Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers

Injured in a trucking accident? Our truck accident lawyers at Lloyd Miller Law have more than 75 years of collective experience helping injured victims and surviving family members recover when commercial truckers, trucking companies, and parts manufacturers are negligent. 

Our law firm has won millions of dollars on behalf of injured victims in Illinois. 

If you were injured in a trucking accident in Chicago, Berwyn, Oak Lawn, Cicero, or a nearby community, call us for a free consultation. 773-838-8100.

Negligent Truckers Leave Destruction and Death in Their Paths

Very few forces can match the damage that occurs when a large commercial truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian. When fully loaded, semi-trucks generally weigh approximately 80,000 pounds. That is more than 20 times as heavy as the average passenger car. 

Because of the sheer size of large commercial trucks, crashes frequently result in wrongful death. Victims who are lucky enough to survive often suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns, and internal injuries. In most cases, their lives are changed forever. 

Semi Crashes Cause Lasting Financial Burdens. Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help

Aside from coping with the pain and suffering caused by their life-altering injuries, truck accident victims are often forced to undergo multiple surgeries. They usually have to be treated by specialists for extended periods of time. They often lose the ability to care for themselves, let alone work to earn a living. Sometimes, people with disabling injuries need devices like lifts, wheelchairs, toileting equipment, and hospital beds. In severe cases, victims of truck crashes must depend on special medical equipment to help them stay alive.

While surgeries, treatments, and special medical devices and equipment can significantly improve an injured victim’s quality of life, the costs can be substantial. An electric wheelchair, for instance, can range from a couple of thousand dollars to more than $30,000 depending on how it is equipped.

Fortunately, people who suffer injuries in semi-truck crashes can recover compensation to pay for these and other losses. By filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the negligent parties, you may be able to obtain compensation for:

How Are Damages Calculated in Truck Accident Cases?

Calculating the damages you are entitled to receive for your injuries after a commercial vehicle crash can be complex. Our truck accident lawyers will walk you through the process to help ensure all your economic and non-economic losses are included in your claim. We will add up the quantifiable losses resulting from your accident, using documentation such as medical invoices and earnings statements to support your claim.

Non-economic damages can be more difficult to quantify, as they are not tied to a specific monetary value. Our team will help ensure you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.

The trucking company’s insurance company might offer you a settlement. Their initial offer probably won’t put your best interests at the forefront, however. We will negotiate on your behalf, advocating for a settlement that accounts for your losses, as well as any future related expenses.

How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?

The value of your case will depend on several key factors. Our truck accident lawyers will evaluate the specific circumstances of your accident, including the type and severity of your injuries, the medical treatment you required, how long you were off work recovering, and whether you shared any fault for the crash.

What if a Chicago Truck Accident Killed My Loved One?

If a Chicago truck accident resulted in the death of a family member, you may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Consulting with our experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyers may help you understand your options for seeking compensation on behalf of your deceased loved one’s estate, as well as for your own losses. You may be able to pursue compensation for damages such as the loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and funeral and burial expenses.

What Causes Trucking Accidents in Chicago?

Dangerously congested Chicago interstates like I-55 and I-294 are host to countless injury and fatality truck accidents every year. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that large trucks were involved in 3.0% of all crashes resulting in injuries and 8.5% of fatal wrecks. Traffic congestion isn’t the only reason commercial truck accidents are common in the area, however. Some of the leading causes of large truck crashes include: 

Driver Behaviors

Despite FMCSA regulations and strict laws in Illinois and other states, negligent drivers continue to put other motorists in danger. Intoxicated drivers, fatigued truckers, and people who speed or drive distracted cause thousands of commercial trucking accidents throughout the United States every year. 

Truck Drivers and Drowsy Driving

The long hours and demanding schedules faced by truck drivers puts them at an increased risk for fatigue, which may compromise their ability to safely operate their vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that drowsy driving is a contributing factor in 30% of collisions involving tractor-trailers.

Drowsiness can cause impairments similar to those resulting from alcohol consumption or drug use. Truckers who are overly fatigued behind the wheel may experience slowed reaction times, making it more difficult for them to respond to changing road conditions and emergencies. Drowsiness can also cause decreased alertness and impaired judgment, which can result in truck drivers making poor decisions on the road.

Mechanical Failure

Faulty brakes, defective tires, and accelerator defects are responsible for countless truck crashes in Illinois. When defective equipment causes an accident, a products liability attorney can help victims sue the manufacturer, and sometimes the mechanic who worked on the truck, can be held liable for damages. 

Dangerous Road Conditions

Although nobody can control the dangerous road conditions caused by Mother Nature, or stop an animal from leaping into the roadway, other hazardous road conditions are preventable. Examples include malfunctioning traffic lights, structure failures, obstructed views, and dangerous or confusing road designs. 

Improper Loading

Large trucks that are improperly loaded increase the risk of jackknife accidents, roll-overs, and crashes caused by unsecured cargo. When commercial trucks are overweight, loads are not balanced correctly, or cargo is not properly secured, the loading company, trucking company, and trucker may all be partially to blame. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for Truck Accident Injuries and Deaths?

The FMCSA regulates minimum liability insurance coverage limits for interstate trucks, but the amount of coverage required varies by the type of freight the trucker is hauling. While trucks under 10,001 pounds hauling non-hazardous freight are only required to carry $300,000 in liability coverage, for-hire and private carriers moving hazardous freight must carry a minimum of $5,000,000. It may seem like these coverage minimums are more than adequate, but the damages in a large trucking accident can be extraordinary – especially if multiple vehicles and accident victims are involved.

Fortunately, accident victims don’t have to depend solely on an insurance policy to recover compensation for injuries in Illinois. Depending on the cause of the crash, victims may also be able to sue:

Truck in roll-over accident
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“Rich is extremely attentive and knowledgeable. He is very committed to his clients and goes above and beyond! This is the best personal injury attorney this side of the Mississippi!”

-Brandon Postel

FAQs About Trucking Accidents in Chicago

How much does it cost to hire a truck accident lawyer in Illinois?

Most truck accident lawyers in Illinois accept injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means clients do not pay upfront fees when they hire an attorney. Lawyer fees are only paid if the claim is successful. This helps ensure that financially burdened victims have access to legal counsel. 

How long do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit in Chicago?

Truck accident lawsuits in Chicago must be filed within 2 years of the crash in most cases. Exceptions may apply, however. 

Do I have to talk to the trucking company after a crash?

Truck accident victims are not legally required to talk to the trucking company or the insurance representatives after a crash. In fact, many people route communication to their injury lawyers, who can handle most aspects of a claim on the victim’s behalf. 

Will my case go to court?

Whether Chicago truck accident cases go to court depends on several factors, including the strength of your case and the willingness of both sides to negotiate. Such cases are often settled out of court through discussions between the two parties and their insurance companies. However, if a settlement cannot be reached or the other party is not willing to negotiate in good faith, you may need to go to court.

How long will my case take?

The duration of your truck accident case can vary. Factors such as the extent of your injuries, negotiations between the two parties, and the court’s schedule. Generally, truck accident lawsuits can take anywhere from several months to several years to resolve. Your personal injury lawyer can help you anticipate what to expect based on the details of your situation.

Can I still receive compensation if I’m partially responsible for the accident?

Yes, you may still receive compensation if you’re partially responsible for the accident. Illinois follows a modified comparative fault rule. Under the rule, as long as you are less than 51% responsible, you can still seek to recover damages. Any compensation you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault, however. For example, if the court finds you were 20% at fault for the crash and the total damages in your case are $100,000, your compensation would be reduced by 20%, and you would receive $80,000.

Learn More About Chicago Truck Accidents