CHICAGO COMMERCIAL VEHICLE LAWYERS
Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Chicago
What is a Commercial Vehicle?
Common Types of Commercial Vehicles and How They’re Dangerous
Who Creates Commercial Vehicle Rules?
Illinois Commercial Vehicle Standards
- Legal weights and dimensions
- Oversize and overweight permits
- Transportation of people
- Hazardous materials transportation
Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Negligent driving: Negligent driving refers to any activity that causes reckless or unsafe driving, including:
- Distractions due to texting, talking on the phone, messing with a GPS, looking at something on the road, eating while driving, etc.
- Fatigue, which is a major cause of truck accidents because of drivers’ long hours. The FMCSA estimates that driver fatigue causes 13% of commercial vehicle crashes.
- Road rage
- Changing lanes without checking for blind spots
- Not using turn signals
- Inadequate training: Driving large commercial vehicles is a very dangerous job. If these drivers aren’t properly trained to operate the vehicle safely, they can put their lives and others at risk.
- Unfamiliarity with roads: Because commercial vehicle drivers have to drive cross country, they are bound to run into unfamiliar roads. Narrow, curvy, and bumpy roads can be incredibly dangerous if these drivers aren’t careful.
Vehicle Malfunction or Company Fault
- Mechanics: Companies are responsible for hiring qualified mechanics to work on their vehicles. Mechanics themselves are equally responsible for performing adequate work on the vehicles. If any work performed on the vehicle by the mechanics causes an accident, they could be held liable for your injuries.
- Manufacturers: If the manufacturers of the vehicle don’t provide the company with a safely-constructed vehicle, they could be held liable. Flaws in commercial vehicle design or construction are very serious and could lead to major accidents.
- Companies: The company is responsible for hiring qualified, experienced drivers. These new hires must meet the requirements, and withstand the high demands of the job. If a company hires an inexperienced driver just to save money, they are liable if that driver makes a mistake. Additionally, the company is responsible for enforcement and adherence to state and federal laws regarding vehicle safety. Failure to meet the above requirements will result in the company’s liability.
Other Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Severe weather: One of the main reasons why being a commercial vehicle driver is so dangerous is partly due to weather conditions. These vehicles have to drive cross country year round to make sure cargo gets to its destination on time. Driving through snow, ice, rain, and fog is naturally part of the job. Severe weather can cause drivers to lose control and cause multi vehicle pileups.
- Poor road conditions: Some states have better roads than others due to how much money is set aside in the budget for regular road work. So commercial vehicle drivers often have to drive on pothole-ridden roads with narrow lanes and no shoulders. All of this can cause major accidents.
- Road construction: Not only is road construction dangerous for regular cars, it’s dangerous for large commercial vehicles too. Driving on interstate shoulders or medians due to road construction can easily cause accidents.
Who is Liable in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
The Commercial Vehicle Driver
The Commercial Vehicle Company
The Vehicle’s Cargo Loaders
The Vehicle’s Manufacturer
How to Prove That a Commercial Vehicle Driver is Negligent
- Duty of care: Every driver on the road has a responsibility to drive safely and carefully. This includes commercial vehicle drivers.
- Breach of duty: The commercial vehicle driver violated their duty of care by driving irresponsibly.
- Causation: The victim’s injuries were a direct result of the commercial vehicle driver’s unsafe driving.
- Damages: The victim’s injuries resulted in damages such as medical bills that compensation can cover.
Damages for Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Lost wages (includes future lost wages)
- Medical expenses (includes future expenses)
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Other losses resulting from the accident
What Happens When a Personal Vehicle is Being Used for Commercial Use and It Crashes?
What Should I Do When I Get in an Accident With a Commercial Vehicle?
- Seek medical attention right away. Your health comes first, so getting treatment for your injuries is imperative.
- Document the scene. Take photos of every detail, including all vehicles, damages, positions, and even your visible injuries.
- Avoid speaking with anyone other than your Chicago commercial vehicle accident lawyer. Any companies involved in the crash will send claims adjusters who act in their own interests, not yours. Claims adjusters can use anything you say against you later. Save statements for either the police or your own attorney.
- Call commercial vehicle lawyers. Don’t let the responsible company discourage you from hiring representation. Curcio Law Offices has extensive experience in dealing with commercial vehicle companies, so we know how to get the necessary compensation to cover your expenses.