Truck accidents are rarely mild. If anything, they’re almost always ghastly, if not fatal. This is largely because of the size of these vehicles, which weigh at least six times the size of the average passenger car (4,156 pounds).
So, whether it’s a semi, an 18-wheeler, a tractor-trailer, a flatbed, or any other big rig, the weight of the heavy-duty machines plus their longer stopping distance means smaller vehicles and their passengers can be crushed. And if they’re carrying hazardous products, the outcomes can be even more disastrous.
Victims who survive these crashes almost always suffer devastating injuries that often lead to prolonged recovery and huge medical bills. You need a way to recover all incurred losses. An experienced Edwardsville truck accident lawyer from Morelli Law Firm can help you with that.
Establishing Fault In An Edwardsville Truck Accident Case
Illinois’ roads are bustling, what with the state being a major hub for commercial activities and its roads linking to other states. As a result, heavy-duty trucks routinely frequent the highways. Edwardsville in particular is near Route 66, I-55, I-270, and State Hwy 157.
Therefore, commercial trucks and semis routinely pass through Edwardsville roads. The high number of 18-wheeler traffic drastically increases your chances of being involved in a truck wreck. This is even more so when truckers are required to work super-tight deadlines and are unable to get enough rest.
These factors often increase the odds of driver errors and truck crashes. In turn, these wrecks lead to high fatalities according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If you have been involved in a truck wreck, you need to establish that the driver and/or other parties may have been at fault in some way.
The Basis For Establishing Liability In Edwardsville, IL
- Driver mistakes – For example, not looking out for other motorists because they were in a hurry to get to their delivery destination
- Distracted driving – The FMCSA reports that commercial motor vehicle drivers are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in crashes if they’re operating mobile devices while driving.
- Driver fatigue – Truckers are more likely to be overworked and sleep-deprived. This leads to fatigue and exhaustion which can make them prone to errors.
- Poor equipment maintenance – When drivers don’t maintain their equipment, wear and tear often sets in, leading to equipment problems like failed brakes.
- Reckless driving behaviors – These include tailgating, driving aggressively, sudden lane changes, driving the wrong way, cutting off people, and excessive speeding.
- Overloading the 18-wheeler – Heavy duty trucks often have a cargo limit. Exceeding this limit can lead to equipment failure, tipped-over trucks, and longer stopping distances, which further puts other road users at risk.
- Bad weather – High wind, icy roads, poor visibility, and other weather-related incidents can lead to semi-truck accidents.
- Poor road conditions – Sinkholes, potholes, craters, ice patches, exposed rebar, shoulder drop-offs, and broken concrete all increase the odds of a commercial truck crash.
- Driving under the influence – Even though it’s illegal, some truckers drive while drunk, high, or under the influence of illicit drugs. These drugs can often impair their judgment, and slow down their reflexes, leading to truck collisions in Edwardsville.
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Proving Liability In An Edwardsville Truck Wreck
One of the problems with truck accident cases is identifying who is at fault. What we mean by that is the average truck accident tends to have more than one liable party. Sure, the driver may be at fault, but is there someone else?
An experienced Edwardsville truck crash attorney knows to ask this question because there are often multiple parties involved in the average truck accident. These include:
- The trucker
- The trucker’s firm
- The people in charge of cargo loading
- Truck part manufacturers
- Truck equipment maintenance company
- Safety professionals
- The state or federal road maintenance agencies
- Another driver or road user
As you can see, there are many potential parties that a lawyer may have to check out or consider when they’re preparing your case. This is usually why truck wreck cases take longer, compared to passenger car crashes.
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Damages You Can Recover From An Edwardsville Truck Accident Claim
A truck collision and the ensuing injuries often mean mounting hospital bills which you may not be able to pay because you’re recovering and can’t work. This is why truck crashes are often a source of financial ruin for many people. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may burn through your savings pretty quickly.
Thankfully, Illinois laws can help ensure that you get adequate compensation for your losses. Some of the compensation you can claim include:
- Lost wages and income
- Medical bills
- All out-of-pocket expenses such as legal fees and other costs
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage
- Reduced capacity to earn an income
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Pain and suffering
Illinois also offers injured victims the opportunity to file a claim for punitive damages. But before you can file this claim, you will need to show that the plaintiff acted with malicious intention, reckless endangerment, and conscious indifference to the safety and well-being of other road users.
Mandatory State And Federal Driving Rules For Truckers
Both federal and state agencies have laid down regulations that truckers need to adhere to. These regulations were created to help keep the roads safe for both truckers and other road users. Some of these key regulations include:
- Tracking their mileage and routes
- Not exceeding the recommended hours of service
- All trucks, semis, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs have to undergo periodic maintenance and inspections every 12 months
- Trucks must drive within the advised speed limits
- All truck drivers must hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- All vehicles are required to have liability insurance
If a trucker and/or their companies disregard these rules and cause an accident in the process, they must compensate the injured victim.
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Contact An Experienced Edwardsville Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Edwardsville, IL, it is important to recover all the damages possible. Remember that you didn’t ask for this, you did the right things, and you were careful on the road. So, it’s not fair that someone’s carelessness led to your life and work being interrupted.
Let our seasoned and highly experienced Edwardsville truck accident lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve. We have the experience and skills that will help you get a fair and satisfactory settlement.
Get in touch with Morelli Law today for a free case evaluation. Or, call our office line for a free non-obligatory consultation.