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Crystal Lake personal injury lawyerAlthough all motorists have a legal duty to drive in a safe manner, truck drivers have an even greater responsibility on the road. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer combination can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. At this size, a truck can cause devastating damage. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, you may have considerable medical bills and other costs caused by the accident. You may also be wondering who is at fault for the damages you suffered.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident Involving a Commercial Truck

Truck accident liability may lie with a number of different parties depending on the circumstances of the accident, including the following:

  • Truck Driver or Trucking Company: Sometimes, fault lies with the truck driver himself or herself. If a truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, violating traffic laws, or was otherwise driving in a negligent or reckless manner, the driver or the trucking company he or she works for may be liable for damages.


Building a Case After a Truck AccidentBeing involved in an accident with a truck is both frightening and perilous if you are driving a smaller vehicle. Victims can suffer serious or even fatal injuries because of the force of colliding with a such a large object. Pursuing personal injury damages will help you afford the recovery treatments you need, as well as compensate you for your pain and suffering. However, building a personal injury case involving a truck is different than with other vehicles.

Crash Causes

Driving a large truck requires greater skill and caution than with a normal-sized vehicle. A truck takes longer to stop, has larger blind spots, and needs more space from other drivers when making turns or changing lanes. Drivers have more difficulty avoiding an accident with a reckless truck driver because of the length of the vehicle. The truck driver may have been at fault for your accident if he or she:

  • Was driving too fast;
  • Did not apply the brake in time to stop from rear-ending your vehicle; or
  • Changed lanes without consideration for other vehicles.

To prove that the truck driver was reckless, you will need to recount how the driver was behaving before the accident, his or her actions that put you in danger, and how you responded. A witness may have had a more complete view of the circumstances that led to the crash and be able to corroborate your account.

New Truck Regulations May Help Other DriversRoad accidents involving large trucks can be catastrophic and deadly, especially for drivers of other vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,852 people died from accidents involving trucks in the U.S. in 2015. That number is down from peak levels of more than 6,000 deaths per year in the 1970s, and lower than the number of fatalities in the mid-2000s. However, the number has steadily risen each year since 2012.

In an attempt to ultimately decrease those fatality numbers, the federal government has mandated that commercial truck carriers start using Electronic Logging Devices in their trucks.

  • Drivers that use paper logs and logging software must switch to an ELD by Dec. 18, 2017.
  • Some drivers already use Automatic On-Board Recording Devices that work similarly to ELDs but may not be up to the same standards. Those drivers have until Dec. 16, 2019, to switch to an ELD.

The ELD automatically records the vehicle's active hours, miles driven, movement and location. The devices are supposed to make companies more efficient in tracking their drivers, which will hopefully lead to increased safety for the truck drivers and others on the road. All drivers on the road may benefit from the regulations in a couple of ways:


truck accidents, personal injury, law firm, fatigue, truck driver negligemce, Illinois Truck Accident LawyerAccording to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 3,744 fatal large truck accidents and 88,000 injury crashes in 2014. A statistical analysis on the causation of truck accidents revealed that a concerning percentage of these crashes could be attributed to speeding, driver fatigue, and alcohol use. Disturbing as this information is, it highlights just how important it is for victims and their families to understand their rights after a semi accident.

Semi Drivers Should Be Held to a Higher Standard

All drivers should behave responsibly while behind the wheel, but semi drivers are (and should) be held to an even higher standard of safety. Their ability to cause death or injury is greater than that of other drivers and they are regulated by governmental standards. Yet the analysis reveals that semi drivers sometimes fail to adhere to the regulations, and all too often they behave in negligent ways that place every other road user at risk.


truck drivers' fatigue, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyerA driver staying up for long periods of time while driving, or otherwise being distracted when driving, is a recipe for disaster in a small passenger vehicle. This can be compounded if the distracted or fatigued driver is in a semi-truck.

Due to the size of semi-trucks and other commercial trucks, an accident involving one or more such truck can have devastating results.

Under federal rules, truck drivers are not supposed to work more than 70 hours a week to ensure that they do not drive when fatigued. There are also limitations on the number of hours drivers of commercial vehicles transporting passengers can drive. Illinois has adopted these federal regulations. Unfortunately, these rules are not always followed and with more demands to meet consumer needs faster, a trucking company may expect their drivers to drive more hours than is safe. When these drivers have been on the road longer than they can physically handle, accidents happen and other people can get injured or killed.

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