Were You Injured In A Commercial Truck Accident?
Our law firm will take on the trucking companies
Commercial trucks are an everyday sight on the highways of Northern Illinois. Because these vehicles are so much larger than passenger cars - a fully loaded tractor-trailer may weigh up to 80,000 pounds - semi-truck drivers are held to a higher legal standard and required to have special training and licensing. Truckers are expected to operate their trucks safely. When they don't, people get hurt.
These are some of the most challenging cases our truck accident lawyers handle at Schweickert & Ganassin, LLP. You or a loved one may have been seriously hurt and unable to work. Medical bills may be piling up. You may have even lost a loved one due to a trucker's negligence.
And for too many people, the accident is just the beginning of a painful ordeal. The trucking company and their insurance company may make it exceptionally difficult for you to get the compensation you need to move forward. Don't fall for their tricks and accept a "lowball" settlement that doesn't come close to the true cost of your accident, our attorneys know how to hold them accountable.
What was the cause of your accident? We'll listen to your story.
Commercial truck drivers are held to higher legal standards than other motorists. Their vehicles are harder to operate than passenger cars and cause much more damage in collisions. Still, many truck drivers fail to meet their duty of care and put others at risk.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, we may be able to show that you were hurt due to the negligence of a truck driver or a trucking company. Our attorneys know how to investigate trucking companies to find critical evidence for your claim. We'll hold them responsible for their actions.
Standing up to trucking companies isn't easy. Experience matters.
With over 120 years of combined experience, our attorneys know how to stand up to the trucking companies. We'll thoroughly investigate your case, handle the insurance company and stay with you every step of the way until your claim is resolved. For more information about the way we handle truck accidents, visit our truck accident FAQ page.
If you don't know what to do after a truck accident in Northern Illinois, the answer is simple. Seek medical attention first and then contact us. Getting an attorney on your side right away can make all the difference in your case. Wait too long and evidence may disappear - or be destroyed by the trucking company.
For decades, people throughout the Illinois Valley and Northern Illinois have trusted Schweickert & Ganassin, LLP during their toughest times. We're proud to be a small-town firm that gets big results for people in need. If you've been hurt in a truck accident, call (866) 604-9075 for your free consultation.
When truck drivers lose control of their vehicles, the consequences can be catastrophic. A large truck that rolls over may block multiple lanes of traffic, causing an accident that involves multiple smaller vehicles. If you were injured in a rollover accident, call Schweickert & Ganassin today. We'll thoroughly investigate the crash and prove the trucker was at fault.
A tractor-trailer is said to have "jackknifed" when the trailer folds in toward the cab, forming an angle similar to a folding knife. Jackknifing can be caused by improper braking by the trucker, poor road conditions or maintenance issues with the truck itself. Our experienced attorneys will find all parties responsible for your jackknife accident and fight for the compensation you need.
Some of the deadliest trucking accidents happen when a smaller vehicle like a passenger car hits the back of the trailer and gets lodged underneath. While most rear-end accidents are the fault of the driver of the rear vehicle, underride accidents are often due to the trucker stopping quickly or driving at a dangerously slow speed. Further, poor maintenance or non-compliance with underride bar regulations can result in more severe injuries. If you've been hurt or lost a loved one in an underride accident, Schweickert & Ganassin can help.
Collisions often happen when a smaller vehicle is hit while driving in a truck's blind spots, or "no-zone." The trucking company or their insurance carrier may argue that your no-zone accident was your fault, but it's not that simple. Truckers are held to a higher standard than other motorists and should know to check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes. Schweickert & Ganassin, LLP can help you recover compensation after your accident.
Tractor-trailers can cause significant injuries when the trailer swings out and strikes another vehicle. Truck drivers are expected to understand their vehicles' behavior and movement while turning - that's why they are required to hold a commercial driver's license (CDL). If you were hit by a trucker making a wide turn, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Schweickert & Ganassin today.
Texting while driving is illegal for truck drivers in Illinois and nationwide, but some truckers choose to do so anyway. Unfortunately, truckers often drive while distracted because they spend their entire working days behind the wheel - in addition to texting, they may be eating, talking to a dispatcher, looking at a GPS or adjusting the radio while driving. Distracted truckers may rear-end passenger cars or even cross a center line, causing devastating head-on collisions.
Our investigation of your truck accident will include a look at the driver's cell phone records to see if he or she was using a cellphone while driving. We'll also interview witnesses and review the trucking company's own records to see if the driver had previously been cited or disciplined for distracted driving. We'll do everything we can under the law to hold the trucker, and the trucking company, accountable for your injuries.
Large trucks are difficult enough to control when they are traveling at legal speeds. Speeding gives the trucker less time to react to obstacles or changing road conditions, and the higher the speed, the more damage the truck can do on impact. Unfortunately, speeding trucks often cause serious and even fatal injuries to people in smaller vehicles.
While speeding may seem like the trucker's own choice, the truth is rarely so simple. In many cases, the trucking company puts pressure on the driver to drive at an unsafe speed in order to meet an unrealistic delivery schedule. In addition to interviewing witnesses and reviewing police reports to see whether the trucker was speeding, we'll also review the trucking company's records to see whether the truck was behind schedule, which could have motivated the driver to break the speed limit. In addition to reviewing the truck driver's log books, bills of lading and other documents, additional evidence of speeding can be obtained during discovery by download the truck's electronic control module (ECM).
It may seem understandable that some truck drivers get behind the wheel while very tired. After all, they work long hours. However, truckers have a responsibility to be awake and alert while on the road, and when they fail in that responsibility, they put others at serious risk of injury. Asleep-at-the-wheel truckers may cross the center line and cause dangerous head-on collisions with smaller cars, and because they generally don't slow down before impact, the injuries sustained can be even more severe than in other types of collisions.
One of the first steps we take when investigating any truck accident is to ask for the trucking company's hours-of-service log, which may show whether the truck driver took mandatory rest breaks. We'll also review records to see if the trucker was pressured by the trucking company to work through those breaks or exceed the maximum hours of service in order to make a delivery sooner. Our investigation will also include the accident scene itself - because asleep-at-the-wheel drivers don't generally hit the brakes, there will often be a notable lack of skid marks.
Drinking and driving is against the law for all motorists, and truckers are held to an even higher standard. A truck driver is considered legally impaired with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04, compared to the 0.08 legal limit for other motorists. That's because a truck driver who gets behind the wheel while impaired is a serious danger to other drivers. Drunk and drugged truckers may cause devastating and even fatal head-on collisions.
Trucking companies typically have policies in place requiring their drivers to be sober, but they may not properly enforce those policies. Our attorneys will investigate the trucking company's hiring and supervision records to determine whether they knowingly hired or retained a trucker with a history of drunk driving - or failed to conduct a background check that would have revealed that history. We'll also review the police report and any witness testimony to prove that the trucker who hurt you was driving drunk.
Sometimes, the truck itself isn't the cause of your collision. When cargo falls off a truck, it presents a serious hazard to motorists who may not be able to avoid it in time. These accidents are especially dangerous if the cargo was a hazardous or flammable material.
Depending on the circumstances, liability for this sort of accident may fall on the driver, the trucking company, and/or the owner of the cargo. Our experienced attorneys will carefully investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and help you develop a winning legal strategy.
Blowouts are always dangerous, but when the vehicle in question is a large commercial truck, they can turn deadly. A truck driver who rapidly loses control of the vehicle may cause a serious accident involving multiple cars. Tire blowouts can lead to dangerous rollover and jackknife accidents, among others.
Truck drivers are responsible for conducting a thorough pre-trip inspection prior to getting on the road, and that check includes the tires. We'll review all applicable records to see whether that check was properly conducted prior to the blowout. In some cases, we may be able to hold the trucking company directly liable for failing to properly train or supervise the driver, or for failing to replace and maintain the tires.
All drivers have a responsibility to keep their vehicles in good working order, and truck drivers have an even greater responsibility because a poorly maintained truck is so dangerous to others. That's why the law requires truckers to conduct a full maintenance check prior to getting on the road. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, some drivers let that check fall by the wayside and put themselves and others at risk.
Our attorneys will review maintenance records and, if necessary, speak directly with mechanics and others who may have worked on the truck. We may find that the trucking company pressured the driver to rush through the maintenance check in order to get on the road faster, or that the company was previously made aware of a problem with the truck that they failed to resolve. We're committed to holding truck drivers and trucking companies accountable when they put others at risk.