If you or a family member has been involved in an accident due to the failure of a truck driver to maintain a safe stopping distance, a skilled Wheaton and Schaumburg truck accident lawyer can help you protect your legal rights. At Therman Law Offices, we believe that careless truck drivers should be held accountable for the wrecks that they cause. Truck accident cases can be incredibly complicated, so it is important to work with an attorney who understands the unique challenges these claims pose, as well as the rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry.Stopping Distance
Stopping distance refers to the distance traveled between when the driver hits the brakes and the vehicle actually stops. Since commercial trucks are so large, they require more stopping distance than the average vehicle. In fact, as a truck gains speed and momentum, it gets increasingly difficult to stop, and accidents are more likely to happen if trucks follow too close or are cut off by a driver. This is why is it imperative for truck drivers to maintain a safe stopping distance. Other factors such as weather, speed, tire conditions, the weight of the truck, driver fatigue, and mechanical failure can also impact a truck’s stopping distance.Liability in Truck Accident Cases
Illinois law allows victims of truck accidents to hold at-fault parties accountable for the losses they suffer. If a truck driver causes an accident by failing to maintain a safe distance between the truck and the vehicles in front of it, that truck driver may be liable for the resulting harm under the legal theory of negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care while driving, thereby causing an accident and damages. In other words, negligence takes place when a driver causes a crash by failing to use the same precautions that a prudent driver would have used under the same or similar circumstances.
To demonstrate negligence, the plaintiff is required to establish the following elements: duty, breach, causation and damages.
- Duty: All commercial truck drivers have a duty to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. This includes following the rules and regulations of the trucking industry as well as the rules of the road.
- Breach: When a truck driver engages in unsafe behavior, such as failing to follow the plaintiff at a safe stopping distance, that would likely be considered evidence of a breach of the duty of care.
- Causation: If the driver’s failure to maintain a safe stopping distance was the direct cause of the truck rear-ending the plaintiff’s vehicle, for example, the third element would likely be established.
- Damages: For this last element, the plaintiff must show that he or she suffered compensable harm as a result of the truck accident.
Truck accidents can lead to lifelong injuries, and all too often, death. Under Illinois law, victims of truck accidents can recover a variety of damages. ‘Damages’ is the legal term for compensation in a personal injury case. Typically, a plaintiff will be able to recover present and future medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, future lost wages if the accident victim is unable to return to work or cannot work at the same level, property damage costs, pain and suffering, therapy costs, and more. If the truck accident resulted in the death of a family member, you may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.Wheaton and Schaumburg Lawyers for Truck Accident Victims
Truck accidents can happen in a number of ways, one of which is a truck driver’s failure to maintain a safe stopping distance. If you or someone close to you has been injured in this type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation. At Therman Law Offices, our highly skilled attorneys are ready to discuss the details of your case with you, and determine how we can hold the responsible parties accountable. We proudly represent clients from Wheaton and Schaumburg, as well as Westmont, Oakbrook Clarendon Hills, Terrace, Lisle, Darien, Downers Grove, and Bolingbrook. For skilled representation in your truck accident case, please call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.