The large size and weight of trucks mean they have the power to cause devasting harm when a truck accident occurs. Truck accident victims are often left with severe injuries and expensive medical bills. Briskman Briskman & Greenberg has decades of experience helping injured clients pursue compensation after a truck accident. We are ready to help you hold the at-fault truck driver, trucking company or other parties accountable for their carelessness in causing your truck accident injuries. Our Oak Lawn truck accident attorneys are just a call away.
Truck Accident Risks in Oak Lawn
Located around 18 miles southwest of Chicago, Oak Lawn is connected to the city via major roadways like Interstate-94 Express and W 95th St. The village is situated in Cook County, which is the most populous county in Illinois. Oak Lawn has more than 183 miles of public roadways, which means there are plenty of places where truck accidents can occur.
In 2021, Oak Lawn had 160 truck accidents that involved a variety of trucks including pickup trucks and tractors with semi-trailers. At least 13 people were injured in truck accidents that year.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Driver negligence is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. For example, truck drivers may be pressured to work long hours without taking required breaks, leading to fatigued driving that can endanger others. The term “driver negligence” refers to many different driving errors and behaviors such as:
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Ignoring traffic signs
- Running red lights
- Being unfamiliar with roads
- Driving a commercial truck with inadequate training
Truck drivers owe a duty of care to pedestrians and other motorists who share the road, meaning they are obligated to drive safely and make sure they do not cause any harm. Violating this duty of care can lead to truck accidents in which negligent truck drivers can be held financially liable for resulting injuries.
Besides driver negligence, other possible factors that may contribute to Oak Lawn truck accidents include improper truck maintenance or truck defects, such as faulty tires or brake failure. Some crashes occur due to poor weather conditions and road hazards.
A significant number of truck accidents take place in work zones. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 1,695 large trucks were involved in work zone crashes in 2021. Of those, 238 resulted in injuries. Around 44 collisions caused an incapacitating injury while 1,447 resulted in some form of property damage.
The Illinois trucking industry has strict rules. When trucking companies violate regulations, such as overloading trucks, not securing cargo properly or failing to perform regular truck maintenance, it can lead to truck accidents.
At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we are determined to help you get to the bottom of what caused your truck accident. Your Oak Lawn truck accident attorney will investigate the crash and collect evidence to support your claim for compensation.
Truck Accident Injuries
Crashes involving tractor-trailers made up 3.8 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in Illinois in 2021, totaling 11,178 collisions. Tractor-trailer accidents accounted for 3 percent of injury collisions. Incapacitating injuries comprised 14.6 percent of all injuries in tractor-trailer accidents.
When a commercial truck strikes a pedestrian, passenger car or other smaller motor vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. Truck accidents have the potential to cause incapacitating injuries that can change the quality of your life and impact your daily activities, such as walking or driving.
In collisions between tractor-trailers and other vehicles, more occupants of other vehicles suffered severe injuries compared to tractor-trailer occupants. In 2021, 69 tractor-trailer occupants sustained incapacitating injuries compared to 284 occupants of other vehicles.
The recovery process after a truck accident is likely to be long, and severe injuries may require extensive rehabilitation. Additionally, your injuries may leave you unable to work and affect your ability to earn a living in the long term.
Common types of injuries that can result from Oak Lawn truck accidents include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Chest injuries
Some injuries require immediate medical treatment, but others may not manifest until the initial shock of the collision has worn off. Regardless of how you feel, it is important to see a doctor and check for signs of internal bleeding or other injuries that may not be visible.
Additionally, the resulting documentation will help support your truck accident claim if you decide to take legal action in the future. Your medical reports can establish the severity and nature of your injuries.
Besides physical injuries, it is vital to acknowledge the emotional distress and mental toll that truck accidents can have on victims. After getting injured in a truck accident, you may be left struggling with chronic pain and trauma. A qualified Oak Lawn truck accident lawyer can ensure you get full and fair compensation for all your injuries.
Truck Accident Damages
The damages awarded in Oak Lawn truck accident cases vary depending on the details of each case. Factors such as the extent of injuries, vehicle damage sustained and the crash’s impact on the quality of your life all determine how much your truck accident case is worth.
For example, the more severe your injuries are, the longer time you will spend away from work to recover. The higher medical expenses and lost income means you are entitled to obtain more compensation. The money you receive should cover all your past and future medical costs, including emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, prescriptions and physical therapy.
There are two main categories of damages. Economic damages consist of those that can be readily calculated while non-economic damages cover intangible losses like emotional distress. Here are the economic and non-economic damages you may receive in an Oak Lawn truck accident claim:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we understand that any damages you recover need to take into account the full extent of your losses. Your Oak Lawn truck accident lawyer will help you get maximum compensation from the negligent parties that caused your crash.
Who is at Fault in a Truck Accident?
What makes truck accident lawsuits complex when compared to other types of motor vehicle collisions is that there can be multiple parties involved. Along with a negligent truck driver being liable for harm they caused, their employer may also share responsibility for the injuries that resulted from the truck accident. You can, therefore, seek compensation from more than one defendant.
For instance, the trucking company may have been encouraging its drivers to work long shifts without breaks, thereby leading to fatigued driving. Loading the truck with excess cargo may have made it more cumbersome to drive.
Determining fault in a truck accident can be challenging, which is why having a reputable Oak Lawn truck accident lawyer in your corner is vital. The lawyer can investigate your case and find out whether the trucking company involved violated Illinois or federal regulations.
Comparative Negligence Standard
Under Illinois law, you are still allowed to seek compensation even if you were partly at fault for your Oak Lawn truck accident. The state uses a comparative negligence system, which means you will obtain damages for the percentage of the collision that was not your fault.
Your portion of financial recovery will be reduced based on your share of fault. If the court finds that you are more than 50 percent at fault for the truck accident, however, you will be barred from receiving compensation.
If a distracted truck driver hits an SUV that ran a red light, for example, both motorists may share blame for the collision. The SUV driver is still eligible to bring a truck accident claim to obtain compensation if the court finds they were less than 50 percent at fault for the crash.
With our decades of experience, Briskman Briskman & Greenberg knows how to fight back when the other party tries to minimize their liability for your injuries. Your Oak Lawn truck accident attorney will skillfully handle any tactics that are used to compensate you less than you deserve.
Time Limit for Filing an Oak Lawn Truck Accident Claim
If you have been injured in an Oak Lawn truck accident, it is important to act quickly as you have a limited amount of time to take legal action. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the truck accident to pursue compensation.
Waiting too long could mean you lose your right to hold the liable party accountable for your injuries. There are some exceptions. An Oak Lawn truck accident lawyer can determine which statutes apply to your situation.
Talk to an Oak Lawn Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was injured in an Oak Lawn truck accident because of someone else’s carelessness, you may be wondering what legal options are available. At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we offer a free initial consultation. Discuss your case with a skilled Oak Lawn truck accident attorney who can advise you about the possibility of pursuing compensation from the at-fault parties through a truck accident lawsuit.
There is no cost to speak to a lawyer about your case.