According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 200 people lost their lives on Iowa and Illinois roadways in accidents involving large trucks in 2019. That number represents about 20.5% and 14.2% of all traffic fatalities in each state, respectively. And that’s not to mention the hundreds more people injured in these accidents every year.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a semi-truck accident in the Quad Cities, you could be entitled to significant compensation from the responsible parties. Learn more about your legal options from a semi-truck accident lawyer at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham.
What Are My Rights After a Semi-Truck Accident?
If you were in an accident that involved a semi-truck, whether as a driver, passenger, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or bicyclist, you have rights. When an accident is caused by another person or company’s negligence, injured victims have the right to pursue financial compensation for their injuries, damage to their vehicle, and associated damages.
Types of compensation you may be eligible to include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and in cases of wrongful death, end of life care and funeral costs.
Similar to car accidents, obtaining compensation for a semi-truck accident usually starts with the driver responsible for the accident’s insurance company. However, because most semi-trucks are commercial vehicles, other entities may be involved as well.
Who Can Be Held Responsible After a Semi-Truck Accident?
In some cases, more than one person or organization may be held legally responsible after a semi-truck accident in one of the Quad Cities. An experienced semi-truck accident lawyer can help you investigate all possibly liable parties.
Truck drivers are subject to more stringent requirements while driving than the average motorist. For example, while the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in both Illinois and Iowa is 0.08%, truck drivers may not operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of more than 0.04%.
Semi-truck drivers must also obey lower speed limits on rural interstates and certain urban roads. If a semi-truck driver was speeding, driving under the influence, or otherwise breaking a traffic law leading up to the crash, they may be held responsible for the accident.
Commercial Trucking Companies
As an employer and owner of the truck, commercial trucking companies may also be held responsible for trucking accidents. In cases where a semi-truck driver caused a collision due to fatigued driving, it may come to light that the trucking company either encouraged drivers to drive through mandated breaks or looked the other way in order to fulfill more orders.
In such a case, both parties could be found liable. Trucking companies are also responsible for the safety and maintenance of their vehicles. If poor maintenance led to or contributed to the accident, they could be on the hook for damages.
The best maintenance practices may not be enough to prevent a serious accident due to a mechanical defect in one of the semi-truck’s parts. Faulty brakes, for example, may be traced back to the truck’s original manufacturer and the company could be held liable.
Distributors, Shippers, or Cargo Loaders
An improperly loaded semi-truck can be incredibly dangerous and possibly cause the semi to tip over. Alternatively, an accident caused by loose cargo falling out of or from the back of a moving commercial truck can cause serious injuries. As such, distribution and shipping companies may also be held liable for any resulting injuries or deaths.
Do I Need an Attorney to Litigate My Truck Accident Case?
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are almost always complex. Not only do they usually result in much more serious injuries, but they also involve trucking companies and their often-formidable insurance carriers. Going up against these insurance companies on your own is not recommended. If there is any doubt as to who caused the accident, the trucking company and their insurance provider will fight tooth and nail to deny your claim.
Even in cases where fault is already established, there’s a good chance that the insurance company will try to take advantage of your vulnerability by offering you a settlement that is far from fair or adequate.
There are many ways that a personal injury attorney can bolster your truck accident claim and make the process much less stressful for you and your family. Here are some ways a Quad Cities semi-truck accident lawyer assists clients located in southeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois:
- Explains your rights and provides legal advice
- Gathers crucial evidence regarding the accident, including police reports, traffic camera footage, witness statements, etc.
- Conducts a professional investigation of parties that may be held liable, often with the help of a team of professionals such as accident reconstruction experts.
- Gathers and assembles all pertinent documents for your case, including medical records, hospital bills, professional vehicle damage assessments, etc.
- Represents you in court and serves as an official point of contact between you and other people/parties involved in your case
- Keeps you informed every step of the way as to how your case is progressing, what to expect, and how to maximize your settlement
Why Choose Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham?
For more than 50 years, Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham have been representing clients throughout Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Whiteside, and Knox counties in Illinois and Scott, Clinton, Muscatine, Jackson, and Cedar counties in Iowa. With more than 120 years combined experience, our attorneys are committed to helping victims get the compensation they deserve after an accident.
Call us at (309) 794-1515 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with a Quad Cities semi-truck accident lawyer. We’ll carefully review the details of your case and explain all your legal options at no charge, and with no obligation to hire us. Should you decide to use our services, you won’t pay us any fees unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf.
Our legal team is also available for home and hospital visits, in addition to evening and weekend appointments. Contact us today!