Vehicle weight is perhaps the largest factor in truck crash injuries. The average fully-loaded large truck weighs over 80,000 pounds. Furthermore, regulators often grant waivers that allow even larger vehicles on Illinois highways. That’s especially true in the post-coronavirus era since goods shipment has a higher priority.
Other factors include the policies of transportation and shipping companies, along with the ongoing truck driver shortage. Most firms pay drivers by the load, so they must stay behind the wheel as long as possible in order to meet delivery targets. Furthermore, inexperienced operators often have a hard time controlling these massive vehicles, especially during adverse weather conditions.
Due to the serious nature of truck crash injuries, an Illinois truck accident lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation for these victims. This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages could be available as well, in extreme cases.
Duty of Care
All negligence claims begin with the level of legal responsibility involved. Most vehicle operators have a duty of reasonable care. They must avoid accidents when possible and drive defensively.
Since they are professional operators, truck drivers, Uber drivers, bus drivers, and other commercial operators usually have a higher duty of care. They must proactively avoid accidents, instead of reflexively avoiding them.
Safe following distance is a good example of the difference between these two duties. Most noncommercial drivers learn the two-second rule in driving school. But five seconds is a safe following distance for large trucks if they are driving faster than 40mph. These large vehicles are that much more difficult to control, and perhaps more importantly, that much more difficult to stop.
Truck Crash Injuries
Weight alone is not the only factor in truck crash injuries. These vehicles ride very high. Therefore, in a crash, victims are often pinned underneath them. Furthermore, most large trucks carry hundreds of gallons of highly explosive diesel fuel. So, many of these collisions involve large fireballs. All these factors usually mean serious injuries like:
- Severe Burns: These injuries normally require extensive, and costly, treatment in specialized regional burn centers. Doctors and physical therapists do their best to address these serious injuries. However, burns are usually permanent, at least to an extent.
- Head Injuries: These wounds are always permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate. However, the right combination of surgery and physical therapy, along with some cutting-edge drug treatments, can reduce the symptoms of a head injury.
- Broken Bones: These injuries normally are not fatal, but they are usually permanent. Since victims are often pinned under the truck, their bones are usually crushed instead of simply broken. These injuries require very aggressive corrective measures which usually have some lingering effects.
The medical bills alone in a catastrophic injury case, like a spine injury, could exceed $5 million over the course of a lifetime. Usually, health insurance companies cite liability concerns and refuse to pay these expenses. So, an Illinois truck accident lawyer negotiates with providers and convinces them to defer billing until the case is resolved. In other words, when you partner with a lawyer, you get top-notch medical treatment without paying anything upfront, at least in most cases.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Winnebago County Attorney
Truck crash victims need substantial compensation for their serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Illinois truck accident lawyer, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.