Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

Taking on a Trucking Company After You Were Injured in a Crash With an Out-of-Control Tractor-Trailer in Illinois

| May 29, 2024 | Automobile Accidents |

Recent news headlines around Illinois have covered several truck accidents that all had something in common. In late May, Effingham Daily News reported on a truck that overturned on Interstate 70 near Effingham, after which a Budget box truck hit it. A few weeks earlier here in the Chicago area, the driver of an International big rig rear-ended another semi, which led to a chain-reaction collision with a third big rig, according to CBS Chicago. A week before that, WCIA reported that a semi hit a car near the I-72 and I-57 interchange in Champaign County. What did all these crashes have in common? They all started with a trucker who lost control and whose out-of-control tractor-trailer crashed into another vehicle (or another vehicle crashed into it.) Out-of-control tractor-trailers can trigger serious harm or even death in the crashes they cause. If you’ve been hurt in a crash that involved an out-of-control tractor-trailer, you may be able to recover significant compensation from the trucking company, trucker or others, so you should reach out without delay to retain the services of a skilled Chicago truck accident attorney.

There are actually a lot of different reasons why tractor-trailers go out of control and crash. While these reasons are varied, many of them ultimately point back to errors made either by the trucker or the trucking company. One way a trucking company can cause an accident and be liable is if it illegally overloaded a trailer beyond the maximum permitted weight, making the semi exceptionally difficult to handle and steer (or stop) safely.

In other instances, a truck goes out of control and crashes because the vehicle was not maintained properly. A truck (or trailer) with inadequately inspected tires could be a high risk of a blowout that causes the rig to veer out of control. Additionally, a truck with malfunctioning brakes or engine issues may also be at an elevated risk of losing control and crashing.

Other times, though, the problem that triggered the crash was a driver-related one. Perhaps the trucker was asleep at the wheel or maybe the trucker was excessively fatigued from having driven more hours than the federal regulations allow. Other times, truckers go out of control and crash because they were distracted (such as by a cell phone,) were drunk or were high.

Holding the trucking company responsible for its errors

If the underlying cause for the truck crash that injured you was something that was the trucking company’s responsibility, then you can seek compensation from that entity. If the trucking company intentionally overloaded the vehicle’s trailer, heavily pressured its driver to keep driving past hours-of-service caps or improperly failed to do appropriate inspection and maintenance on its equipment, then the trucking company is directly liable for those misdeeds or improper inaction.

Sometimes, even when the trucker was the cause, the trucking company may still have been directly negligent. When that happens, you can still go after the trucking company. If, for example, the trucking company put a novice trucker behind the wheel of one its vehicles despite giving that driver only the barest minimum of training, then that company might be liable for negligent training. If a trucking company hired a trucker who had many “red flags” in his driving history related to driving while on drugs, and that trucker later caused a crash while on drugs, then that might provide the foundation of a negligent hiring claim in your lawsuit.

In any instance, an out-of-control truck accident case can be very complicated. You need a legal team that can do the necessary investigation, find out who was truly to blame and then provide you with the best legal representation to recover damages from those people and entities. Count on the diligent Chicago truck accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to provide you with powerful and effective legal advocacy you need to take on the trucking companies and insurance companies… and win. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.