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Belleville Truck Accident Lawyer

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Anyone who has been on a major roadway has seen many semi-trucks and has likely driven alongside these massive commercial vehicles. The size difference between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle is substantial, as is the weight difference — as is the damage these vehicles can cause in a motor vehicle accident.

Fortunately, truck drivers are required to have additional licensing and certifications, starting with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in addition to a range of different specific requirements depending on the type and size of a vehicle and the type of cargo the truck driver is legally allowed to haul. Most truck drivers are highly reliable, responsible, and experienced, but no driver is ever guaranteed not to cause an accident for any number of reasons.

Getting into an accident with a semi-truck in Belleville, IL can be a lot more damaging than car accidents between passenger vehicles simply due to the disproportionate size difference between the vehicles, even at low speeds.

This is one reason why truck drivers have commercial insurance policies with limits that often exceed $1 million. However, a high policy limit is not enough to ensure truck accident victims get the money they rightfully deserve.

For this, they will typically need to partner with an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer who is prepared to fight for the money their client rightfully deserves.

Contact Hipskind & McAninch, LLC To Request a Free Consultation Today

Working with a team of proven semi-truck accident lawyers is one of the most critical decisions a victim can make before filing a truck accident claim. A Belleville, IL semi-truck crash is a complicated situation, and the legal processes surrounding it can quickly overwhelm an inexperienced claimant — especially if they are suffering from serious injuries. Insurance companies understand this fact and use it to their advantage by overwhelming the victim and convincing them to accept a payment far less than what they truly deserve.

Our firm offers a free consultation with a Belleville truck accident lawyer, where a victim and their loved ones can speak directly with an experienced attorney about the specifics of the semi-truck accident, such as the cause, the injuries sustained, and the impact it has since had on their lives.

In addition, the victim will have the opportunity to get specific advice from our semi-truck accident lawyers about how best to move forward with their case, as well as examples from other similar cases that we have represented.

While a free consultation is never long enough to get to the bottom of a case, taking this time to learn about how an experienced professional can help you move forward from this unfortunate and disruptive situation will allow you to look towards the future with confidence.

Read more below to get a better sense of how a Belleville, IL personal injury lawyer can help you get the money you deserve, and contact us as soon as possible.

Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents

The following is a shortlist of common causes of trucking accidents, but there are countless ways that someone can be involved in a crash with a commercial truck or other commercial vehicles. Whether or not you see the cause of your crash listed below, contact us as soon as possible to connect with our team of Belleville truck accident lawyers today.

Fatigued Truck Drivers

Driver fatigue is a significant factor in many trucking accidents, as truck drivers are on the road for long hours throughout the week. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict guidelines for the amount of time a truck driver can operate their commercial vehicle in any given range of time, but even so, most accidents involving driver fatigue fall under these limits. Regardless of whether or not these hours have been exceeded, fatigue is even more disruptive than alcohol in some cases.

Speed

Ignoring the speed limits on the road can increase the risk of a collision in both passenger and large vehicles, and the reality is that a massive, heavy semi-truck will have an even harder time reaching a complete stop than a ¼ ton car. When a commercial truck driver speeds, they lose control over the vehicle and will require a much further distance to brake, often leading to rear-end collisions and even rollover accidents as the driver of a large truck swerves to avoid hitting another vehicle.

If you were hurt in a trucking accident caused by excess speed, contact our Belleville, IL law firm as soon as possible to connect with Belleville truck accident attorneys and start building a solid case today.

Distracted Driving

Many personal injury cases stemming from driving accidents, whether involving a semi-truck, motorcycle, or passenger vehicle, are caused by distracted driving. When a driver takes their eyes off the road (visual distraction), their hands off the wheel (manual distraction), or their mind off of the task of driving (cognitive distraction), they miss important information such as changes to traffic patterns, unexpected obstacles or hazards, vehicles changing lanes, and more.

In most semi-truck accidents caused by distracted driving, people assume that a smartphone was involved, but there are countless other distractions such as eating while driving, using a GPS or radio, and even talking on the phone.

Mechanical Failure

Whether the trucker is an owner-operator or works for a trucking company, there will be different possible agreements for things like vehicle maintenance and upkeep.

If you were involved in a trucking accident caused by a mechanical failure like faulty brakes, a tire blowout, or even a trailer separation, your truck accident lawyers will first need to determine who was explicitly responsible for ensuring that the vehicle was safe to operate.

Once fault is established, we will file a personal injury claim against the appropriate insurance company and fight to recover the compensation you are owed. A tractor-trailer is subject to ongoing wear and tear and must be maintained properly to ensure that these large trucks continue to function safely.

Improperly Loaded Cargo

Trucking companies may be in charge of the entire shipping process, from loading to delivery, or may be responsible for transporting pre-packaged trailers for other logistics companies. If you are involved in a truck accident caused by shifting cargo or some other loading issue, your truck accident lawyer in Belleville will first need to determine who was responsible for securing the cargo, who was responsible for signing off on the job and more.

Fatality Involvement

Semi-trucks were involved in 123 fatal accidents in Illinois in 2020.
Source: https://apps.dot.illinois.gov/FatalCrash/historicsnapshot.html

Seeking Compensation After Truck Accidents

Filing an insurance claim is a simple process, but it is quickly complicated when a claimant refuses the insurer’s initial offer and instead fights for the money they deserve. Insurance companies profit by collecting more in premiums than what they pay out in claims, and each claim is approached with the goal of settling for as little as possible.

When working with the Belleville, IL truck accident attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, you can be confident that we will take the time necessary to compile all of your damages before moving forward with aggressive negotiations intended to reach a fair settlement. If we cannot reach a settlement agreement that adequately compensates you, our next step will be to file a lawsuit with the Illinois courts.

Personal injuries entitle a Belleville, IL victim to compensatory damages that are meant to, as the name implies, compensate the victim for the losses and costs they have suffered as a result of their tractor-trailer accident.

These damages are divided into two parts: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the basis of a personal injury claim and include all impacts associated with measurable dollar values. The most common economic damages include lost wages and all other impacts to a victim’s earnings and their current medical bills and any future costs of additional medical treatment.

There are countless additional economic damages, such as services a victim is required to pay for that they are unable to perform on their own, including driving (to and from medical appointments, to the grocery store, etc.), cooking, cleaning, and more.

Economic damages seek repayment for the exact losses, meaning that there are no multipliers. Damages such as medical expenses are sought as 1 to 1 compensation. As you will see in the next section, it is essential to include every economic damage, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to ensure that you are fairly compensated.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages are much more complicated to calculate than something as straightforward as current medical bills, as they apply to impacts that do not have set or measurable dollar values. Non-economic damages include things like the actual pain and suffering a victim experiences due to their injuries, as well as the myriad emotional and psychological impacts that result from accidents with tractor-trailers in Belleville, IL.

As you can imagine, trying to assign a dollar value for these damages after an accident is complex, and trying to defend these calculations during settlement negotiations is highly contentious.

There are several methods that an accident lawyer in Belleville will use to calculate these types of damages, including the multiplier method and the per diem method. Each accounts for different factors when determining how to net the most money for a client.

Multiplier Method For Non-Economic Damages

The multiplier method assigns a numerical value along a scale from 1.5 to 5 that shows the extent of these damages and then applies that number to the total economic damages, meaning that each $1 accounted for in your economic damages may correspond to additional compensation anywhere between $1.50 and $5.

Per Diem Method For Non-Economic Damages

The per diem method assigns a daily rate that the victim is owed and then multiplies it by the number of days until they are fully recovered.

Punitive Damages After a Trucking Accident in Southern Illinois

Punitive damages are entirely separate from compensatory damages and are only awarded by a judge or jury at the end of a trial. These damages are intended to punish the at-fault party, not repay the victim, for actions that are deemed particularly egregious. If we file a lawsuit after your accident, we may decide to do so because we believe you are entitled to these additional damages. Still, they are rare and are never included in settlement negotiations.

Contact Our Firm Today

The sooner you contact our southern Illinois law firm about your accident. Whether it took place in Madison County, Monroe County, or elsewhere, we will be able to start building a solid case to recover the damages you are rightfully owed.

The sooner we handle the claims process for your truck accident, the sooner you can stay focused on your personal and medical needs without the added stress that an accident claim causes.

Schedule your free consultation right away.

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Testimonials
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John Hipskind was amazing! He was reliable, honest, and made me feel confident. John was always there when I had questions and very responsive…

Cori H.
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I can’t say enough good things about John. He truly cares about providing the best possible representation for his clients. I would highly recommend him!

John F.
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Brady did an outstanding job. I didn’t have to do anything or miss any work due to his exceptional service!! I would recommend him to anyone!

Erin H.
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I had a wonderful experience with my attorney Brady. He showed compassion and was always there to answer any of my questions.

Charlotte D.
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Brady helped facilitate my medical appointments, and made sure everything went smoothly. He settled my claim in a relatively short time.

Jeffrey M.
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John Hipskind was always a phone call or text away (we heard back from him within minutes). We are so pleased! You will be happy to have chosen him!

Jess M.