Chicago Personal Injury Attorney

Truck Accidents and You

Thousands every year are killed and injured in truck accidents in the United States. Because of the size and weight of trucks, even otherwise minor accidents can mean severe injuries. And if the image of an 18-wheeler hurtling down the highway isn’t fearsome enough, consider that some trucks carry toxic chemicals, flammables, and explosives.

Mechanical failures, unrealistic delivery schedules, and drug abuse (especially stimulants) are the causes of many truck accidents, but the number one factor is probably driver fatigue. The truck driver in the recent accident involving actor Tracy Morgan had reportedly been awake for a full 24 hours prior to the tragedy. Under federal regulations, truck drivers must break for at least 30 minutes after a day’s first eight hours of driving, and drivers may not drive more than 11 hours a day or 70 hours a week. Of course, fatigue is not the only reason truck drivers get into bad accidents. Drinking, texting, and other distractions cause accidents, and sometimes, a truck driver isn’t negligent at all, but someone else is. If a truck isn’t properly maintained, if the truck or a truck part is defective, or if a highway itself was negligently constructed or maintained, an accident may be waiting to happen, and if you’re injured, someone can be held liable.

If you’re injured in a collision with a truck in the greater Chicago area, get the legal help you need right away and consult with experienced Chicago personal injury attorney Joseph Dooley.

The trucking industry in the U.S. is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), According to its own website, the “primary” mission of the FMCSA “is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.” Truck drivers are required to meet a number of safety regulations. Federal regulations include:

  • Age: Drivers crossing state lines must be 21 or older
  • Literacy: Drivers must speak and read English and all road signs
  • Drinking: Drivers may not have any alcohol in their system while driving
  • License: A driver must have a valid commercial driver’s license
  • Maintenance: A truck and all its parts must be in good operating condition. Emergency equipment must always be in good working order.
  • Responsibility: Drivers may not drive more than 11 hours following 10 hours off. Logs must be kept to prove this regulation has not been violated.

If you’re injured in an accident with a truck anywhere in the Chicago area, a good Chicago personal injury lawyer may help you receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and sometimes more. Injuries and deaths that result from negligent truck driving often leave families confused and angry. Serious injuries, permanent disability, and wrongful death are often the consequences of truck accidents. Contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is the wisest course of action. If you’re injured in a truck collision, now or in the future, speak to experienced Chicago personal injury attorney Joseph Dooley immediately.

Improperly Secured Cargo

Serious truck accidents continue to injure thousands every year in the United States. In fact, accidents involving big trucks cause about 5,000 fatalities annually. If you or someone in your family is injured in a traffic accident with a truck in or near Chicago, discuss your injuries and legal options at once with experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer Joseph M. Dooley. You are entitled by law to compensation for your injury and related expenses, but you’ll need experienced legal help in order to obtain that compensation.

Again and again, studies have demonstrated that driver fatigue is the leading cause of truck collisions, but another cause of truck accidents – improperly-secured cargo – is rarely discussed. Improperly-secured cargo can pose serious risks to a truck’s safe operation and to anyone in that truck’s vicinity. About seven percent of all serious truck accidents are caused by cargo shifting or falling from a truck.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, regulates the trucking industry and has established precise, detailed rules for properly securing a truck’s cargo. In short, all cargo must be safely stored on or in the truck. “Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle” is what the law says. The real test, of course, is when a truck makes a turn. Trucks with improperly secured cargo can become unstable and even roll over. You don’t want to be anywhere near a truck when that happens.

It is the responsibility of the truck driver and the trucking company to ensure that cargo is properly secured and safe for the road. Permanent disability and wrongful death are too often the results of truck accidents. The victims of these accidents often require substantial compensation, so you must be represented by a lawyer who knows what it takes to prevail on your behalf. Contact a good personal injury lawyer – a lawyer with more than 25 years of experience representing the victims of truck accidents – as soon as possible if you are injured in a truck accident. Discuss your rights and options after a truck accident – including a possible personal injury lawsuit – with experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer Joseph M. Dooley. Email him at [email protected] or call 312-219-5916 after any accident with injuries in the Chicago area.

How To Prove Negligence

When you’re involved in an accident with a large truck, your injuries are likely to be severe, and the severely injured need substantial compensation for medical treatment, surgeries, and long-term care. While the law entitles you to reimbursement if you are injured by a negligent truck driver, the problem is that your reimbursement isn’t automatic. You have to prove that:

  • the truck driver was negligent
  • you were injured
  • the driver’s negligence is what caused the accident and your injuries

If you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident, immediately discuss your rights and options – including a possible personal injury lawsuit – with experienced Chicago personal injury attorney Joseph M. Dooley. For more than 25 years, Joseph Dooley has fought on behalf of accident victims, and if you’re injured in a truck accident, he is ready to fight on your behalf.