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Joliet Truck Accident Injury Lawyer

The number of commercial truck accidents has climbed substantially over the past few years. Could drug use among commercial truck drivers have been a contributing factor? A recent survey of truck driver applicants by the Trucking Alliance suggests that the answer to that question is, “yes.” 

The Trucking Alliance survey compared the results of urine testing alone versus a combination of urine plus hair testing, and they found a dramatic difference. Urinalysis alone failed to identify nine out of 10 illegal drug users. A combination of urine testing and hair testing was substantially more accurate in weeding out illegal drug users.

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Cook County Semi Truck Accident AttorneyIf you have been seriously injured in a collision with a commercial truck or semi-trailer, proving that the crash was primarily the truck’s fault will be crucial to obtain compensation for your injuries. Three things you can do to improve your chances of winning your case are: document, watch what you say, and consult an experienced truck accident lawyer.

1.  Document As Much As You Can About a Truck Accident

The quality of witness testimony about an accident can play a crucial role in the determination of fault and the amount of compensation that will be paid. The more you can document about the accident and its aftermath, the better. Start a journal or computer file, and write down everything you remember, feel, and do. Also, take pictures of your injuries, your vehicle, the crash site, any medications or medical devices (e.g., casts or braces) prescribed, and anything else that could later serve as evidence.

2. Watch What You Say and Where You Say It

When you are involved in a personal injury case, heed the warning given to criminal suspects: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.”

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Orland Park commercial truck accident attorney insurance claimIf someone in your family has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you are part of a dangerous nationwide trend. In March 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued its latest highway crash statistics for the year 2017. From 2016 to 2017, the number of large commercial trucks involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. rose from 4,251 to 4,657, an increase of 10%. Thousands more commercial truck crashes involved serious injuries. These statistics are concerning, because while the amount of semi-truck traffic on America’s roadways has been rising, the number of crashes is rising faster.   

Of course, FMCSA requires interstate commercial trucking companies to carry large amounts of liability insurance. For non-hazardous cargo trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more, the minimum liability insurance is $750,000. Thus, anyone injured in a truck crash should be able to collect compensation for their injuries from the trucking company’s insurance policy. 

Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Truck Crash Insurance Claim? 

When someone you love is seriously injured or killed in a commercial truck accident, your family is both emotionally and financially vulnerable. When you have mounting medical bills and loss of income, why not accept the offer of a quick insurance settlement? Can you not trust the insurance company to pay you a fair amount of compensation for your injuries?

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Tinley Park truck accident lawyer excessive speedThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) points to rising speed limits as a critical factor in the increase in fatal truck accidents. Since 1995, states first increased highway speed limits from 55 to 65 mph, and then to 70 mph. Since January 1, 2014, over 80 percent of Illinois’ interstate highways have had a 70 mph speed limit. Speeds up to 80 mph are allowed on rural interstates in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, while states like Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and nine others have a 75 mph cut-off. 

When speeding, truck drivers have little room for error. A fully loaded semi traveling at 55 mph will take about 300 feet to stop, but at 65 mph, tractor-trailer trucks can take 525 feet to stop. Tailgating, driver fatigue, or even a minor distraction can lead to a collision with tragic consequences. 

Why High-Speed Truck Accidents Cause More Severe Injuries

The faster a car or truck is going, the greater the force of the crash. In addition, the energy of the crash increases exponentially relative to the speed. Imagine backing into a concrete post at 25 mph. It would not kill you, but your bumper would take a beating. Now imagine this crash at even higher speeds:

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Joliet truck accident lawyerThere is a growing concern in the US regarding the number of fatalities resulting from rear-end semi-truck crashes and the preventability of these collisions. The NHTSA recently released the latest large truck crash statistics. 4,761 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2017, a 9 percent increase from 2016 and a 12 percent increase since 2008. 

Currently, commercial trucks in the U.S. are not required to be equipped with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. However, this technology is being studied intensively by federal safety agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA’s primary mission is to issue and enforce regulations concerning commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). 

Two federal agencies are currently clashing over this issue. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for investigating transportation accidents and making recommendations for improving safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in charge of setting motor vehicle and highway safety standards. 

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