Truck accidents, especially in populated areas like Orland Park, can be devastating due to their size, weight, and often carrying harmful materials. With all of these conditions, they frequently result in serious injuries.
Like any serious injury due to a vehicle accident, it’s crucial to have experienced support in such high-risk situations. Michael J. Brennan Injury & Accident Lawyer understands how to approach truck accident claims. We can handle the legal aspects of the process, allowing you to focus on recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.
What is the Legal Process in a Typical Orland Park Truck Accident
A truck accident brings about several different challenges for you, especially if you’re hurt. The good news, at least in terms of your options, is that Illinois law is on your side. You have the legal right to file an injury claim for damages. With that said, there are several key pieces of information you need for the legal process. Usually, the starting point is determining liability, which can be difficult in a truck accident.
Every truck accident is different, and determining liability is going to depend on the cause and circumstances that went into the accident. While they’re usually more severe, truck accidents are ultimately viewed like any other vehicle accident in Illinois, in that liability is going to be determined by whoever acted negligently and caused the accident and your injuries. In a truck accident, typical liable parties include:
- The truck driver
- The truck driver’s employer
- The truck manufacturer
- The company responsible for truck maintenance
- The company that loaded the truck’s cargo
- The owner or lessor of the truck
- The manufacturer of specific truck parts in cases of equipment failure
Again, the specifics of the accident dictate liability. Negligence on the part of the truck driver, such as speeding or driving under the influence, could place responsibility on them or their employer. Conversely, factors like a tire blowout or improper loading might shift responsibility to the part manufacturer or cargo-loading company.
Filing a claim and damages
Once you are able to establish liability, pursuing support and benefits through an injury claim becomes crucial. This can be accomplished through either:
- An insurance claim
- A personal injury lawsuit
The claim process aims to secure financial support, termed “damages.” Depending on the accident’s specifics, these damages may cover:
- Medical bills and expenses – These damages cover expenses for doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and related medical costs.
- Ongoing treatment and therapy expenses – These are for ongoing care and rehabilitation, which may include physical therapy, chiropractic care, occupational therapy, counseling, or other necessary treatments.
- Lost income – This is a big one in truck accidents. Lost wages damages cover income lost due to injuries preventing work, including wages or salary during the recovery period.
- Emotional distress – Because they’re so traumatic, these damages address emotional pain and suffering, spanning a range of negative emotions affecting well-being, such as sadness, grief, humiliation, or anguish that was caused by the truck accident.
The damages awarded depend on the extent of your medical bills and the emotional impact of the accident. Given the significant nature of damages in many truck accidents, it’s important to keep in mind the two-year time limit (statute of limitations) to file a claim in Illinois. Missing this deadline could mean you lose the opportunity to seek the damages needed to aid in your recovery.
What Evidence Do You Need in an Orland Park Truck Accident Claim?
Given that your potential recovery in a truck accident claim is going to depend on the extent of your damages, it becomes readily apparent that you’ll need to present the best case possible. In order to do that, you’re going to need compelling evidence. So, depending on the specifics, here’s some of the usual evidence that’s used in a truck accident claim in Orland Park:
- Photographs and videos – Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including damages to vehicles, road conditions, and any relevant signage. Visual evidence can be compelling in demonstrating the severity of the collision.
- Driver information – Gather contact and insurance information from the truck driver involved in the accident. This includes their name, license number, insurance details, and employer information if applicable.
- Medical records – If you sustained injuries, keep detailed records of your medical treatment. This includes medical bills, prescriptions, and any documentation from your doctors.
- Truck inspection or maintenance records – If there are concerns about the truck’s maintenance contributing to the accident, obtaining records of the truck’s maintenance and inspection history can be crucial.
- Black box data – Commercial trucks often have electronic control modules (ECMs) or “black boxes” that record important data about the vehicle’s performance. This data can include speed, brake usage, and other details that may be relevant to the accident.
- Accident reports – Obtain the official report from the accident. This document typically includes important details about the incident, statements from involved parties, and the police officer’s assessment of the scene.
- Witness statements – Gather statements from anyone who witnessed the accident. Their statements can offer supplementary viewpoints and bolster the strength of your case.
- Cell phone records – If distracted driving is suspected, obtaining cell phone records for the truck driver may provide evidence of phone use at the time of the accident.
- Expert opinions – In some cases, consulting with accident reconstruction experts or other relevant professionals can help in providing expert opinions regarding the cause and specifics of the accident.
How Our Team Can Help
Trying to gather all this evidence on your own can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’re hurt. It’s not required by law to work with our experienced legal team, but we can definitely help you cause. Aside from helping you collect and present the above evidence, we can help in other ways:
- Legal assistance – Our team is experienced in dealing with truck accidents and possesses a comprehensive understanding of Illinois’ truck-related laws. We’re dedicated to clarifying your rights and exploring the available legal avenues on your behalf.
- Accident investigation – Leveraging our experience and resources, we conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. This involves compiling evidence, interviewing witnesses, and reconstructing the accident scene to determine liability.
- Managing communications – Our team assumes responsibility for talking with insurance companies, other involved parties, and their legal representatives on your behalf. This makes sure of the protection of your rights and prevents inadvertently making statements that could harm your case.
- Expert negotiations – In navigating insurance claims or potential settlements, our experienced team excels in negotiations with insurance companies. Our goal is to secure a fair result that will fully cover medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Obviously, the weight of trying to deal with a truck accident claim and any health complications and emotional damage can be a lot for you on your own. That’s why our team takes pride in our approach. We’re happy to ease the burden on you and your family, making sure you get the treatment you deserve after a truck accident.
Guidance After an Orland Park Truck Accident from Michael J. Brennan Injury & Accident Lawyer
Experiencing a truck accident in Orland Park can be an overwhelming and isolating situation. Beyond the potential for serious injuries, you might be confronting various outcomes for your recovery. At the very least, you’re likely contending with substantial medical bills and expenses, impacting your ability to enjoy life as you once did.
All these elements play a role in determining your potential legal options, and Michael J. Brennan Injury & Accident Lawyer is here to assist you. Our truck accident lawyer and team has the expertise to guide you through these challenging accidents, making sure you receive the necessary treatment and support in accordance with Illinois law. Don’t hesitate to seek our help–contact us today for a free consultation.