In a nutshell, force is the reason injuries from large truck accidents are so severe. When fully loaded, these vehicles weigh more than 80,000 pounds. No vehicle safety system can possibly absorb that much force, especially if the truck is traveling at or near freeway speeds.
Insurance companies have essentially no compassion for accident victims. Instead, they usually only care about their bottom lines. And, they lose money when they pay claims. So, you need a good Rockford, Illinois truck accident lawyer in your corner. An attorney cares about you and fully understands your need for fair compensation.
Specific Injuries From Large Truck Accidents
Large trucks are more than heavy. They also carry hundreds of gallons of highly flammable diesel fuel. This combination leads to serious injuries like:
- Head Injuries: The extreme force mentioned above, as opposed to a trauma impact, often causes a serious head injury. Sudden, violent motion causes the brain to slam against the inside of the skull.
- Serious Burns: Since diesel burns at a different temperature from gasoline, the resulting burn injuries usually require painful and expensive skin grafts. Even after these burns heal, the physical and emotional scars often remain. Both kinds of scars are normally permanent.
- Broken Bones: Accidental falls usually breaks bones. High-speed truck crashes normally shatter bones. As a result, doctors must use highly aggressive tactics, like inserting metal parts into the body, to set these bones. If that happens, permanent loss of use is typically inevitable.
Many victims do not survive these serious injuries. The truck accident fatality rate has increased significantly since 2010.
Obtaining Compensation For Injuries From Large Truck Accidents
Damages in a truck accident claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Obtaining this compensation is usually a two-step process.
First, a victim/plaintiff must prove the driver was negligent. This showing could involve the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se rule.
Ordinary negligence is basically a lack of care. Since they are professional drivers, most truck operators have a higher duty of care than noncommercial drivers. If they breach that duty and that breach causes injury, they are legally responsible for damages. Common breaches include drowsy driving and failing to properly maintain their vehicles. Truckers, and the vehicles they drive, experience a lot of wear and tear.
Negligence per se is usually the violation of a safety law. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who speed or break other safety laws and cause crashes could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
Next, a victim/plaintiff must establish financial responsibility. That party is usually different, because of the respondeat superior rule. This doctrine holds employers, like shipping companies, financially responsible for damages if their employees, such as their drivers, are negligent.
Illinois law defines these key terms in broad, victim-friendly ways. For example, if a driver is an independent contractor for tax purposes, the driver is normally an employee for negligence purposes.
Contact an Experienced Winnebago County Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accident victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone LTD. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.