Were you injured in a collision involving an 18-wheeler, box truck, delivery van, or another commercial vehicle in Lincoln, Illinois? If so, you know that the crash can be a life-altering experience, leaving you with physical, emotional, and financial burdens you never planned for. Given the intricate web of federal regulations, multiple parties, and substantial insurance claims involved in these cases, it is crucial to have experienced Lincoln truck accident attorneys on your side.
The Lincoln truck accident attorneys at the Noll Law Office are here to support and guide you through this difficult time. They recognize the impact your injuries can have on your ability to work and support your family, and they are ready to fight for a fair settlement or verdict that helps you move forward with your life.
The firm’s experienced trial attorneys, Daniel Noll and Sarah Noll, understand the state and federal regulations and protocols that govern commercial truck drivers and their employers. They can meticulously scrutinize relevant records and logs to identify any instances where the trucking company or driver may have failed to follow proper procedures. By doing so, they could build a strong case against the at-fault party and seek the maximum compensation available to you.
Don’t wait until it is too late to get the justice and compensation you deserve. Call the firm at (217) 414-8889 or contact them online for a free case evaluation right away.
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Illinois?
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents on the highways and streets in and around Lincoln, Illinois, include:
- Driver fatigue – Truck drivers often work long hours, leading to exhaustion and decreased alertness while driving.
- Distracted driving – Activities like texting, scrolling social media, eating, or using a GPS device can take a driver’s attention away from the road.
- Driving under the influence – Consuming alcohol or drugs impairs any driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. This is particularly concerning for those operating large, heavy commercial vehicles.
- Inadequate training or experience – Inexperienced or poorly trained operators might not know how handle large vehicles in various driving situations.
- Improper loading or cargo securement – Overloaded or improperly secured cargo can cause trucks to become unstable or difficult to control. Cargo could also fall from the vehicle and onto other vehicles or the roadway, causing dangerous or deadly crashes.
- Equipment failure or poor maintenance – Failure to maintain a truck’s many complex parts or systems can lead to accidents caused by mechanical issues.
- Speeding and other traffic violations – Failure to obey traffic laws and regulations can create dangerous situations that could lead to devastating accidents.
Most Common Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Truck accidents could cause severe, catastrophic, or fatal injuries, and it is the occupants in the smaller vehicle who usually suffer the consequences. These include:
- Traumatic brain injuries – A sudden impact or jolt to the head can damage the brain. If an object penetrates the skull, the victim could also suffer severe and potentially life-altering injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis – An injury to the spinal cord, which sends signals from the brain to the rest of the body, could lead to partial or total paralysis and other neurological problems.
- Broken bones and fractures – The sheer force of a truck accident can break or fracture bones, requiring extensive treatment and rehabilitation.
- Internal injuries – Damage to internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, or liver, can occur due to blunt force trauma.
- Lacerations and burns – Cuts, lacerations, and burns can result from contact with broken glass, metal, or fire during a truck accident.
- Whiplash and soft tissue injuries – The sudden head and neck movement from a collision can cause strains, sprains, or other soft tissue injuries.
- Wrongful death – In the most tragic cases, truck accidents can lead to the untimely death of a loved one. When this happens, the surviving family members could be eligible to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses and the loss of financial and emotional support.
State and Federal Trucking Laws
Truck drivers and trucking companies must adhere to various state and federal laws designed to ensure safety on the road.
Illinois State Trucking Laws
- Licensing requirements (625 ILCS 5/6-500) – Truck drivers must obtain a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large vehicles.
- Weight and size restrictions (625 ILCS 5/15-100) – Regulations govern the maximum weight, length, and width of trucks on Illinois roads.
- Inspection and maintenance requirements (625 ILCS 5/13-101) – Trucks must undergo regular inspections and maintenance to ensure they are safe to operate.
Federal Trucking Laws
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations – The FMCSA enforces various rules and regulations to promote the safety of commercial motor vehicles.
- Hours of Service rules (49 CFR Part 395) – These regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can work to prevent fatigue-related accidents.
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requirements (49 CFR Part 383) – Federal rules govern the licensing and testing of commercial drivers to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate large vehicles safely.
- Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance requirements (49 CFR Part 396) – These regulations mandate regular inspections and maintenance of commercial motor vehicles to minimize the risk of mechanical failure on the road.
Negligence in Illinois Truck Accident Cases
Understanding negligence is essential when pursuing compensation in a truck accident case. A person or entity is negligent if they fail to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would in similar circumstances, leading to injury or harm to others.
Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine (735 ILCS 5/2-1116), which means that an injured party’s recovery may be reduced by the percentage of fault they share for the collision. If, for example, you are the injured party and are found to be more than 50% at fault for the crash, you will be barred from recovering any damages. If you were found to be 20% at fault and the other party was 80% at fault, your recovery would ultimately be reduced by 20% of the total amount awarded.
Vicarious Liability in Truck Accidents
Vicarious liability in truck accidents is often based on the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” which means “let the master answer.” Under this doctrine, an employer can be held responsible for the actions of its employee if:
- The employee acted within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred.
- The employee’s actions were in the employer’s interests.
For a trucking company to be held vicariously liable for an injury accident, the truck driver must have been an employee (not an independent contractor) and performed job-related tasks at the time of the accident.
For truck accident victims, vicarious liability can be beneficial since it allows them to pursue compensation from the individual truck driver and the trucking company that employs the driver. Trucking companies typically carry larger insurance policies than individual drivers with regular auto insurance policies, which can increase the likelihood of obtaining adequate compensation for your injuries and damages.
What Steps Should I Take After a Truck Accident in Lincoln, IL?
If you’ve been injured in a truck crash in Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois, take the following actions right away to protect your rights and legal options:
- Get to safety and seek medical attention – If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location and call for emergency medical assistance. If you aren’t transported to the hospital right away by EMS, make sure to go to a doctor as soon as possible after the crash to make sure any delayed injuries are diagnosed and treated.
- Gather evidence and information – Document the scene by taking pictures and video, getting contact information from witnesses, and obtaining the truck driver’s information.
- Report the accident – Notify the police and your insurance company about the accident immediately.
- Contact an experienced truck accident attorney – Call the Noll Law Office right away to speak with an experienced Lincoln truck accident attorney about your crash. Your lawyer can immediately launch an investigation and seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Semi-Truck Accident Injury Claims Process
The Noll Law Office attorneys handle truck accident cases with a thorough and strategic approach, seeking maximum compensation for their clients through the following.
- A thorough investigation of the truck accident – An attorney from the Noll Law Office will examine all aspects of the accident to determine who is responsible and hold any and all liable parties accountable for their actions.
- Calculating damages – Your lawyer will assess the full extent of your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
- Hiring experts if necessary – In some cases, crash reconstruction, medical, and financial experts may be enlisted to help build a strong case.
- Filing a claim and demanding compensation – Your lawyer will file an injury claim on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company to obtain fair compensation.
- Fighting for what is right– If a fair settlement cannot be reached, the Noll Law Office will aggressively advocate for your interests by filing a lawsuit and proceeding to trial, if necessary.
- Aggressive advocacy from start to finish – The Noll Law Office is committed to representing your best interests throughout the process.
Determining Fault in Lincoln, IL Semi-Truck Accidents
Identifying the liable parties in a truck accident is crucial for pursuing compensation. In truck accidents, multiple parties may be at fault, including –
- Truck driver – If the driver’s recklessness, carelessness, impairment, distraction, or another factor led to the accident, they might be held responsible.
- Trucking company – The company could be liable if they hired an untrained driver, failed to conduct a thorough background check, or allowed the driver to exceed allowable hours.
- Loading company – If the accident was caused by shifting or falling cargo, the company responsible for loading the truck might be partially liable.
- Maintenance company – In cases where poor truck maintenance—such as tires or brakes—caused the accident, a third-party maintenance company may share the blame.
- Manufacturer – If a defective truck part or system contributed to the accident, your attorney might file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
A comprehensive investigation of your trucking accident is essential to determine the liable parties and build a strong case.
Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Victims of truck accidents may be entitled to various types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses – Compensation for past and future medical treatment, rehabilitation, and any necessary assistive devices.
- Lost wages and future earning capacity – Recovery of income lost due to the accident and any future income loss caused by the victim’s injuries.
- Pain and suffering – This includes compensation for the physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident.
- Property damage – This includes money for repairs or replacement of your vehicle or other personal property damaged or destroyed in the crash.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Lawsuits In Illinois
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the accident date (735 ILCS 5/13-202). Victims who fail to file a lawsuit within this time frame may lose their right to seek compensation. In cases of wrongful death, the statute of limitations is also (generally) two years from the date of the victim’s death (740 ILCS 180/2). It is crucial to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss critical deadlines.
Why Choose the Noll Law Office?
When dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident in Lincoln, Illinois, it’s essential to have a dedicated and experienced legal team on your side. Daniel Noll and Sarah Noll personally handle each case, ensuring their clients receive the care and attention they deserve. The attorneys have dedicated their practice to helping victims and their families who have been seriously injured due to the reckless and dangerous conduct of others. They have extensive experience at the negotiating table and in the courtroom, which matters when it comes to seeking the full and fair compensation their clients deserve.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, contact the Noll Law Office at (217) 414-8889 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your crash, injuries, and how the lawyers could help you get justice.