Champaign Trucking Accident Attorneys

Champaign Trucking Accidents

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Full Episode Transcript

Welcome to Legal Squeaks. I’m Dennis VanDerGinst. If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to subscribe to Legal Squeaks on your favorite podcast platform.

Today I’m going to talk to you about commercial truck accidents. From a lay perspective, it may not seem important to distinguish these type of accidents from other traffic accidents, but they are very different and distinct from accidents that only involve passenger vehicles. So this is a topic that’s definitely worthy of its own discussion.

And I have a special passion about this topic because I have served on the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice for many years, and I currently serve on the National Advisory Council for the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.

As an attorney, I’ve handled numerous cases involving big rigs and other large commercial trucks. And on a personal level, I’ve had loved ones who have been involved in these accidents. So I, I know firsthand the devastation that these types of accidents can cause.

So the term commercial vehicle usually indicates any motor vehicle that’s used to transport goods or paying passengers, but when I use the term commercial trucks, I mean the types of vehicles that can really create havoc and serious accidents on the roadways. For instance, the vehicles that are sometimes referred to as big rigs or tractor trailers, semis, 18 wheelers.

Similar concerns would exist for tanker trucks, busses, box trucks, any large truck of that nature. These vehicles are held to a heightened safety standard due to that size and power.

Drivers are required to undergo specific training to operate them, and the vehicles themselves are subject to regular inspections. Accident cases involving those types of vehicles can be considerably more complex than a regular car accident might have been. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, between 2000 and 2018, nearly 90,000 people died in the United States because of crashes involving large trucks and busses. During that same period of time, over 1.8 million people were injured in accidents involving big trucks and busses.

Now, obviously, people can be injured or killed in regular traffic accidents as well. You know, it doesn’t have to involve a commercial truck, but the risk of death or serious injury resulting from these accidents is much higher due to the size and weight of these types of commercial vehicles. Don’t get me wrong, the overwhelming majority of truck drivers are safe and thoughtful drivers. In fact, I’ve got several family members who either are currently or have in the past been over the road truck drivers. In addition, most trucking companies adhere to the applicable state and national regulations regarding training and supervision of drivers and the inspection and maintenance of vehicles.

And accidents involving large trucks are often, you know, not their fault, often it’s the fault of people driving smaller cars around them who fail to take into account the size of the trucks, the lack of maneuverability, or the large blind spots that some, sometimes exist with trucks, especially older trucks. But having said that, large truck drivers do cause their fair share of accidents as well. And one of the main concerns with this type of vehicle is that given the fact that it has extremely high inertia, it means that it takes longer for it to stop.

And if a driver doesn’t leave adequate room between that commercial vehicle and the car in front of it, he or she might end up rear ending someone with disastrous consequences. So, like I mentioned, regular maintenance of big rigs and other large commercial vehicles is extremely important, and that’s because commercial vehicles are required to adhere to certain safety standards for their air brakes. Large commercial vehicles are notorious for brake problems, and inspecting the vehicle after an accident can reveal important information about the state of its braking system, including brake lining adjustments and durability tests.

Equipment malfunction is often a contributing factor in these types of accidents. Trucking companies have to keep a record of the vehicle maintenance, but they’re allowed to discard those records after a certain period of time, you know, and it’s very, very common that those records are crucial to evaluating accident cases. So it’s really important to gain access to them right away before all the relevant maintenance records are either destroyed or discarded somehow.

Another source of negligence might be the company who loaded and secured the cargo in the tractor trailer. Sometimes loads are too heavy or they’re not properly secured so that they shift when the vehicle is moving or making turns. And that causes the vehicle to become unstable and perhaps tip over or again, get the momentum going in such a fashion that they cannot, the driver loses control of the vehicle causing an accident.

Speaking of the driver losing control, driver error may be a cause, obviously, of big rig accidents as well. Truck drivers have the same distractions as other drivers on the roadways, including sometimes being distracted due to texting or phone usage. But in addition to those other typical distractions that we all face when we’re driving, truckers can have long hours on the road, which can cause fatigue, which often, often is going to contribute to accidents.

In addition, there’s there’s the stress of constantly rushing to meet deadlines with respect to deliveries, and that can play an adverse impact on physical and mental health. Intoxication can be a part of the puzzle. It’s always good to do an extensive search into the driving histories in order to determine what the exact nature of the delivery was, and that can be useful for building a case.

If an operator, for instance, has a poor driving record, it’s much more likely that the accident was a result of his or her human error. Speaking of drivers, a commercial driver’s license, CDL, is the driver’s license required to operate large, heavy or placarded hazardous material vehicles and commerce. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act established the minimum requirement that must be met when a state issues a CDL. And there are different classes of licensure and endorsements which are going to determine what types of vehicles a person is allowed to operate.

Sometimes there are other outside factors that contributed, that may contribute to these types of accidents, including weather conditions, road conditions, road work, dangerous roadways. These are all factors that need to be evaluated to see what impact they may have had on any given scenario when we’re talking about an accident involving a large truck, or a big rig or, you know, a tanker truck, for instance. Speaking of injuries from a commercial vehicle accident can also be complicated.

Obviously, there’s the risk of serious bodily injury or death, but if the vehicle was carrying a harmful substance such as chemicals, then the victims are at risk for suffering a myriad of other medical problems.

In the worst case scenario, sometimes the cargo might even increase the risk of cancer or respiratory problems, which could affect the person’s quality of life and employment opportunities for the rest of his or her her life. So there are a number of things that are pertinent to large truck accident cases that just don’t usually arise in your typical passenger vehicle car accidents.

That’s why it’s important that if you’ve had an accident that involves this type of consideration, that you have an attorney helping you, that is familiar with the rules and regulations that impact these types of accidents, I hope this information has been useful. And I also hope you never have to use it.

If you have any questions, VanDerGinst Law is always honored to help.

Again, please be sure to subscribe and review Legal Squeaks as well as our other podcast, Uncommon Convos.

Also, check out, where you can suggest topics for upcoming podcasts.

So please have a great day. Stay safe. And I love you all.

Why Do I Need a Champaign Truck Accident Attorney? 

In the aftermath of a trucking accident, securing the support of a skilled Champaign truck accident attorney becomes paramount. The sheer size and weight of large commercial vehicles often lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities, setting these collisions apart from typical car accidents. Commonly referred to as “truck accidents,” these incidents involve various types of vehicles such as “semis,” “big rigs,” “18 wheelers,” or “tractor trailers.” Given the intricate nature of trucking accidents, seeking legal counsel is vital to ensure fair and adequate compensation for your injuries. 

Trucking accidents pose unique challenges due to the complex interstate and intrastate trucking laws and regulations. While trucking companies have legal teams to defend their drivers, it’s equally crucial for victims to have competent representation on their side. At VanDerGinst Law, our Champaign truck accident attorneys possess the experience and expertise needed to navigate these complexities and achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. 

Our legal team has garnered recognition from esteemed organizations like the National Trial Lawyers, naming us among the Top Ten Trucking Lawyers in Illinois. Furthermore, our attorneys have served on prestigious boards such as the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice and the National Advisory Board for the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. 

Click Here to View Accolades We Have Earned from Peers and Colleagues 

Speak With Our Champaign Truck Accident Attorneys Today

With a proven track record of successfully handling trucking cases in Champaign and across the Midwest, VanDerGinst Law has secured millions of dollars in compensation for victims of trucking accidents. 

Click Here to View Comments and Testimonials Former Clients Have Made 

If you’ve sustained injuries in a trucking accident and are uncertain about the necessary steps to take, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our trucking cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we win your case. 

Take advantage of our FREE CONSULTATION to explore your legal options and initiate the path to recovery. 

Understanding the Severity of Truck Accidents 

The substantial size and weight disparities between large trucks and passenger vehicles significantly elevate the risk of severe injuries in truck accidents. Several factors contribute to the heightened likelihood of injuries: 

  • Massive weight and dimensions of commercial trucks 
  • Increased difficulty in maneuvering and stopping 
  • Longer braking distances and slower response times 
  • Limited visibility and blind spots 

Given these inherent risks, it’s imperative for trucking companies and drivers to prioritize safety measures to mitigate accident severity. 

Identifying Factors Contributing to Truck Accidents: 

Truck accidents can stem from a multitude of factors, ranging from driver-related behaviors to environmental conditions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration identifies various primary causes and associated factors contributing to truck accidents, including: 

  • Driver-related causes such as fatigue, distraction, and speeding 
  • Vehicle malfunctions or brake issues 
  • Roadway conditions and traffic interruptions 
  • Prescription or over-the-counter drug use 
  • Environmental factors like inclement weather 

Understanding these factors is crucial for implementing effective preventive measures and legal strategies in truck accident cases. 

Frequency of Commercial Trucking Accidents 

Commercial truck accidents are unfortunately common occurrences, posing significant risks to public safety. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation: 

  • In 2018, there were 12,267 tractor-trailer crashes in Illinois, resulting in 106 fatalities. 
  • Tractor-trailer accidents accounted for 3.8% of all crashes but 10.4% of fatal crashes in the state in 2018. 

These statistics highlight the severity of large truck accidents and the importance of effective safety measures and legal recourse for victims. 

Determining Liability in Trucking Accidents 

Trucking accidents often involve multiple parties beyond just the driver. Anyone or any entity found to have caused or contributed to the accident may bear some responsibility for the resulting damages. Some common sources of compensation may include: 

  • The truck driver 
  • Trucking companies 
  • Companies responsible for truck maintenance 
  • Manufacturers of truck parts 
  • Shippers and cargo loaders 
  • Third-party drivers 
  • Municipal entities responsible for road maintenance 

An experienced Champaign truck accident attorney like those at VanDerGinst Law will thoroughly investigate all possible liable parties to ensure they are held accountable. 

Swift action is essential for securing critical evidence after a trucking accident. Determining fault is usually done by: 

  • Investigation of physical evidence at the accident scene 
  • Collection of witness statements 
  • Evaluation of state and federal laws regarding truck accidents 
  • Review of regulations from entities such as the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
  • Assessment of each party’s adherence to safety regulations and standards 

Familiarity with Federal Safety Regulations governing commercial trucking is essential for effectively navigating these cases. At VanDerGinst Law, our attorneys possess the experience and expertise needed to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve. 

The Aggressive Defense in Trucking Accident Cases 

Trucking companies and their insurers employ robust defense strategies in trucking accident cases to minimize their financial liability. Their defense preparations may include: 

  • Prompt dispatch of accident reconstruction experts and investigators to the scene 
  • Immediate securing and inspection of the truck involved 
  • Retention of legal representation to protect their interests 
  • Vigorous defense tactics aimed at reducing compensation payouts 

Given these aggressive defense measures, it is crucial for accident victims to engage an experienced truck accident attorney early on to level the playing field and secure fair compensation. 

Regulations Governing Different Types of Trucks 

Commercial motor vehicles operating on U.S. highways are subject to specific regulations based on their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). While large trucks like 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers are commonly associated with federal regulations, various other trucks are also regulated, including: 

  • Flatbed trucks 
  • Dump trucks 
  • Cement trucks 
  • Buses and passenger transport vehicles 
  • Refrigerator trucks 
  • Box trucks 
  • Garbage trucks 

These regulations aim to ensure safe operation and prevent accidents by imposing standards on vehicle maintenance, driver conduct, and cargo handling. 

Common Types of Trucking Accidents in Champaign 

Trucking accidents in and around Champaign often result from driver error or negligence, such as driver fatigue or cell phone use. Regardless of the cause, the resulting injuries can be severe. Some of the most common types of trucking accidents resulting in serious injuries include: 

  • Rear-end collisions 
  • Intersection collisions 
  • Driving too fast for road and/or weather conditions 
  • Left-hand turn accidents 
  • Wide turn accidents 
  • Head-on collisions 
  • Blind spot accidents 
  • Jackknifes 
  • Rollovers 
  • Undercarriage accidents 

Common Types of Injuries Caused by Trucking Accidents in the Champaign Area 

Victims of accidents involving commercial trucks can suffer a wide range of injuries, often more severe than those in accidents involving passenger vehicles. Due to the size and weight of such vehicles and the inertia involved, the degree and severity of injury are often much greater. These injuries include: 

  • Soft tissue or whiplash injuries 
  • Fractures 
  • Traumatic brain injuries 
  • Burns 
  • Exposure to hazardous materials or chemicals 
  • Disc herniations 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Paralysis 
  • Joint and ligament damages 
  • Fatalities 

Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries 

Compensation for truck accident injuries hinges on various factors, including the severity of injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and long-term effects on your life. Due to the potentially catastrophic nature of truck accidents, settlements or jury verdicts may amount to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. An experienced attorney can assess your case’s value and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. 

Truck accident victims may seek compensation for various damages, including: 

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost income and earning capacity 
  • Loss of consortium 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Property damage 

These damages aim to restore the victim’s financial and emotional well-being and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. Working with a knowledgeable attorney ensures comprehensive representation and a fair resolution to your claim. 

If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, don’t delay seeking legal representation. Contact VanDerGinst Law today for expert legal guidance and the compensation you deserve. Your rights and well-being are our top priorities.  


At VanDerGinst Law We are Honored to Help! Call800-797-5391 or click here. 

Nationally Respected- Locally Connected 

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Common Types of Commercial Truck Accidents in the Champaign Area

The most common trucking accidents in and around Champaign are due to driver error or negligence, including inattention due to cell phone usage or driver fatigue.  Regardless of the cause, these are the types of trucking accidents in which people are seriously hurt:

  • Rear end collisions
  • Intersection collisions
  • Driving too fast for road and/or weather conditions
  • Left hand turn accidents
  • Wide turn accidents
  • Head on collisions
  • Blind spot accidents
  • Jackknifes
  • Rollovers
  • Undercarriage accidents

Common Types of Injuries Caused by Trucking Accidents in the Champaign Area

Victims of accidents involving tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, big rigs, semis, tanker trucks, box trucks, buses, and other commercial trucks can experience the same injuries as the victim of an accident with an ordinary passenger vehicle.  However, due to the size and weight of such vehicles, and the inertia involved, the degree of severity is often much greater.  These injuries include:

  • Soft tissue or whiplash injuries
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burn Injuries
  • Exposure to hazardous materials or chemicals
  • Disc herniations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Internal injuries
  • Joint and ligament damages
  • Fatalities

Some of Our Recent Results for Truck Accident Victims

$2,500,000 for Spinal Injury

Semi-Truck Crash

$2.5 million for family of man who suffered spinal injuries in a trucking accident but died from an unrelated cause several months after the accident.


Semi-Truck Crash

A young man died when his car collided with a semi-truck that had pulled out in front of him, leaving behind two children. Liability in this case was hotly contested, the case was mediated and ultimately resulted in a settlement of $1,400,000.


Semi-Truck Crash

Our client sustained a below-the-knee amputation as a result of a collision with a semi-truck while he was tending to his disabled vehicle. Liability in this case was hotly contested but resolved after lengthy litigation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Champaign Truck Accidents

Should I Contact Emergency Services and Seek Immediate Medical Attention After a Truck Accident in Champaign?

Accidents involving commercial trucks in Champaign often result in severe damage and injuries. It’s crucial to notify emergency services, including the police, fire department, and ambulance, to ensure prompt investigation and medical assistance. 

Prompt medical attention after a truck accident in Champaign is essential, especially if injuries are suspected or hazardous materials are involved. Even seemingly minor injuries should be addressed promptly to ensure proper care and documentation. 

Is it Advisable to Move My Vehicle After a Truck Accident in Champaign?

If necessary to prevent further harm or traffic congestion, vehicles involved in a Champaign truck accident should be moved. However, it’s recommended to leave them where they come to rest to aid in the accident reconstruction process unless immediate relocation is required for safety reasons. 

What Steps Should I Take to Gather Evidence After a Truck Accident in Champaign?

Securing photos or videos of the accident site in Champaign can be beneficial if done safely and without risking personal safety. This evidence can help illustrate the extent of damages and assist in determining liability. 

Additionally, gathering witness information in Champaign is crucial for understanding how the accident occurred. However, it should only be done if safe and if not in need of immediate medical attention, as investigators can often determine liability through physical evidence. 

Should I Provide a Statement to the Trucking Company’s Insurance Adjuster in Champaign?

It’s not advisable to provide a statement to the trucking company’s insurance adjuster in Champaign. Their objective is to minimize settlement amounts, so it’s best to let your attorney handle communications to ensure your rights are protected. 

Why is it Essential to Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Champaign?

Contacting a truck accident attorney in Champaign is crucial as soon as possible after addressing immediate medical needs. Early involvement allows for gathering necessary evidence and ensuring proper compensation for damages. 

Trucking companies and their insurers have teams of lawyers working to minimize their liability and payout. A skilled truck accident attorney can level the playing field. They handle various aspects of your case, ensuring deadlines are met, investigating comparative negligence issues, securing crucial evidence from the trucking company, identifying liable parties, and hiring necessary experts to prove liability and damages. 

How Much Does It Typically Cost to Hire a Lawyer for a Truck Accident Case in Champaign?

In most cases involving truck accidents, attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay any upfront fees. The lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the compensation recovered if they win your case. At VanDerGinst Law, we operate on a contingency fee basis and cover all necessary costs upfront. 

Apart from attorney fees, there are other expenses associated with pursuing a truck accident case in Champaign, such as fees for expert witnesses and medical reports. While some firms may charge a cost retainer, we advance all expenses at VanDerGinst Law. 

What Questions Should I Ask When Choosing a Champaign Truck Accident Lawyer?

When selecting an attorney for your Champaign truck accident case, inquire about their experience and success in handling similar cases. Additionally, understand the fee structure, timeline for case resolution, and overall legal process. Ensure you feel comfortable with your attorney and inquire about their availability for addressing your questions and concerns throughout the process. 

Should I Consider Settling My Champaign Truck Accident Injury Claim?

While settlements offer timely resolution, obtaining a fair settlement often requires expert negotiation and legal representation. While it’s rare to receive a reasonable settlement offer without legal intervention, having an experienced truck accident attorney can significantly enhance your chances of securing a favorable settlement. 

Is Filing a Lawsuit Necessary to Obtain Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries in Champaign?

Whether filing a lawsuit is necessary depends on factors such as liability clarity and the willingness of parties to negotiate. While some cases may settle without litigation, others may require legal action to achieve adequate compensation. Having a skilled attorney ensures thorough representation and readiness to litigate if needed. 

Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Trucking Accident Lawsuit in Champaign?

Yes, Champaign truck accident lawsuits are subject to statutes of limitations, typically two years from the date of the accident. Failing to comply with these deadlines can bar you from pursuing compensation. Therefore, engaging a competent truck accident attorney promptly is essential to ensure compliance with applicable time limits. 

How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Champaign?

The duration of truck accident lawsuits varies based on factors such as liability disputes and case complexity. While some cases may settle relatively quickly, others may require months or even years to reach resolution. Working with a dedicated attorney can expedite the legal process and ensure thorough representation. 

Types Of Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries
Swimming Pool Injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries/Whiplash
Chest Injuries
Shoulder Injuries
Knee Injuries
Hip and Pelvis Injuries
Burn Injuries
Crush Injuries
Degloving Injuries

Illinos Markets

Rock Island
East Moline
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Henry County
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Iowa Markets

Des Moines
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