Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers
When a trucking accident occurs, victims need skilled representation on their side, an attorney who will fight vigorously and effectively to get the maximum recovery possible.
The Lamber Goodnow injury legal team and our partner firms aggressively and successfully fight for victims in trucking and tractor-trailer accidents, as well as the families of those victims. With an office in downtown Chicago, we can recover a settlement or verdict for your injuries and damages.
We’ve seen the tremendous pain that can result from trucking accidents. The results can be catastrophic, and the feeling of pain and loss is acute. We’ve also seen how aggressively trucking companies can be in fighting after these accidents – and we know how to aggressively respond.
The Lamber Goodnow team isn’t just a group of attorneys. Our extended network includes experts from a variety of professions, including medical experts, accident reconstructionists, rehabilitation and occupational therapy experts and attorneys at our partner firms. By assembling a customized team to handle your case, we’re able to look at all sides of the incident.
We also work fast. Too often in cases like this, trucking companies have the time to mishandle, damage or destroy potentially valuable evidence. Often, this information can prove liability and/or negligence. If you’ve been in a trucking accident, or if you have a loved one who’s been injured in such an accident, you need to hire an attorney as quickly as possible.
We’ll go over not just the police reports, but also forensic data, witness statements, driver and vehicle records and history, and more. Our thorough approach can give you the confidence in knowing that we’re turning over every rock to make sure you get the representation you deserve.
These are just some of the critical items we’ll investigate:
- The driver’s record
- Training standards and manuals for the trucking company
- Truck maintenance history
- Litigation and/or accident history of the trucking company
- Possibility of driver fatigue
- Hiring and recruitment process
- Load capacity and security
- Road conditions
- Circumstances the day of the accident
Learn more about how you can maximize your legal recovery in these types of truck and tractor-trailer accidents:
You Have Important Truck Accident Questions – We Have The Answers
Is my case different if I am injured by a semi tractor-trailer as opposed to an automobile driver?
Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act provides regulations for both the trucking company and its driver.
Semi-trucks are required to carry higher amounts of insurance coverage and drivers must also meet higher safety standards than other vehicle drivers. Because semis travel in interstate commerce (travel between different states), they are subject to many federal regulations that do not apply to other vehicles. Trucking companies also have responsibility to perform background checks prior to hiring drivers and must periodically evaluate existing employees. Additionally, semi drivers are subject to limits on the number of hours they can drive in a given day, and must keep a log and routes records. Drivers are also subject to testing for drugs and alcohol, both randomly and in the event of an accident.
What exactly is a commercial truck?
A commercial truck, such as a “big rig,” is a vehicle used in the course of business and for the transport of commercial goods. Some examples are delivery vehicles, eighteen-wheeler tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, and other large freight trucks. Although some businesses use standard pickup trucks for their day-to-day activities, commercial trucks are generally much larger and require a commercial driver’s license to operate.
What type of time frame does it take to resolve truck accident cases in Illinois?
Because each case is unique, there is no cut and dry answer to this question. In general, if the injuries you sustain are serious it will take longer to resolve the case. This is due to ongoing medical treatments, an unclear prognosis, taking depositions, obtaining eyewitnesses and obtaining expert witnesses. Additionally, the at-fault’s insurance company may try and settle with a low-ball offer that will not cover all of your damages.
While some truck accident cases may resolve within a few months, others may take a much more significant amount of time. However, be aware that the statute of limitations for personal injury in Illinois is two years from the date of the accident. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202. If you only have damage to your automobile from a truck accident, you need to file a property damage lawsuit within five years of the accident or you will be barred from recovery. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-205.
What damages are recoverable in truck accident lawsuit?
If you are injured in a truck accident you may recover damages for your pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses (which may include doctor’s visits, surgeries, and physical therapy) and past and future lost wages. A plaintiff (injured person) may also receive money to repair their damaged property.
Can I sue the truck driver’s trucking company for my injuries?
Yes. Accidents involving large commercial trucks may be complex because the driver may not be the only person that may be liable (at fault) for your damages.
Under respondeat superior, the company that the driver works for may also be liable for your personal injury damages. Under this theory, an employer may be liable for the willful, negligent, malicious, or even criminal acts of its employees when the acts are committed in the course of employment and in furtherance of the business of the employer.
However, the employer will not be found liable if the employee deviated from the employer’s business, which is called a frolic. An example of this is when an employee drives a work truck on his day off to go on a family trip. This would be considered outside the scope of his employment. The employer will only be liable once the employee again begins to act for the employer’s business.
Contact an attorney from Lamber-Goodnow to help you find exactly who is liable for your truck accident injuries.
Are there certain things I should bring to my initial consultation with my attorney?
When meeting with your attorney it is important to be as prepared as possible. Some examples of documents to bring to your consultation include: a police report of the accident, any notes or photos that you took at the accident scene, your medical records, including medical bills and any x-rays or MRI’s that you had taken, names and contact information of the witnesses to the accident, any paperwork sent to you by your insurance company, your written account of the time after the accident, including how you feel mentally, physically and emotionally, and any other information that you may consider relevant.
Anything that you do not remember to bring to your initial consultation may be given to your attorney later. However, try to keep all paperwork as organized as possible, as witnesses may forget their accounts and things may get misplaced. Keeping an organized folder of information may assist in the efficiency of your lawsuit.
Trucking Accident Investigations
Trucking and tractor-trailer accidents can be extremely complicated, and it’s important to have a team on your behalf that’s completely investigating the accident. One of the issues we’ll look into is the driver’s endorsements and the load he or she was carrying.
Commercial drivers have to earn different endorsements to transport loads. These endorsements make sure that the driver has the necessary training and certifications to pack, load and transport different types (and weights) of cargo.
If the accident you were in was caused by incorrect loading, or by a driver who didn’t have the proper endorsements, we’ll find out if the error was made by the driver, or if the trucking company forced the driver to transport the cargo.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Illinois
Truck or tractor-trailer accidents aren’t like other auto accidents. These collisions are catastrophic and do tremendous damage – this might not occur on the city streets of Chicago, it could be on the rural highways of Illinois.
The CDC estimates that 50 people have died since 2000 in Cook County in these types of incidents, and that’s 50 people too many. Driver fatigue, improper loading, distracted driving and poor training can cause families immeasurable harm.
Our No-Fee Promise
These cases take time and money – but that’s not something you have to worry about. Our team has a No-Fee Promise, which means you won’t pay any costs for our services. We’ll only get paid if and when we recover funds on your behalf in a settlement or a verdict.
This starts from your first discussion with us. Our consultation with you doesn’t have a cost, and you’re under no obligation to hire us just because you called us. In fact, we recommend having a consultation so you can understand not only your case, but also feel confident about the people who’ll be representing you.
Truck accidents are serious and complicated, and it’s important to have someone working on your case as quickly as possible. Call us at (312) 757-7777 to talk to one of our attorneys.
During your no-obligation consultation, we’ll go over the specifics of your case and give you a recommendation on how you can proceed. Talk to us today so we can help get you the maximum recovery for your loss.
If you happen to be in Arizona, take a look at our Phoenix Trucking Accident page >
 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, § 379.1.
 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, § 382.103.
 Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions (Civil) Nos. 30.02-30.09.
 Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions (Civil) Nos. 30.13.
 Ritter v. Taucher (1978, 1st Dist.) 65 Ill App 3d 464, 22 Ill Dec 23, 382 NE2d 343.
 Webb v. Jewel Cos. (1985, 1st Dist.) 137 Ill. App 3d 1004, 92 Ill. Dec 598, 485 N.E.2d 409.
 Boehmer v. Norton, (1946) 328 Ill. App 17, 65 N.E.2d 212.