Unfortunately, truck accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in Illinois. Given the fact that weighing 80,000 pounds, a loaded 18-wheeler is about 20 times heavier than the average automobile and given the speed at which these rigs are often traveling, the effects of a crash can be devastating.
Consider these sobering statistics released by the Illinois Department of Transportation for 2020. That year there were 9,296 crashes involving tractor-trailers in Illinois, accounting for 3.8 percent of all crashes in the state. Of these, 7,555 involved property damage, 1,636 were injury crashes, and 105 led to a fatality. That means there was a fatal accident involving an 18-wheeler in Illinois in 2020 approximately every 3½ days.
Gathering evidence after a truck accident
If you have been injured in an accident involving a heavy truck, it’s really important to secure the services of an attorney who can work with various accident experts in unraveling the complexities that often accompany trucking accidents. There are many government regulations affecting truck drivers and trucking companies, and in establishing blame for an accident, it’s essential to know if any of these were violated.
The following are examples of the kinds of things that need to be thoroughly investigated.
Hours of service
The hours-of-service rules limit the time a driver can operate without taking a break. Consequently, the log books kept by drivers are often crucial pieces of evidence, but these can be falsified. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to collect other potentially vital pieces of evidence such as cell phone records, receipts for fuel, and toll receipts, to name a few.
Evidence from data recorders
Many 18-wheeler rigs are equipped with data recorders, similar to the black boxes found in commercial aircraft. The data retrieved from one of these devices could be crucial in determining the cause of a wreck.
Condition of the truck
The physical condition of the truck, along with its maintenance records, could provide clues about the possible cause of a crash.
Because of the real possibility that this kind of information might disappear, either by mistake or intent, it’s crucial to hire a truck accident attorney with the experience and know-how to begin collecting this crucial information and evidence before it’s lost.
Liability and controversy after a trucking accident
Many different parties, besides the injured persons, can be involved in the controversy surrounding a trucking accident. Those affected could be the driver, the company the driver works for, the manufacturer of the truck, those responsible for maintenance of the truck, and potentially, the shipper owning the cargo being carried by truck.
Rest assured, given the potential financial stakes involved, each of these individuals and entities will have lawyers fighting for them and trying to absolve them of any blame for the accident.
Faced with that situation, you need an experienced truck accident attorney by your side to fight on your behalf and help you secure the compensation for damages and losses to which you are entitled. If you’ve been injured, your attorney can also help you file an injury claim in court.
The Rockford Truck Accident Attorney
At the law firm of Crosby & Crosby, we investigate and litigate accidents involving all kinds of trucks, everything from 18-wheelers to delivery vans and everything in between. We represent both the victims of truck accidents and the families of those who have lost a loved one in a trucking accident.
At Crosby & Crosby, our truck accident lawyers in Rockford want to advise you of your rights after you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a negligent trucker. We also want to emphasize that you should talk to an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney before you talk to any insurance company representatives and most definitely before you sign anything.
If you’ve been involved in a truck-related accident, our truck accident attorneys in Rockford want to assist you in every way we possibly can. We urge you not to hesitate. Please contact the law firm of Crosby & Crosby today to schedule a free consultation, and let our expert attorneys help you with your truck accident case.