Trucking Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Southern Illinois and the Metro East
“Each day drivers are injured on I-55, I-270, I-255, I-64, I-40, and I-44 by semi-truck drivers not paying attention to the roadway ahead of them. While it is the driver's responsibility to pay attention, the semi-truck company must hire responsible drivers. Showing the negligence of the trucking company is equally important. It is my job to make sure we have evidence against both the driver and company.” –Josh Evans
Why consider The Unsell Law Firm for trucking accident injuries?
Our partner, Josh Evans, comes from a family-run trucking business in Illinois. He is familiar with federal, state, and local requirements for truck drivers. Through his experiences with his family's business, he is able to determine equipment failures and logbook frauds which are crucial in finding fault against the trucking company who caused you injury.
“Good truckers know how dangerous the job is. They don't cause wrecks that can be avoided. Greedy trucking companies who overwork and underpay their drivers cause wrecks that take human life”- Josh Evans.
I was hit by a semi-truck and the driver took off or didn't stop. What do I do?
Occasionally, a truck driver will flee the scene of an injury because his or her truck is still operational. While police may be able to find the driver, often times, the police are too busy to secure surveillance video of nearby truck stops or gas stations. Other times, the trucker crosses state lines or other jurisdictional boundaries where police officers investigating the accident do not have jurisdiction.
In our personal injury practice, we will attempt to secure surveillance footage from surrounding gas stations and other businesses. Those cameras may have surveillance footage to get the license plate from the trailer or the truck itself. In some instances, other witnesses may observe the color or what's known as the commercial carrier number on the side of the truck. Securing any of these numbers will identify, and once the owner of the truck is identified, you will be able to secure the driver.
In addition to securing identifying carrier numbers of the semi truck, the color of the truck is often a giveaway. Contrary to popular belief most truck drivers are local or regional-not over the road. Simply identifying the color pattern on the truck can help us identify the company responsible.
Why does the truck driver have an investigator? What do I do?
Large trucking companies are sometimes self-insured. This means the trucking company will have its own investigators ready to respond to the scene to gather evidence favorable for the trucking company. Trucking companies know the damage a semi truck collision can cause, and because of that, the trucking company will want to protect and gather any evidence which tends to show you, as opposed to its driver, caused the wreck. The sooner you are able secure a law firm to protect your evidence and your interest the greater your opportunity for recovery becomes.
You certainly want to speak to any law enforcement officer asking questions at the scene of the collision. However, you are under no obligation to speak to the trucking company's investigator. In fact, you are doing yourself a disservice by communicating with the trucking company's investigator. This person has one job: minimize the exposure for the trucking company. If this person can show either through your words or the evidence at the scene that you stopped too quickly, entered into the lane of the trucking company's driver, or otherwise contributed to the collision, the trucking company will use this against you.
If the trucking company is not self-insured, the third party insurance company will likely have an investigator who quickly responds to the scene. Even though this is a third party insurance company and not the trucking company, the investigator will still be gathering information for the trucking company. That is because this third party insurance company will have to pay for damages caused by the trucking company's driver. So be cautious with the insurance company's investigator. Better yet, don't speak to them.
What information should I gather after a semi-truck crash?
For a general understanding of the injury process, visit this page.
You certainly want to gather all the information about the driver of the semi truck that you can. It is understandable if you cannot get that information at the scene because you're being treated for your injuries. However, you'll want to get this information as soon as possible. In addition to securing the information about the driver, you will want any information about the owner of the truck. This may be employer of the truck driver or it could be a third party that releases the truck to the truck driver. Often times, this information is available in a police report. Other times, the police officers inadvertently leave out pertinent information. In either event, you don't want to wait for the police report and realize an important piece of information is missing.
Once all the information about the driver and truck are secured, you will want to secure any and all information about the collision. This will include the names and phone numbers of any people who may have witnessed the wreck. Photographs of the scene are very important, and you should do your best to secure as many photographs as possible.
Often times, your family will be the ones who respond to the scene and take photographs. The photographs will show damage to the vehicles, but the physical layout of the scene is overlooked. What I mean by physical layout? You want to show the physical layout of the scene including the vehicles position in relation to one another, the presence or absence of any skid marks, and the distance any debris from the vehicles had traveled.
You have to show the trucker is negligent. What information will show the trucker is negligent?
If you were rear-ended by a truck driver, the negligence is usually obvious. Other times, it is more difficult to determine who bears the fault. That is where our law firm can assist. Our law firm can help you investigate and determine whether the driver violated any of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act guidelines, possessed an overweight load, was fatigued at the time of the collision, improperly maintained his truck or trailer, or possessed defective equipment.
“Madison County and Southern Illinois Semi-truck collisions cause many injuries and deaths each year. I take pride in having inside knowledge from the truck driver's perspective. I use that inside knowledge to help our clients injured by commercial vehicles recover”- Josh Evans.