Large vehicles like delivery trucks can seriously harm passenger cars due to their weight and size. Most truck accidents occur because drivers are either not paying attention to the road or are not adjusting their speed to the current road conditions. Other factors contributing to accidents include faulty vehicles and the failure of trucking companies to ensure their drivers have the required qualifications and training. You will need a qualified attorney to claim compensation whether the accident occurs due to a driver’s or a company’s negligence. Our proficient Schaumburg truck accident lawyers at Phillips Law Offices will advocate for your rights, prove negligence, and ensure a fair settlement. We have in-depth knowledge of state and federal laws ruling truck drivers and trucking companies in the city.
Primary reasons for Schaumburg truck accidents
Because commercial trucks weigh several tons more than passenger vehicles, crashes involving them often cause fatalities and disabling injuries to passengers. Thousands of people in Schaumburg face significant damages in truck accidents annually. There are several causes for these accidents, including the ones listed below.
1. Poor weather
Snow, ice, rain, fog, and smoke are all potential road hazards that can reduce tire traction in the city. Trucks may drift into other lanes, hit guardrails, or even drive off the road. Besides these scenarios, reduced visibility due to smoke or fog can lead to fatal crashes. Truck drivers with poor visibility may sideswipe or collide with other objects, such as road markings, signs, and vehicles that fade from view.
2. Reckless driving
Truck drivers often take their road safety for granted and make mistakes. A severe accident can occur due to reckless or aggressive driving, causing immense damage. When drivers get behind the wheel, they may operate the vehicle recklessly or cautiously. Poor driving habits, such as overspeeding, can lead to accidents that may be fatal for truck drivers and passenger car drivers.
3. Lack of maintenance
Due to their size and weight, large trucks like delivery trucks and tractor-trailers can seriously harm passenger cars. For road safety, a truck requires routine maintenance and inspection. According to the law, truckers and their employers should maintain heavy vehicles. Before it goes on the road, the drivers should fix any issues, ensuring its good condition. Equipment failure can result in truck crashes with severe injuries.
4. Distraction or intoxication
Driving while intoxicated or distracted is risky. The law prohibits alcohol consumption for truck drivers within four hours of operating a commercial vehicle for their trucking company. They cannot drink and perform their duty at the same time. No matter the circumstances, driving while intoxicated is a felony that endangers everyone on the road. Likewise, when distracted drivers take their eyes off the road for a few minutes, they can cause damage to property and lives.
5. Negligent trucking companies
According to the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, trucking companies can also be held accountable for the deeds of their drivers. As a result, even if the driver was entirely to blame for the collision, the company could still be held responsible for any harm caused. Companies must ensure the safety of their vehicles and drivers. If they are negligent, they risk being held liable for accident-related losses. Contact a Schaumburg truck accident lawyer for more clarity in your case.
Common injuries sustained in truck accidents
Truck accidents can create terrifying incidents because they are more likely to cause fatalities or severe injuries than a collision between two cars. A passenger car is no match for a “big rig” tractor-trailer or semi-truck, which can weigh more than 30,000 pounds; an ordinary passenger car weighs only 4,000 pounds. Besides the weight factor, the sitting arrangement of drivers in trucks and cars also differs. A large commercial truck’s driver typically sits high up in the cab, whereas the car driver is much closer to the ground. As a result, collisions involving a truck and a car can be catastrophic and result in serious injuries that need utmost care. The following are a few truck accident injuries:
1. Head injuries
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are common in truck accidents because of violent blow or jolt to the head. The sudden impact of the crash tends to jerk or jar the head, causing the brain to slam into the skull. As a result, individuals who suffer head injuries may experience momentary unconsciousness. Symptoms may resolve with time, but sometimes, it creates lifelong health issues and the need for continued medical care. In extreme cases, it can result in coma, paralysis, vertigo, or even death.
2. Organ damages
The forceful truck collision can cause internal bleeding and other organ damage, particularly in the abdominal region. Internal organs like the bladder, liver, pancreas, spleen, lungs, and kidneys can also suffer damage from accidents. Injuries to these organs are not always detectable in the minutes and hours following a crash. For this reason, it’s critical to get medical help immediately if a commercial truck accident occurs. A qualified medical professional will determine whether or not you sustained internal injuries.
3. Neck injuries
A truck accident often jolts the head, neck, and back. The rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck can result in injuries like whiplash and disc dislocation. These injuries can also affect your bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, and other body parts. While some neck strains may improve in 2 to 3 months, others may be fatal or permanently incapacitating. Among the symptoms of neck injuries are:
- Muscle spasms
- Stiff neck pain
- Shoulder aches and stiffness
- Blurred vision
- Numbness and tingling
- loss of neck mobility
Burns are another typical injury that can occur because of a truck accident. Since the truck size is much more than a passenger car, it has a higher risk of exploding fuel tanks during collisions, causing substantial damage. If the fuel tank explodes, the truck or nearby passenger cars could catch fire and burn to the ground. Then, those riding in these cars and trucks, particularly truck drivers, may incur severe burns. Victims might require extensive medical attention and hospital stay depending on the extent of the burn injuries.
Amputations are common occurrences in truck accidents when the colliding vehicle crushes. It is physically and emotionally painful whether the amputated body part is a leg, finger, or hand. Victims will require ongoing medical treatment and adaptive devices, such as prostheses for walking or using their arms. Because of their deformity, they may not be able to work as much as they did before the accident, leading to income loss. Since amputations typically result in high medical bills, there is a heavy financial burden on the sufferer.
6. Cuts and wounds
Minor injuries from a truck collision include lacerations, abrasions, and bruises. Despite being less dangerous than other injuries, they might require medical attention and cause long-term damage. Broken glass, jagged metal, or loose items in your car that fly through the air during an accident can cause numerous cuts and wounds. If left untreated, they can leave an ugly scar and cause disfigurement or potentially fatal infection.
Safety guidelines to prevent truck accidents in Schaumburg
Truck drivers must follow federal trucking regulations, which include limits on how many hours they can drive without stopping. In most cases, violation of these regulations leads to accidents. If a truck driver causes an accident while working for a company, the trucking company will be liable for your injuries. Truck accidents may occur by driver error or company fault, but most road crashes are preventable. Here are a few ways to prevent the causes of most truck crashes.
- Drivers should pay close attention to the road and drive within the posted speed limits.
- They shouldn’t make any abrupt or unforeseen lane changes.
- Drivers of passenger vehicles should keep a safe distance from trucks.
- A car should pass a truck from the left side; rather than from the passenger’s side.
- When a truck turns, proceed with caution.
- Avoid being inattentive or exhausted while driving
- Make weather predictions
Seeking legal assistance after Schaumburg truck accidents
Identifying responsibility in truck accident cases is not easy. Compared to a simple car-to-car collision, truck crashes involve more complications. Following an accident, several parties may be held legally liable for the victim’s injuries and other losses (referred to as “damages”), including:
- The driver of the truck;
- The truck or trailer’s owner;
- The loader of cargo;
- The truck manufacturer or even the parts manufacturer
- A local agency or contractor in charge of creating or maintaining a highway
If several parties are potentially liable for a truck accident, filing more than one claim may help you get more money. Truck accident victims are eligible for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. However, the exact compensation value depends on your case circumstances and the quality of the evidence supporting your claim. To discuss all available legal options, consult our Schaumburg truck accident lawyer at Phillips Law Offices. We can assist you in identifying the responsible parties in your case and holding them accountable. Our attorneys will investigate your case, gather evidence, identify liable parties, and negotiate a settlement with insurance companies. If the insurer refuses to settle, we can take your suit to court and ensure fair compensation.
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