Unlike other vehicles on the road, 18-wheeler trucks are massive, powerful modes of transport that are significantly larger than everything else on the roadway.
Given their immense size and force, when an 18-wheeler accident occurs the results are often devastating for the victims. This type of accident often causes catastrophic injury and death to victims in the other vehicles on the road.
If you or a loved one was injured by an 18-wheeler in Illinois or Iowa, our team of highly skilled truck accident attorneys at VanDerGinst Law are prepared to zealously advocate for the compensation you deserve after an accident.
Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free appointment to discuss your case.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
There are many different reasons for 18-wheeler accidents, all of which can be devastating for the victims. The most common cause is driver error, which can include a number of different actions. Distracted driving causes many 18-wheeler accidents when drivers are texting, playing with the radio, or otherwise engaging in other activities instead of focusing on the road.
With strict deadlines and long hours, drowsy driving is a cause for many 18-wheeler accidents on the road today. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, failing to obey traffic laws and traffic signals also contributes to a number of 18-wheeler accidents every year.
Truck failures also cause many 18-wheeler accidents when a truck is improperly loaded or suffers a mechanical failure. Loading the truck too heavily or unbalanced can cause an 18-wheeler to flip or greatly increase the braking distance for the truck. Failure to properly secure goods in the back of an 18-wheeler can cause products to shift, which makes it more likely for the truck to lose control. If the truck is not properly serviced or suffers a mechanical failure, it can also lead to terrible accidents on the roadway.
Injuries Caused by 18-Wheelers
Because 18-wheelers are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, the force of impact by these large trucks often causes devastating injuries for the victims. Oftentimes, these injuries become permanent or require a lifetime of additional care.
Some of the most common injuries caused by 18-wheeler accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Amputated body parts
- Crushing injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal organ damage
Because so many of these injuries are extremely serious and require significant care after an accident, it is critical that those responsible for the harm be held accountable and compensate you for your injuries.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to hold all parties responsible liable for the injuries caused by this traumatic accident.
Who is Responsible for an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, there are many parties that may be ultimately liable for an 18-wheeler crash.
The most obvious and common liable party is the driver of the 18-wheeler if their actions caused the crash. However, if the driver engaged in those actions at the behest of their employer, for example speeding or driving drowsy in order to make a delivery by a certain time, the employer may also be found liable for the accident. The employer may also be found liable if the driver was not qualified to operate the 18-wheeler or had a history of poor driving that the employer was aware of when the driver was hired or while employed.
If the accident was caused by an equipment failure or malfunction of the vehicle itself, the manufacturer of the part of the 18-wheeler could also possibly be held liable for your injuries after an accident. If the accident was caused by a brake failure, tire blowout, or some other mechanical failure, the manufacturer could be liable for the harm caused by the failed part.
Finally, commercial truck operations are governed by a complex set of regulations that require both drivers and carriers (the companies that employ drivers and operate trucks) to observe and comply with extensive safety and reporting requirements. Violation of any of these regulations may create additional opportunities to hold the driver and the carrier responsible for injuries caused by the operation of a truck.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can review the facts of your case to determine all parties responsible for the accident.
Compensation for 18-Wheeler Injuries
Compensation for 18-wheeler accidents in Illinois and Iowa include damages for economic and noneconomic harm inflicted on the victim. Economic damages include all out of pocket expenses caused by the crash. This includes payment for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and the loss of future income and benefits.
Noneconomic damages pay a victim for all of the intangible harms caused by an 18-wheeler crash.
In the worst cases of 18-wheeler accidents, where the victim dies as a result of their injuries, the family of the victim can also seek compensation for wrongful death. Damages for wrongful death include compensation for final medical bills, reasonable funeral and burial expenses, grief, sorrow, emotional distress, and the loss of love, security, and companionship.
It is important to note that both Illinois and Iowa operate as pure comparative negligence states when it comes to 18-wheeler and other personal injury accidents. This means that the court determines the degree of fault for every party involved and reduces the overall compensation by that percentage. However, if a party is found more than fifty percent at fault for the accident they are barred completely from recovery.
For example, if the victim in an 18-wheeler accident suffered $100,000 in damages and was found ten percent at fault, the overall award would be reduced to $90,000. In the same example, if the driver of the 18-wheeler had $10,000 in damages and was found ninety percent at fault, he would be completely barred from recovering anything for his damages.
Call or Contact Us Today
Accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks are often severe, traumatic, and devastating for both victims and their loved ones. However, you do not need to shoulder the burden of a legal case while you should be focused on what is most important – your recovery.
Call the office or contact us today at VanDerGinst Law to schedule your free case consultation. We will evaluate your claim and help you learn about about your legal options after an 18-wheeler accident.