When trucking companies make use of the highways in Northern Illinois, they have a responsibility to keep motorists safe. After all, their vehicles can cause massive amounts of damage if they aren’t safely operated. The trucking company’s job is to make sure that each driver is a trained and responsible operator – and to make sure each truck is safe to have on the road.
Unfortunately, too many trucking companies fail to meet that duty of care. When that happens, we hold them accountable. The truck accident lawyers at Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP have been helping injured people in LaSalle County and throughout the Illinois Valley for decades. We know how to investigate trucking companies and find the evidence needed to help our clients recover.
Some of the steps we’ll take after a truck accident include:
- Recovering the hours of service (HOS) log: Truckers are required by federal law to follow strict driving time limits and take regular breaks. When drivers work through those breaks, they are prone to causing devastating accidents as a result of fatigue. Trucking companies maintain logs of all hours of service to prove that their drivers are in compliance with the law. When you retain us, we’ll immediately contact the trucking company and tell them not to destroy that log, as it may be crucial evidence in your case.
- Investigating hiring practices: Trucking companies are responsible for putting safe, responsible, properly licensed drivers behind the wheel. However, some companies fail to conduct background checks and hire truckers with a history of drunk driving, reckless driving or other unsafe actions. If we can prove a trucking company did this – and that the driver in question subsequently caused your accident – we can hold the company accountable for negligent hiring. In other cases, the trucking company learns of a history of dangerous actions after the trucker is already hired and decides to keep that dangerous trucker behind the wheel. This is called negligent retention.
- Reviewing maintenance records: Federal law requires truck drivers to conduct maintenance checks before getting on the road. It’s the trucking company’s job to make sure those maintenance checks are happening and that all necessary repairs are performed. We’ll review maintenance records and, if necessary, interview mechanics and other professionals who may have done work on the truck. If the trucking company knew repairs were necessary and did not have them done, their negligence may have caused your accident.
- Checking the “black box” data: After a plane crash, you’ll likely hear the media talk about the “black box” data. Many commercial trucks have a “black box” as well, and it typically records GPS information, speed, braking, and other important truck data around the time of the accident. Our investigation will include a review of the black box, which may tell us the truck’s speed at the time of the accident as well as the amount of time the truck had been on the road. This may show that the trucker was fatigued, driving recklessly or in violation of hours of service regulations.
Remember that in the aftermath of an accident, the trucking company will go right to work. They’ll dispatch teams of investigators within hours to collect evidence they need to reduce their liability. That’s why you need to contact us right away. With over 120 years’ combined experience, our legal team knows how to protect your rights and get you big results.
We’ll put our resources to work to hold the trucking company accountable – and, more importantly, to get you the compensation you need to move forward.