Big rigs, including tractor-trailers, tankers, 18-wheelers and semis, can weigh up to 30 times as much as an average passenger vehicle. That gives you enough reason to feel threatened when you have to share the Illinois highways with them. Trucks are also typically taller, and the height of their ground clearance could allow under riding of smaller vehicles in rear-end or side-impact crashes.
Truckers who do not maintain safe following distances can cause serious accidents because their vehicles need a lot more space than cars to come to a halt. They need even more space in adverse weather conditions when roadways are wet and slippery. You should also keep that in mind and avoid joining highway traffic ahead of a big rig.
Common causes of truck accidents
Due to the sheer size and weight of large trucks, even the most insignificant driver errors can lead to deadly wrecks. However, the following causes of big rig accidents will show that other parties, along with truck operators, could be responsible for accidents.
Although most commercial vehicle drivers are responsible and take care to drive safely, it is not always the case. If you suffered injuries in an accident that involved a large truck, it might have resulted from one of the following driver errors:
- The trucker failed to follow road safety regulations.
- The trucker failed to ensure the cargo load is balanced and secure.
- The trucker exceeded allowed driving hours and became fatigued. This can happen due to unrealistic deadlines or financial need or greed.
- The trucker did not receive the necessary specialized training and obtain the commercial truck driver's license.
While these transgressions can indicate a driver's negligence, there might be other parties responsible for the crash that caused your injuries.
Each large truck has multiple parts that move and operate simultaneously. Failure or malfunctions can cause catastrophic accidents, regardless of the driver's driving skills. You may have reason to hold any of the following entities responsible for the crash:
- The manufacturer can be liable for defective equipment.
- The installer of a defective part might have played a role.
- The mechanic that repaired the truck could also be responsible.
- The company that refurbished the part can be to blame.
- The seller of the defective part also played a role in the ultimate catastrophe.
Based on the facts of the case, you may name any of these entities as defendants if you choose to file a civil lawsuit.
The trucking company's policies
If the employer, the trucking company or the logistics company fail to prioritize safety over profits, the following can threaten your safety as a car driver or passenger:
- Unrealistic expectations imposed on the truck driver could cause him or her to violate the hour-limit laws imposed on commercial drivers.
- The deadlines set by some employers can cause a driver who is paid per mile to rush and spend too many hours driving without the mandated rest.
These are but some of the issues that can play roles in your pursuit for financial recovery of economic and noneconomic damages after a car vs. truck accident. However, this is a complicated field of the law, and it makes sense to utilize the services of a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience in dealing with the Illinois civil justice system. Legal counsel can provide the necessary support and guidance with every step along the way.