With I-90 and I-290 passing through northwestern Cook County, Illinois motorists share the road with a large number of semi-trucks and are at risk of falling victim to the accidents they often cause. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports over 10,000 accidents involving large trucks each year, with a troubling 5.2 percent increase in fatalities caused by semi-truck accidents from 2017 to 2018. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be facing not only severe injuries and costly medical expenses, but also the challenge of identifying all liable parties in order to seek compensation.
Possible Parties at Fault in a Truck Accident
Any accident caused by the negligence of another party can result in compensation for injury victims, but depending on the nature and causes of a truck accident, a number of parties may share in the liability. Some of the most frequently at-fault parties include:
The truck driver: In an 18-wheeler accident caused by negligence, the driver almost always bears at least partial liability due to behaviors including drunk or impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding, driver fatigue, or other preventable driver error. Drivers who are independent contractors or who behave negligently without the knowledge of the company that employs them may be the lone at-fault party in accidents they cause.
The trucking company: The company that employs the driver may also be liable if it knows about the driver’s history of unsafe behavior and does nothing to address it; if it pressures the driver to speed or drive excessive hours in order to complete shipments on schedule; if it fails to properly maintain the vehicle; or if it fails to uphold any of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations for safe operation of commercial motor vehicles.
Cargo loading crews: The FMCSA also enforces regulations on the proper loading and securing of cargo on semi-trucks. In addition to the driver and the trucking company, any crews that load or unload cargo throughout the duration of the shipment and fail to follow these regulations may be liable for accidents and injuries caused by shifting, loose, or dropped cargo.
Holding all liable parties accountable can help you receive the most possible compensation for your injuries, but it can also be difficult due to the need to access the driver’s and trucking company’s records to prove negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek this evidence and stand up for you in settlement negotiations and litigation with the company’s legal and insurance teams.
Contact a Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, no matter who is responsible, you need a personal injury lawyer who can help you obtain relief for the lasting physical, emotional, and financial damages. At Newland & Newland LLP, we have the knowledge and experience to aggressively pursue the full extent of the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact an Arlington Heights truck accident attorney today at 847-797-8000 to schedule a free consultation.