Due to its location close to I-80, Orland Park sees significant truck traffic. Large semi trucks pass through the area transporting goods across the nation. Other trucks, including box trucks and construction vehicles, also pass through Orland Park daily, delivering packages and carrying out other essential tasks.
Trucks are an essential part of the economic landscape in Illinois. Yet they can also cause serious injuries. Truck accidents are often more dangerous than similar crashes between passenger vehicles. A truck’s larger weight and size give it the potential to cause more harm.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you’re not alone. Talk to the experienced Orland Park truck accident attorneys at Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg today. We can help you understand how the law applies to your situation and make the right choice for your future.
Illinois Truck Accident Statistics
In 2020, 1,268 large trucks were involved in work zone crashes in Illinois. These crashes involved many different types of trucks, including single-unit trucks, tractors with and without semi-trailers attached, and other truck types hauling trailers.
Semi trucks with both tractors and trailers were most likely to be involved in these crashes. They were also the most likely to be involved in accidents that caused deaths, severe injuries, or property damage.
Overall, semi trucks were involved in 9,966 accidents in Illinois in 2020. Of these, 1,731 crashes resulted in injuries, and 117 resulted in at least one death. Drivers of single-unit trucks were involved in 7,566 crashes in 2020. The Illinois Department of Transportation recorded 1,252 injuries and 51 deaths from accidents involving single-unit trucks in 2020.
A fully-loaded semi truck with a trailer attached may weigh 80,000 pounds or more. These vehicles may be over 14 feet high. Their size and weight make it difficult for them to slow down or stop quickly. By contrast, the average passenger vehicle is usually no taller than six feet and weighs around 3,500 pounds.
Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accident Claims
According to the National Safety Council, large trucks account for 4 percent of all registered vehicles on US roadways – but they make up 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes.
When a large truck is involved in a crash, the risk of death or serious injury is highest to those outside the vehicle. The NSC states that 4,965 people died in a truck crash in 2020. Of these, 71 percent were inside another vehicle, such as a passenger car, when the crash occurred. Twelve percent were not inside the truck or any other vehicle, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
Serious injuries were also more likely to occur to those outside the truck than to a truck’s driver or passengers. In 2020, 68 percent of people injured in large truck crashes were inside another vehicle when the injury occurred. About two percent of bicyclists, pedestrians, and other non-occupants were injured as well.
The most common types of injuries in large truck crashes include:
- Head and brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can cause persistent or permanent problems with thinking, planning, memory, mood, behavior, and concentration. Brain injuries can also affect organ function and motor control. Other head injuries, such as skull fractures, damage to sensory organs, and scarring may also occur.
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries. Damage to the neck, back, and spinal cord can permanently impair ordinary body functions. Spinal cord damage may result in paralysis and other lifelong disabilities. Persistent pain and difficulty carrying out ordinary activities can occur in neck and back injuries even if the spinal cord is unaffected.
- Burn injuries. A fire can start during a crash if parts of a vehicle are damaged, overheat, or ignite. In these situations, burn injuries may result. Friction burns or “road rash” can also occur in a truck accident scenario.
- Broken bones. The intense forces present in a large truck crash can easily result in broken bones. Broken bones may require surgery to correct, especially if the damage is extensive. In some instances, damage to a limb is so severe that amputation is required.
- Organ, muscle, nerve, and soft tissue damage. Injuries to internal organs, muscles, nerves, and other body structures can occur during a large truck crash. These injuries may cause ongoing medical problems. In some cases, these injuries are permanent.
In 2020, ten percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths involved large trucks, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Yet 97 percent of the deaths in collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles affected those in the passenger vehicles. Overall, 74 percent of fatal truck crashes involved tractor-trailer units, while only 27 percent involved other types of trucks.
Major roads other than freeways are the most common site for large truck accidents. In 2020, 47 percent of crashes occurred on these roads, which include state highways and other thoroughfares. Only 36 percent of fatal truck crashes took place on interstates and freeways. Fifteen percent occurred on side roads or out-of-the-way places.
What to Expect During an Illinois Truck Accident Case
A truck accident lawsuit seeks to hold negligent parties accountable for the harm their actions have caused. These cases must follow rules laid out in state law. They must also follow procedures that govern all cases passing through Illinois courts.
Time Limits for Truck Accident Lawsuits in Illinois
In Illinois, truck accident claims follow the same time limits as other types of personal injury cases. An injured person has two years from the date of injury in Illinois to file their truck accident claim. If a case is filed after this two-year deadline has expired, the court will dismiss the case without hearing it.
Certain factors can change how the court calculates the two-year time period, however. For example:
- If you couldn’t have known you were injured until after the date of the crash, the two years may run from the date you could have known about the injury, rather than the date of the accident.
- For injured minors, the two-year period runs from the date of their 18th birthday rather than the date of the crash.
- For people who don’t have the legal capacity to file a claim on the date of their injury, the two-year period begins to run on the date they regain that legal capacity.
Other factors can affect the time limits in a truck accident claim as well. Even if you think your two-year time limit has passed, speak to an experienced Orland Park truck accident lawyer. An attorney can give you more insight into how the time limit applies to your situation.
Damages in Orland Park Truck Accident Claims
Damages exist to compensate an injured person who demonstrates that another’s negligence caused their injuries. Damages focus on what the injured person lost as a result of their injury.
These losses are often grouped into two categories.
Economic damages focus on financial losses. Common types of economic damages in truck crash cases include:
- Medical bills, including emergency room and hospital bills, prescription medications, medical equipment, therapy, and rehabilitation,
- Lost wages if your injury prevents you from working,
- Costs related to your injury, like transportation costs to and from medical appointments,
- The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it was also damaged in the crash.
These losses are often demonstrated with receipts, bills, pay stubs, and other documentation. Your attorney can help you determine which paperwork you need to save.
Non-economic losses are real and often devastating, but they don’t leave behind a convenient bill or invoice. Rather, these losses are more personal.
Common non-economic damages in Orland Park truck accident claims include:
- Pain and suffering inflicted by the accident and your injuries,
- Loss of enjoyment of life if your injuries prevent you from doing the things you once loved, and
- Scarring and disfigurement from the crash or resulting medical care.
To determine the full extent of your non-economic damages, your attorney may ask questions about your experience of the crash. They may explore what your life was like before and what it is like now. Answering these questions honestly can help you process what happened to you and help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Talk to an Experienced Orland Park Injury Attorney Today
Truck accidents can be devastating. What you thought was a normal day turned your entire world upside-down. You may be struggling to recover from serious injuries, scrambling to figure out how to support your family, and worrying that nothing will ever be the same again.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The experienced Orland Park truck accident attorneys at Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg have handled many similar cases. We know how challenging it is to bounce back from a truck crash – and how much injured people and their families need the compensation they deserve after a crash. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us today. Call 1.877.595.4878 for a free, confidential consultation with one of our lawyers.