I am sure we’ve all had a frightening experience with a semi-truck: whether it’s looking up in your rear-view mirror to see a semi-truck’s grill feet away from your bumper; dodging falling rocks from a semi-trailer; or trying to pass a swerving semi on a narrow road.
Recently, I was run off the highway when a semi failed to check his blind spots and entered the lane I was in. Thankfully, I did not have my children in the car, and there was enough room on the shoulder to avoid being crushed by the semi.
Unfortunately, truck accidents are surprisingly common in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation released a 2015 crash facts report showing that semi-truck crashes accounted for:
- 11,769 crashes in Illinois in 2015. 80 involved a fatality; 1,914 involved injuries; and 9,775 damaged property.
- More crashes were on urban than rural roads. Interstates and city streets accounted for almost three times as many injuries crashes as state routes – except on the rural roads, where unmarked state routes accounted for the majority of those accidents.
- 7 truckers were killed. 83 other vehicle occupants, bicyclists, and pedestrians were killed by comparison. Truckers had 546 reported injuries – everyone else had 2,105.
A 2014 IDOT study reported that a crash involving a semi-truck was 33% more likely to result in incapacitating injury to the victims involved. In fact, nearly 20% of all semi-truck accidents result in incapacitating injuries. Bad news for the occupants of the other vehicle.
Importance of Hiring an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Generally, semi-trucks are owned by large corporations. These corporations have the financial resources to have a team of lawyers and experts ready to work on your accident case immediately. Many of these corporations and their insurance companies will deploy adjusters and investigators to arrive on scene and collect evidence within hours of the accident. These investigators and adjusters are working to discredit your testimony and devalue your claim. This is why you need an experienced truck accident attorney to help you maximize your recovery.
If you are involved in an accident involving a semi-truck, your first order of business should be to ensure that you and your family are safe and that everyone receives the medical attention they need. Next, it is extremely important to consult with a truck accident attorney immediately so that you have an expert on your side. In the meantime, if you are on scene, begin to collect evidence yourself.
- Call the police. The police are important for two reasons. One, they are going to help collect and preserve valuable evidence. Two, they will write a report that will likely be favorable to you – the police don’t like semi-trucks either!
- Take pictures! Begin by taking wide angle shots and then take very focused pictures of the scene and damage caused, i.e. skid marks, signage, property damage, debris from the accident.
- Obtain witness information. Be sure to get the contact information of all witnesses.
- Do not give a statement to the semi-truck driver’s insurance company or the adjuster who arrives on scene. It is ok to give your version of the events to the police, but DO NOT speak to the semi-truck’s insurance adjuster. They are trained to ask questions and obtain information that will limit your recovery – they are skilled experts.
- Obtain medical treatment. Even if you do not think you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. If you don’t, and a problem manifests itself several days or weeks later as a result of the accident, the semi-truck’s insurance company will use your delay in seeking treatment against you to limit your recovery.
If you or a loved one was involved in a semi-truck accident, call an experienced truck accident lawyer at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for a FREE CONSULTATION at 618.641.9189 | 314.312.2930 | firstname.lastname@example.org. Most times, one of our lawyers or office personnel will be available to come to the scene of the accident to protect your rights and begin building against the semi-truck driver immediately. One of our attorneys can be reached after hours at either 618.604.5952 or 618.406.3165.