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Trucking accidents can cause severe injuries and lead to complex investigations and insurance claims. The claims may involve both Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Claims and complicated liens may be levied against any settlement proceeds.
If you were struck by a trucker driver OR if you are a truck driver and were injured, please contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at the Noll Law Office today at (217) 414-8889. Our office will be happy to speak with you and discuss your case at no cost to you. We are experienced civil litigators who understand the huge emotional and economic impact a truck accident may have on a family. Our lawyers provide compassionate counsel with aggressive advocacy to make sure your family is taken care of.
Common questions involving trucking accidents include:
- I am a truck driver and was struck by another vehicle. Do I have a workers compensation claim or a personal injury claim?
- I am a motorist struck and was struck by a truck. How do I file an insurance claim for coverage?
- How do I file a personal injury suit?
- How do I file a workers compensation claim?
- What happens during a trucking lawsuit?
- How do I prepare for my first meeting with Noll Law Office?
Frequently Asked Questions
I am a truck driver and was struck by another vehicle. Do I have a workers compensation claim or a personal injury claim?
If you are a trucker and are hit by another motorist, you may have both a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim. Whether you can file a workers compensation claim depends in large part upon whether you are determined to be a contractual agent or employee of the trucking company that you have been working with. The terms of the contract alone does not determine this issue. Whether or not a truck driver is considered to be an independent contractor or employee hinges upon the amount of control the truck driver, versus trucking company, holds in the performance of assigned activities. Our attorneys can assist you with this analysis.
Injured truck drivers may need to file personal injury actions against the person who struck them in addition to claims for underinsured or uninsured coverage with their own insurance company. If a workers compensation claim has been filed, the workers compensation provider may assert a lien against any personal injury suit that you file. Therefore, it is extremely important that you hire a competent attorney who is well-versed in insurance law before moving forward with any claims.
I am a motorist struck and was struck by a truck. How do I file an insurance claim for coverage?
If you are a motorist struck by a truck driver, you should file a claim with the insurance company covering the truck that hit you. An attorney can send a letter of representation on your behalf, requesting that the insurance provider pay for the medical bills associated with the claim. The insurance adjuster handling the claim will assign a “claim number,” and open a file to investigate the claim.
If that claim leads to a lawsuit, you may need to file a Complaint against both the truck driver and the company that the truck driver was working for. The company may or may not be self-insured.
How do I file a personal injury suit?
Your attorney will usually file the lawsuit in the county where the action forming the basis of the injury occurred. For example, a person injured by a truck driver in Springfield, Illinois, would likely be filed in Sangamon County, with the Seventh Judicial District Court. The Illinois Code of Civil Procedure states:
§ 2-101. Generally. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, every action must be commenced (1) in the county of residence of any defendant who is joined in good faith and with probable cause for the purpose of obtaining a judgment against him or her and not solely for the purpose of fixing venue in that county, or (2) in the county in which the transaction or some part thereof occurred out of which the cause of action arose. 735 ILCS 5/2-101.
The “Plaintiff” is usually the person who was injured, or, if the injured persons died as a result of their injuries, the administrator of the probate estate, who files the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person and living heirs. The lawyers will file a “Complaint at Law,” describing the negligent acts of the Defendant and describing the types of injuries sustained. For example, the Complaint may allege that truck driver disregarded a stop sign, thereby killing the driver of another automobile. The Complaint will request that monetary damages be paid to the decedent and his heirs.
How do I file a workers compensation claim?
You must provide your employer with notice of the collision within 45 days. Your attorney will then prepare an Application for Adjustment of Claim and file it with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. A copy will also be sent to your employer with an appropriate proof of service. This formally begins the claim for arbitration.
What happens during a trucking lawsuit?
The Plaintiff or their legal representative will file suit against the Defendant. The lawsuit will be one claiming “negligence.” The process begins when the attorney files a “Complaint at Law,” seeking monetary damages for the Defendant’s negligent behavior.
After the Complaint is filed, the Defendant is served. Your attorney will arrange for “summons,” to be issued, and request local law enforcement or a private investigator to serve the legal paperwork on the Defendant. Once the Defendant is served, he or she typically has 30 days to enter an appearance and claim any possible legal defenses. Usually, an attorney enters an appearance on behalf of the Defendant.
After the Defendant’s attorney has entered an appearance, discovery will commence. This process usually involves exchanging copies of the evidence held by the Parties, and taking the depositions of witnesses. Depending on the complexity of the litigation, experts will may be retained for trial. Their depositions will also be taken.
Your attorney may also choose to file requests for admission and other legal documents in order to simplify the issues presented at trial. Following the close of discovery, summary judgment motions and other pre-trial motions will be heard. Trial preparation will then begin in earnest. Witnesses will be subpoenaed, trial exhibits prepared, and other pre-trial paperwork will be filed. Jury instructions will be prepared. Jury trial should follow shortly thereafter. When the jury awards a verdict, the sums are usually paid by the insurance company. If a person died as a result of the trucking collision, the probate judge will decide how the funds are distributed.
How do I prepare for my first meeting with Noll Law Office?
To expedite legal review of your claim, you should bring a copy of the medical records, police investigations, photographs, videos, Facebook pages, text messages, correspondence, insurance information, and any other evidence in your possession to your claim. The attorney will review the records, together with any other evidence in your possession, and provide you with a free legal opinion as to the merits of your claim.
The Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Noll Law Office have over 50 years combined legal experience. Our family firm is known for its compassionate communication with clients as well as its aggressive advocacy in court. All of our attorneys are experienced trial litigators who will make sure that you are kept up to date with all steps in the litigation process.
If you or a loved one would like a free consultation, call today at (217) 414-8889. You will not be a charged unless our firm obtains a settlement offer on your behalf or wins at trial.