Truck drivers have a responsibility to operate their large vehicles safely and professionally. When a truck driver misbehaves on the road, whether intentionally or not, they can cause a serious accident. Truck accident victims tend to suffer serious injuries and extensive vehicle damage. Because their financial costs may be great, injured parties may want to pursue legal action against the truck driver or trucking company to recover their losses.

These cases are complex, however, and an Oak Lawn truck accident lawyer may be able to help you. Call today to find out if a skilled personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Truck Accidents are Complex

One reason truck accident lawsuits are so complicated is because there are usually several parties involved. Often, an individual will file their claim against the driver and the trucking company. A negligent driver is responsible for the damage they cause on the road. If the trucking company encouraged the driver to operate their vehicle in an unsafe manner, however, the company itself may be liable for the injuries the accident caused.

How May a Truck Accident Affect a Person’s Life?

It is no secret that truck crashes can cause catastrophic injuries that can require a lengthy rehabilitation or even leave a victim with permanent injuries. Even smaller versions of commercial vehicles will significantly outweigh passenger cars, and the forces that can result from a collision can be catastrophic. Physical injuries that can result from truck crashes can include broken bones, separated joints, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and burns.

In addition, these accidents can have a profound impact on a victim’s emotional state. Many of these injuries are extremely painful and people may need to live with this pain for the rest of their lives. In addition, permanent injuries may affect a person’s ability to earn a living. A skilled truck accident attorney in Oak Lawn could calculate the injured claimants losses and help them hold the negligent party accountable for damages.

Which Defendants Could Carry Liability?

Truck accident cases can differ from other car crash cases in many significant ways. Perhaps the most relevant is that a plaintiff may seek compensation from multiple defendants. In many car crash cases, the defendants are the driver and their insurance company could be held liable for damages. This remains the same in truck accident claims. However, it may also be possible to hold the trucker’s employer liable for the crash.

A legal concept called vicarious liability states that employees who are under the control of their employers at the time of an accident shift blame for the accident onto their employers. This means that if a trucker was on the clock at the time of the collision, that trucker’s employer may also be responsible for the plaintiff’s losses. Combined with 735 ILCS §2-1117, that says all defendants in an accident case are jointly and severally liable for a plaintiff’s losses, and a plaintiff could name multiple defendants in a lawsuit for damages.

What if the Injured Claimant is Partially at Fault?

In some states, truck accident victims cannot pursue compensation for their injuries if they were partially at fault for the accident. However, Illinois personal injury law allows victims and their Oak Lawn truck accident attorneys to file a claim even if they were partly to blame for the crash (735 ILCS 5/2-1116).

This is known as the comparative negligence standard. In any auto accident, each driver’s negligence is compared to determine who was more responsible for the crash.

For example, if an intoxicated truck driver strikes a speeding vehicle, both drivers may be partially at fault for the accident. A court would examine who was more at fault: the truck driver or the speeding vehicle. If the truck driver was more than 50% at fault, the other driver can still pursue a legal claim for compensation.

Truck accident victims in Oak Lawn commonly seek compensation for their medical bills, vehicle damage, lost income, and the trauma they endured. They must prove that the truck driver’s negligence outweighs their own by a preponderance of the evidence.

What Forms of Compensation May be Available?

No matter how devastating the losses are following a truck accident, an at-fault driver, their employer, and their insurance company are liable to provide compensation to set things right. This includes providing reimbursement to a plaintiff for all necessary medical care. However, claims must also demand payments for all other losses connected to the accident.

A comprehensive claim will demand payments for emotional traumas, pain, suffering, loss of quality of life, and other mental health concerns. It is also essential that plaintiffs seek payments for their economic losses. If an injury forces a person to take time off work to make a recovery or leaves them with a permanent condition that limits their ability to earn a living, an at-fault defendant is also liable to cover those losses. An experienced Oak Lawn truck accident attorney could help to measure the value of a case and to demand appropriate compensation.

Trucking Accidents and Wrongful Death

When a 10,000-plus pound vehicle is involved in a crash, drivers in smaller vehicles can sustain serious injuries. Sadly, many truck accidents turn fatal. Victims may sustain deadly injuries at the time of the crash, or succumb to their injuries later.

When that happens, the accident victim’s family, with the help of an Oak Lawn tractor trailer collision lawyer, may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the truck driver or the trucking company. Again, the family would have to prove the truck driver’s negligence caused the fatal accident.

Contact an Oak Lawn Truck Accident Attorney Today

A seasoned attorney can investigate the accident, gather police reports, and work with experts to determine how the accident occurred. Then, the victim’s lawyer can use that evidence to support their claim against the insurance company or in court.

If you were recently hurt in a truck accident and believe the truck driver acted negligently thus causing the crash, call a skilled Oak Lawn truck accident attorney today. A lawyer can review what happened and provide you guidance on your legal options.

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