Truck accidents may seem deceptively rare, but the reality is that they’re devastatingly common. In 2020, 9,296 Illinois roadway fatalities involved a tractor-trailer. Those who experience non-fatal crashes often suffer from lifelong effects, leaving them with severe injuries, permanent disability, and chronic pain.
If you or a loved one are victims of a truck crash in Decatur, Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation. Nessler & Associates can help you recover a fair settlement from the liable party to help you rebuild your life and recover from your injuries.
The Aftermath of Truck Accidents
The size and weight of large trucks make collisions much more dangerous than the average car accident, as trucks hit other vehicles or objects with far more force. In fatal crashes involving a truck and a passenger car, 97% of people who died were in the car, compared to 3% in the truck. Those who survive a truck accident will likely have serious injuries that result in permanent physical or intellectual disability.
Survivors of truck accidents often face very different challenges than survivors of car accidents. If you’re considering filing a lawsuit, consult with a law firm like Nessler & Associates that is familiar with truck accident claims. We can help you navigate the complex claim-filing process and negotiate for a fair settlement.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Due to their size, design, and purpose, trucks operate much differently on the road than passenger cars, which can lead to dangerous collisions. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Trucks need regular maintenance to address wear and tear on the big rig and operate safely on long-distance drives or while hauling heavy cargo. However, many trucking companies fail to properly maintain their trucks, leading critical components like brakes and headlights to wear down or malfunction. These malfunctions can result in serious accidents.
Fatigued drivers often struggle to take in their surroundings, make quick decisions, or stay awake at the wheel. Federal law prevents truckers from being on the road for more than 11 consecutive hours and 8 hours without a break to reduce trucker fatigue. Still, many trucking companies push their drivers to be on the road after they’ve reached their maximum hours. This practice leads truckers to overlook crucial details or fall asleep on the road, leading to collisions.
Speeding can lead to truck collisions in multiple ways. Truckers driving at high speeds often cannot stop in time to avoid a collision since their vehicle is much heavier and needs much more space to stop. Driving too quickly can also pose a risk on winding roads or when making turns, as a quick turn at high speed can cause the truck to topple over and crush nearby vehicles.
Poor Road Conditions
All vehicles are vulnerable to poor road conditions, like bad weather and low visibility. Trucks are at particular risk because of their size and center of gravity. Slippery roads can cause a driver to lose control of the truck, high winds can cause trucks to tip on their side, and low visibility can prevent truckers from seeing hazards until it’s too late to stop.
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving accidents are less common among truckers than other drivers, but they still pose a significant risk. In 2020, 4,778 truck drivers caused fatal accidents due to alcohol impairment, compared to 20,742 passenger vehicle drivers. Alcohol impairs reflexes, decision-making, and alertness, which are dangerous for any driver. Drunk driving is far more dangerous for someone driving a large, heavy truck.
Who is Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
Unlike car accidents, where a negligent driver is held liable for a crash, the truck driver may not be solely responsible. The trucking company is also often liable for the accident since the trucker was acting on the company’s behalf. That means you can seek compensation from the truck insurance company for a potentially larger settlement.
Trucking companies are required to take out more extensive insurance policies than drivers of passenger cars, making it possible to claim a higher amount of compensation for your injuries. However, many insurance companies will refuse to pay what you’re owed, offering a much lower settlement and hoping you’ll accept. To ensure you receive a fair offer, worth with the attorneys at Nessler & Associates. We can help get you the compensation you deserve through an evidence-based claim, insurance company negotiations, or a personal injury lawsuit.
What Damages Can I Claim After a Truck Accident?
The specific damages you can recover often vary among truck accident cases, but many survivors of truck crashes can obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress. Schedule a free consultation with Nessler & Associates to determine what damages you might be able to recover.
Truck accidents often cause severe injuries that necessitate extensive and expensive treatment. Many people end up exhausting the limits of their health insurance or requiring treatment that their policy won’t cover. Filing a personal injury claim can help you recoup the cost of your medical treatment.
Being injured in a truck accident is highly likely to prevent you from working for an extended period. That can make it challenging or even impossible to pay bills, buy groceries, or cover other expenses of daily life. If you cannot work, you can file for lost wages to recover payment for former and future lost wages.
Truck accidents are likely to leave your car totaled and damage any property inside. A truck accident lawsuit can help you recover the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, including your vehicle, electronic devices, or other personal items destroyed in the crash.
If the accident has had a significant impact on your quality of life, you may be able to file for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium (companionship). For example, if you lost your spouse in the accident, you could file a wrongful death claim for loss of consortium since the truck company’s negligence cost you your spouse’s companionship.
Claiming non-economic damages can be challenging, as these damages are based on subjective experience rather than financial loss. Nessler & Associates can help you build a solid argument supported by evidence like expert testimony or statements from friends or family to obtain compensation.
Hire Nessler & Associates to Help Protect Your Rights
Handling the aftermath of any motor vehicle accident is challenging, but truck accidents can cause such devastation that you may not even know where to begin. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Decatur, Nessler & Associates can assist you with every step of your claim.
Call us at (800) 727-8010 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today.