Chicago is a major hub for shipping and transportation. Large commercial tractor-trailer trucks, busses and other large vehicles occupy many of the major tollways and expressways in the Chicago area on a daily basis. During your morning or afternoon commute you see these large trucks along the expressways. While these trucks and busses are essential to moving goods and people from one place to another, they are also becoming increasingly dangerous.
In 2014, the year the most recent Illinois data is available, the Department of Transportation noted that crashes involving large trucks accounted for 6% of all accidents. But these accidents were deadlier than the average car accident, comprising 13% of all fatalities.
More importantly, truck and bus accidents happened on clear days, with good weather and good visibility over 77% of the time.
While these large trucks traverse the state and are used for interstate shipping, nearly 73% of accidents involving large trucks occurred in Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake or Kane counties. These accidents are on the rise as well. In 2014, Illinois experienced almost 2,000 more accidents that included large trucks, than were reported in 2010.
The common causes of truck accidents included driver fatigue, distracted driving, speeding, inadequate maintenance, overloaded trucks, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and poorly trained drivers.
If you or a loved one are in an accident with a commercial truck, here are the steps you should take to ensure your rights are protected.
First, call 911 and ask them to send an ambulance to the scene of the accident. Truck accidents often involve very serious injuries. Wait for paramedics and the police to arrive on the scene before you attempt to help anyone else. If you are not taken by ambulance to a hospital, do the following:
1. Obtain the truck driver's name, driver's license number, name of the truck company the driver works for, and the US DOT number for that company.
2. Take photographs of the accident and video of the scene on your smart phone.
3. Lastly, if you are still on the scene, speak with the investigating police officer. Get the officer's name, badge number and best contact number. This will allow you to get a copy of your Illinois Traffic Crash Report for the accident.
Finally, if you or a loved one are injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you need an attorney with experience handling these complex cases. The attorneys at The Collins Law Firm have years of experience handling cases just like this. Call the attorneys at The Collins Law Firm to learn how we may be able to help you get compensation for your truck crash.