Our Truck Accident Lawyer in Chicago Can Help
Facing a semi barreling out of control towards you with nowhere to go seems like a scene out of a movie.
For most people involved in a truck accident, the scene is all too real and the last moments are a blur. As a result of your accident, you may be experiencing scarring, burns, disfigurement, brain injuries, severed limbs, or spinal cord injuries, to name a few. The force of the impact, with the tonnage of the semi, tractor-trailer, or 18-wheeler, should only be known in a movie.
Truck accidents require the special expertise of McCready Law. We defend your rights. Our lawyers are significantly versed in the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations as well as the state commercial vehicle regulations. We know exactly what to look for when this type of accident happens. We can determine liability or negligence. We also know that more than one party could be responsible for your accident.
Our truck accident attorneys will investigate the accident scene and gather evidence to determine all of the factors in the collision. We examine the truck’s maintenance records and the driver’s log to determine the possible safety violations, such as driving longer than is legally allowed.
The day you retain us, we take immediate action for recovery money so that you can pay your bills and resolve your case. We want your long-term recovery guaranteed.
Why Are Truck Accident Cases Different Than Car Accident Cases?
Why are truck accident cases different than car accident cases?
Chicago truck accident cases are different for many reasons. A crash may be caused by an 18 wheeler truck, tractor trailer truck, dump truck, semi truck, freight truck, or delivery truck. Accidents involving trucks usually result in much more serious injuries than if caused by a passenger automobile because of the difference in size. A fully loaded truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while the average car weighs around 3,000 pounds. Simple physics explains that a much heavier object will cause more damage to a lighter object.
Driving a truck is not the same as driving a car
There are also major differences between how trucks and cars operate. Maneuverability of a truck is often a contributing factor to a Chicago truck crash case. Trucks cannot change directions as quickly as a car, cannot make turns the same way a car can, and have a much larger blind spot than cars.
Braking systems on trucks differ from cars
Trucks also have a different type of braking system which can cause a tractor trailer truck accident. Trucks have air brakes, which control the braking of the tractor truck as well as the trailer. Air brakes can cause a truck to slide or jack-knife, causing a truck accident. Finally, it takes much longer for a fully loaded truck to stop than it would a car. Even if a truck driver reacts to an emergency, it still takes the truck a longer time to stop than a car. Stopping distance often plays a role in Chicago truck accident cases.
McCready Law has the experience to handle truck accident cases
It is important to hire a law firm which is familiar with truck crash cases. Truck accident cases differ significantly from car accident cases. You need a law firm which recognizes this distinction. To learn more about your truck accident case, contact McCready Law for a free, no obligation consultation. We encourage you to interview several law firms before deciding on who you want to handle your case. Watch our videos, review our web site, talk to our lawyers, and you’ll learn why our clients are so satisfied with our representation.
Why Are Truck Drivers Held To A Higher Standard
Not only truck drivers, but also trucking companies, are held to a higher standard.
Trucking companies who hire drivers are also held to a higher standard. When a trucking company hires a driver, they are supposed to perform a background check to ensure they are hiring safe drivers. Sometimes trucking companies do not perform these safety checks and allow bad drivers behind the wheel of dangerous trucks. Federal regulations require trucking companies to ensure only safe drivers are behind the wheel of their fleet of trucks. In all trucking cases, McCready Law investigates not only the truck driver who caused the truck crash, but the company who hired the driver. We have uncovered trucking companies with a pattern of hiring unsafe drivers. In addition to representing our client to recover their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, we believe our work helps make our highways safer.
Hire the best truck accident lawyer you can.
It is important to hire a law firm which is familiar with truck crash cases. Truck accident cases differ significantly from car accident cases. You need a law firm which will thoroughly investigate both the truck driver and the trucking company. To learn more about your truck accident case, contact McCready Law for a free, no obligation consultation. We encourage you to interview several law firms before deciding on who you want to handle your case. Watch our videos, review our web site, talk to our lawyers, and you’ll learn why our clients are so satisfied with our representation
What Investigation Should Be Done In A Truck Accident Case?
The facts don’t lie, if you can get them!
Most trucks contain an event data recorder (EDR), or black box, which can provide evidence of negligence by the truck driver. We can use the data in the EDR to show the truck’s speed, braking, pre-crash maneuvers, and many other factors which can help prove negligent driving by the truck driver. However, this evidence is lost unless there is a prompt investigation of the truck crash and a timely preservation letter is received by the trucking company.
Connecting the dots through truck drivers’ log books
Because interstate truck drivers are held to a higher standard, they must maintain a written log book or journal documenting exactly when they are driving, when they are sleeping, as well as any other activity. Truck drivers may only drive for a certain number of hours per day before they must take a certain of number of hours off duty, i.e. sleeping, eating, resting, etc..
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) govern how long a truck driver can drive. Many truck accidents are caused by fatigue of drivers who have been driving too long. A driver is only required to keep his driving log of hours for a certain period of time. A truck driver’s driving log is a critical piece of evidence in Chicago truck accident cases. Unless your lawyer obtains these logs promptly, they may (and will be) legally destroyed by the truck driver and trucking company. After all, why would the driver who caused the accident want you to know that he shouldn’t have been driving at the time he caused your Chicago truck crash?
Lawyers must be familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
Because truck drivers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), your truck accident lawyer must know the FMCSR even better than the truck driver himself. Familiarity with these trucking regulations is very essential when investigating a Chicago truck accident. The FMCSR are designed to make our highways safer, but many trucking companies and truck drivers do not follow the regulations in order to increase profits. Thoroughly investigating whether a driver or trucking company violated one of these regulations is a crucial part in all truck accident cases.
Investigation of a truck crash case may involve accident reconstruction experts
Sometimes there is a dispute as to how an accident occurred. The truck driver and the trucking company may blame you for the accident. In these types of cases, an accident reconstruction expert may help prove truck driver negligence. All of the investigation discussed above assists a truck accident reconstruction expert recreate the accident. The lawyers at McCready Law has worked with trucking reconstruction experts to prove our clients’ case and make a recovery for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It is important to hire a law firm which is familiar with truck crash cases
Truck accident cases differ significantly from car accident cases. You need a law firm which knows where to look, what to ask, and how to prove your trucking accident case. To learn more about your truck accident case, contact McCready Law for a free, no obligation consultation. We encourage you to interview several law firms before deciding on who you want to handle your case. Watch our videos, review our web site, talk to our lawyers, and you’ll learn why our clients are so satisfied with our representation.
Who Is Going To Fix My Car And Pay My Bills?
Responsibility for damages follows fault
In Illinois, the person at fault is responsible for paying your damages. Damages may include fixing your car, paying your medical bills, paying you for any time you may have missed from work, as well as compensation for any injuries you may have sustained. The first issue in determining who will pay is knowing who was at fault. Usually, but not always, an insurance company will accept fault based on the police report. If the police report places blame on you, you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer to recover any damages. If the insurance company accepts 100% responsibility, they are responsible for 100% of your damages.
Getting your car fixed
An insurance company is responsible for paying the lesser of the fair market value of your car or the cost to repair your car. This means if the cost to repair the car is more than the value of the car, the insurance company only has to pay the value of the car. Be sure to get an estimate for any repair from a collision repair shop you choose and don’t rely on the insurance company’s estimate.
If you have a car note or owe money for a loan on the car, the insurance company will pay money to the loan company before paying the remainder, if any, to you. We have had clients who were “upside down” on their car and they owed more money than the car was worth. To avoid this scenario, consider buying gap insurance that pays off your car if it is totaled out.
The insurance company is also responsible to pay for any transfer tax and title expenses if your car is totaled. When you have to buy a new car to replace the one which was totaled in the accident, you should not have to pay for these additional fees. The at fault insurance company is responsible for paying them.
Sometimes, there is a dispute over what repairs will be covered or over the value of the car if it is totaled. If you are not able to satisfactorily resolve the damage with the insurance company, you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Getting your medical bills paid.
The other driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying your medical bills. However, they will not pay them as they are incurred. For example, the at fault insurance company will not pay each time you go to the doctor or after each test you receive. An insurance company will pay your medical bills from the accident, but only after you agree to settle the case and sign a release. When you sign a release, your case is over and you cannot collect any more money from the insurance company. This is true even if you made a mistake or if your injuries get worse.
It is very important to get medical attention following an accident, but it can sometimes be difficult if the insurance company will not pay your medical bills unless you settle your case. Many doctors refuse to treat patients unless they get paid immediately, and they are unwilling to wait until the case is over to be paid. An experienced personal injury lawyer can often get medical treatment authorized while your case is pending. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation.
Do not fall for the insurance company trick of offering to pay “any out of pocket medical expenses.” Some insurance adjusters use this line in an attempt to lower the amount they pay for your claim. Under Illinois law, an insurance company is legally responsible for the full amount of your medical bills, not just your out of pocket expenses. The fact that you may have health insurance or some other manner to pay your medical bills does not limit the responsibility of the insurance company for paying your bills. What’s more, you may be legally liable to pay back your health insurance company from any settlement. The claims adjuster will not tell you that and you will be in for a rude awakening if you find out after your case.
What is a lien?
A medical lien is a legal document sent by a health care provider, such as a hospital, doctor, or chiropractor, which ensures they will get paid from any settlement of your case. When an insurance company receives a lien from a health care provider, they will include the provider’s name on any settlement check you receive. You will not be able to cash or deposit your check unless you get the endorsement from the medical provider with the lien. So, if you settle your case for a certain amount, that may not be the amount you get if there are liens on your claim. Once again, an insurance adjuster may not tell you about any liens he or she has. All they want is for you to sign a release and close your claim.
Handling your case yourself can be tricky.
This article addresses only some of the pitfalls facing people who have been in accidents and dealt directly with the insurance company. Having practiced personal injury law for over 20 years, I have come across countless horror stories of costly mistakes made by people handling their cases themselves. There is nothing I can do if they contact me after they have signed a release. If insurance companies dealt with people more fairly and honestly with regard to fixing their car or paying their medical bills, there would be no need for personal injury lawyers.