McHenry County Trucking Accidents
Illinois Truck Accident Lawyer David Rechenberg Protects Your Rights
“When Smokey and the Bandit Go Bad”
Many trucking accident cases occur on the Interstate highway system. The Interstate running through McHenry County, Illinois is I-90. The Interstate running through Lake County, Illinois is I-94. When you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a tractor trailer, many issues may arise that are different from your standard automobile accident claim. Big Rigs, Eighteen-Wheelers, Mack Trucks are all common terms used for tractor trailers. These vehicles are very large and can be sixty-five feet long and when empty weigh approximately 33,000 pounds. Without any special permits, legally, the limit for Interstate travel for a tractor trailer is 80,000 pounds. Contrast that with the average weight of a passenger automobile which is only 4,000 pounds.
The stopping distance for a semi-truck and trailer is very long. A fully loaded semi at a speed of fifty-five miles per hour has a stopping distance of one-hundred yards, the length of a football field. Semi-trucks have huge blind spots; a blind spot is where the truck driver cannot see cars behind it. Due to the weight and stopping distance, the American Trucking Association recommends that passenger cars and trucks should maintain a distance of at least four car lengths when maneuvering in front of a semi-tractor trailer. Because of the enormous size and freight that semi-tractor trailers transport, there are numerous guidelines that tractor trailer drivers must adhere to when transporting cargo on the open road.
These rules must be followed when traveling the roadways in Crystal Lake, Algonquin, McHenry and Huntley, Illinois. There are certain rules regarding the maximum driving time per day that truck drivers cannot exceed. Truck drivers are required to keep accurate logbooks as to the time they drive behind the wheel. Those logbooks must document the date, total miles driven in a day, type of vehicle that was driven and various other information. After a serious injury the Illinois truck accident attorney will subpoena that information. A truck driver may not drive more than twelve hours following eight consecutive hours off duty. There are various other requirements that truck drivers must comply with. An experienced Illinois truck accident attorney handling trucking cases will know how to analyze a driver’s logbook to determine if there was a violation, helping to prove the negligence of the driver and the company he works for.
Truck drivers are required to perform a daily inspection to determine that the semi-truck and trailer is in good operating condition, then review and sign the vehicle inspection report. A truck driver shall check the following:
- Windshield Wipers
- Rear View Mirrors
- Emergency Equipment
- Parking Brakes
- Service Breaks, Including Trailer Brake Connections
Failure to engage in the daily inspection, may subject the truck driver or the company who he drives for to liability for the resulting crash, whether it occurs on the Interstate highway system or on Illinois State Highways.
Determining fault of the truck driver in a semi-truck collision can be quite complicated. Not every trucking accident case is a rear-ender, where liability is clear. Various factual factors may impose liability for truck drivers traveling in McHenry and Lake County, Illinois. Some of the common factors that help identify fault in a semi-truck crash case involve the following:
- Improperly Loaded Cargo
- Improper Truck Or Trailer Maintenance
- Bad Or Bald Tires
- Driving In Weather Conditions That A Semi-Tractor Trailer Should Not Be Driving In Like Ice Or Snow
- Driving Too Fast For Conditions
- Driving Too Close To Vehicles In The Area When Changing Lanes
- Driver Fatigue
- Unfamiliarity With The Roadway
- Speeding Or Driving Directly Behind Another Vehicle (Tailgating)
Most semi-tractors carry a data recorder; these are commonly known as black boxes, similar to what is used in airplane crashes. The data recorder gathers all the information regarding the vehicle including speed, breaking speed at impact, what gear the driver was in at impact and various other information which may lead to liability on the part of the driver.
Trucking crash injuries are usually very severe. Common trucking crash injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI), bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal cord injuries and skull fractures. These serious injuries usually require extensive medical treatment including epidural steroid injections, cervical disc surgery, anterior cervical discectomy, lumbar laminectomies and lumbar fusions.
Traumatic brain injuries are life changing events. If you or a loved one was involved in a traffic accident with a semi-tractor trailer, telephone Franks & Rechenberg, P.C. at (847) 854-7700 to get an experienced Illinois truck accident lawyer working on your case. If you were involved in a trucking accident case, then there are many damages that you may be able to recover including the following:
- Past Pain And Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Future Pain And Suffering
- Future Medical Treatment
- Loss Of A Normal Life And/Or Disability
- Lost Wages
- Future Lost Wages
An Illinois truck accident attorney handling cases in Crystal Lake, McHenry, Huntley, Algonquin, McHenry County, Illinois and Lake County, Illinois can help you recover those damages.
If you were injured in a crash involving a semi-tractor trailer, order the free book to learn your rights as an injury crash victim. After you read the free book, please telephone David N. Rechenberg at Franks & Rechenberg, P.C. with any further questions and to schedule a consultation with an Illinois truck accident lawyer to review your trucking accident claim.