists, and small business truck driver contracts. For example, on Monday a trucking accident crash was reported where a motorist crashed into a semi-truck when it failed to yield at an intersection.
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The Morris Daily Herald reported this week on a truck accident that killed a mother and her daughter. The Illinois truck crash occurred on Town Line Road, just south of Interstate 80 in Marseilles, Illinois.

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, a 69-year old driver and her 45 year old daughter, both Ottawa residents, were traveling on the county highway. They were headed eastbound on Morris Road while a semi-trailer was headed south on Town Line Road. Traffic on Town Line Road has the right of way at the intersection of those two roads. Rumble strips and stop signs are placed on Morris Road to warn travelers that they need to stop before proceeding across.

Unfortunately, the car and the semi-trailer collided at the intersection. The truck was driven across a ditch and partially on the yard of a home near the road. The car was demolished in the accident and both women were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are investigating whether the traffic lights were working at the time of the accident. Authorities admit that the intersection is dangerous. Several years ago two men were killed in a collision very similar to the one that struck last week.

Hopefully all drivers know that all traffic signs must be obeyed intimately. Stop signs in particular can never be ignored. At stop signs in rural, unpopulated areas it is often tempting to perform only a partial yield or fail to stop all together, because it is assumed that if a driver does not see any other vehicles around than there must not be any risk to driving through. However, while behind the wheel our perceptions are never flawless. We often glance around the road so quickly and casually that we subconsciously feel that the road is empty, when in reality another vehicle is actually barreling down.
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The Pekin Times reported last week on the finding of a coroner’s inquest jury following a deadly truck accident that killed two area teens. According to the jury, while the teen driver had taken a pair of unnatural substances before the crash, the icy roads were the main cause of the Illinois truck crash. The jury left open the possibility that a lack of safety rails at the site increased the seriousness of the injuries.

The incident occurred on I-74, where the driver and two teenage passengers were traveling in the westbound lanes early one morning in late January. At mile marker 125 tire track analysis reveal that the car veered into the median-it was a point in the highway where the road veers slightly right. Another vehicle was headed eastbound. The second vehicle was able to swerve out of the way, but not before causing the teen to lose control of his car. The out-of-control car clipped the end of a semi and then crashed into a school bus traveling in the same direction.

The inquest jury met to hear the information about the case and make an official determination as to the cause of death. Toxicology results reported that the teen driver had ingested marijuana and amphetamines hours before the crash. The jury determined that the main culprit in the accident was not the drug use, but the icy road conditions. Several other accidents occurred on nearby roadways around the same time as drivers struggled to handle the dangerous weather conditions.

Also at issue was the lack of guardrails present at the accident site. In the last three years, a total of five people have now died at the exact spot in the highway where the two teens were killed. The inquest jury decided to leave the question open as to whether the lack of guardrail was a main factor in the deadly crash. Illinois Department of Transportation officials are examining the issues to determine if safety changes need to be made.
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Our Chicago truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have often discussed on this blog the increased damage typically experienced in accidents involving semi trucks and trailers. That is one of the main reasons why steps should be taken at all times to limit the risk of becoming a victim of one of these crashes. That reality was bore out last week in another Chicago-area truck crash, this time in Plainfield, that ultimately sent six people to nearby hospitals with severe injuries.

The Tribune Local reported on the details of the truck crash. The multi-vehicle collision began with the actions of a construction truck. The driver of that vehicle was traveling on Route 30on Monday evening, around 6:30pm, near the intersection of Heggs Road. The construction truck eventually crossed the center line and struck a pick-up up that was heading in the opposite direction. The negligent driver then hit a second car, before colliding with a semi-truck.

Following that third collision, the semi-truck caught on fire. In the aftermath the construction truck driver had to be extricated from his vehicle and was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition. The driver of the semi, his passenger, and the driver of the pick-up truck were also taken to local hospitals in critical condition. Several others involved had other injuries and were brought to nearby emergency rooms.

A train accident occurred when a Metrolink train struck a pickup truck earlier this morning. According to The Los Angeles Times, the truck was making a left turn, when it stalled and was struck by the train. Luckily, the truck driver was able to get out of the truck before it was struck. The train line had several delays following the truck accident. For more information on this train/truck accident, click here.

A Clark County truck accident earlier this morning left traffic stopped for about an hour. The truck accident occurred when two semi-trucks collided on Illinois Route 1, when the driver of one truck thought the other truck was going to continue in the direction they were going in, when they suddenly turned and struck the other truck. According to the WTHITV site no one was personally injured in the truck accident. For more information on this Clark Country truck accident, click here.

On March 30, two tractor trailers were involved in an accident. No injuries were reported, but the truck accident did shut down a road for some time while hazmat teams were called in to clean up a fuel spill. The trucks were traveling in the same direction when one of the trucks carrying a fuel tank attempted to turn right into the path of the second truck. The trucks collided, causing a fuel leak from the turning truck. Hazmat and emergency teams were called to the scene of the truck accident to handle to fuel spill while traffic was diverted. Read the full article about the truck accident.

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