When operated negligently, trucks pose a substantial risk of harm to others on the road in Chicago. If you are involved in a crash with a truck, you should call 911 and collect information from other drivers and eyewitnesses at the scene before seeking medical care immediately after the situation is resolved.
Truck accidents could occur due to driver negligence, such as swerving or tailgating. However, other parties may be responsible for the accident if it occurs due to inappropriate driver scheduling by the trucking company or defective parts on the truck. In any case, you likely only have two years from the date that the accident occurred to file your lawsuit.
Time is of the essence. Once you have received medical attention, we urge you to reach out to the dedicated Chicago truck accident attorneys at Rhatigan Law Offices. To help you get started, we can offer you a free initial case evaluation when you call us today at (312) 578-8502.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Chicago
You can protect yourself both immediately and in the long term by taking the right steps after being involved in a serious truck accident in Chicago. However, many people struggle with the stress of the moment and fail to take the most important steps. This is why our Chicago truck accident lawyers have developed this checklist to which victims can refer at the most critical times.
Make Sure You Are Out of Danger
One of the most common ways that accidents become worse is when other cars get involved. To prevent your accident from worsening, do your best to get your vehicle off to the side of the road. If the accident left your vehicle undrivable, use hazard lights and flares if you have them and get everyone to a safe area off the main road.
Police officers are obligated by law to file an official report on any accident that results in death, bodily injury, or a certain amount of property damage. However, this only happens when the authorities are alerted to the accident. Police officers can also deter the other driver from improperly leaving the scene before all sides have provided contact and insurance information. You may also request an ambulance on your call with the emergency dispatcher if anyone’s injuries require immediate attention.
Get Information from the Other Driver
You should always exchange information with the other parties involved, particularly the truck driver. This includes contact and insurance information. But, if the driver is operating their truck as an employee of a company, you will want to gather information about the company. This is because, if and when you ultimately file a lawsuit, it may be better to name the employing company rather than the driver individually.
Talk to Witnesses
The hardest piece of evidence to recover after you leave the scene of a truck accident is eyewitness testimony. You should attempt to obtain contact information from anyone who might have seen what had happened.
Go to an Emergency Room
Even if you suspect that your truck accident injuries are minor, you should always get yourself checked out as soon as possible after you leave the scene of the collision. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys recommend that you visit an emergency room or urgent care facility. In many cases, primary care physicians may not be able to see you immediately and may not treat truck accident injuries if they cannot accept car insurance coverage as payment.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Chicago
There are a number of causes that could contribute to a truck accident occurring on the streets and highways of Chicago. Some of these causes can be attributed to the driver individually, while others may create liability for other parties. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys can assess your accident to determine who was responsible (and liable) for your collision injuries.
Trucks occupy much more area on the road than the average personal vehicle. Therefore, truck drivers are obligated to take special care when merging or switching lanes. If another vehicle enters their blind spot, a negligent lane change could cause a serious accident, potentially at high speeds.
Trucks take longer than cars to slow down because of their additional weight. Truck drivers must account for that by leaving additional room between their vehicle and the one in front of them. But negligent truck drivers who get frustrated with the pace of traffic may fail to take this precaution, putting others in harm’s way.
Trucking companies are required to abide by regulations created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Among the NHTSA rules are mandatory limits that govern how many hours of driving a trucker can do in a given period of time. These rules exist to avoid tired driving, but many trucking companies fail to maintain driver schedules appropriately and even offer time incentives to drivers that would require them to drive with little or no sleep.
Truck functioning involves several parts, all working as intended. Even a minor defect or malfunction can affect how a truck turns or stops. In these circumstances, liability may lie with the trucking company, inspecting company, or truck manufacturer. To determine who should pay for your damages in these cases, speak with one of our experienced Chicago truck accident lawyers.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Truck Accident Injury Lawsuit in Chicago
For any personal injury claim from a truck accident in the State of Illinois, the plaintiff has only two years under state law to file their claim officially. This time period generally starts to run on the date of the accident. If you do not file your claim within two years of the truck accident, your case will almost certainly be dismissed, and you will lose out on your recovery opportunity. This is why it is so important that you reach out to a Chicago truck accident attorney as soon as you can.
Get a Free Case Assessment Today When You Call Rhatigan Law Offices
Our Chicago truck accident attorneys have over 25 years of experience, and we are ready to put it to use for you. Get a free initial case assessment when you call Rhatigan Law Offices today at (312) 578-8502.