Commercial truck drivers have one of the most demanding and essential jobs in the United States, and every day, these drivers complete millions of deliveries across the country. Chesterville and surrounding communities of Illinois rely on commercial trucking for the goods and materials they use every day, and while truck accidents are relatively rare, it is important to know what a Chesterfield trucking accident lawyer can do if you experience such an incident.
The attorneys at Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, have extensive professional experience representing victims of motor vehicle accidents all over the Chesterfield area, and this includes truck accidents. These accidents not only tend to cause far worse damages than standard passenger vehicle accidents but also raise more difficult questions regarding liability. Victims tend to face numerous legal challenges as they seek recompense for losses sustained.
When you have an experienced Chesterville trucking accident attorney representing you, you can approach your recovery process with confidence and peace of mind. Instead of attempting to manage complex legal proceedings while contending with your medical issues, your legal team can handle your case for you so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. You will not need to worry about court filing deadlines with your attorney managing your case.
Even if you think that fault for your recent truck accident in Chesterville, IL is perfectly apparent, the legal mechanisms involved in your recovery can be more complex than the average person can handle unassisted. Success with your recovery efforts after a truck accident is more likely with an experienced legal team managing your case, and you are to maximize your compensation with an attorney by your side.
You have a limited time in which to pursue recovery after an accident. The team at Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, has successfully represented many past clients in all types of civil claims for damages, and we are ready to put this experience to work for you. The sooner you reach out to our firm for assistance, the more time we will have to develop a winning strategy for your impending truck accident case.
Before you can file any type of claim against the driver you believe caused your truck accident, you must prove the exact cause of the accident and identify every party you believe to bear fault. Illinois enforces the fault standard for motor vehicle accidents, so you will need to secure evidence and testimony that clearly proves who caused your accident and how they caused it.
While truck accidents can happen in many of the same ways that all other vehicle accidents happen, these large vehicles are susceptible to additional risk factors. A few of the most commonly cited causes of truck accidents throughout the state each year include:
An experienced Chesterville trucking accident attorney is your most valuable asset when gathering the evidence that you will need to firmly establish liability for your truck accident. Even if fault for the incident seems perfectly clear to you, you must be prepared to meet the standard of proof to establish liability for your accident. You may have also sustained serious injuries and have no recollection of the incident, in which case an attorney’s help is even more crucial.
Most of the personal injury claims, including vehicle accident claims, filed result from negligence, a legal term that defines a failure to use reasonable care in a specific situation or failure to meet a specific duty of care. For example, a driver has a duty of care to obey posted speed limits. Speeding would be a breach of this duty of care.
To prove negligence in a civil suit, you must first establish that the defendant owed you a specific duty of care in the situation. Next, you must prove that they breached this duty of care in some way, either by a specific action or failure to take a specific action. You then need to prove that their negligence directly caused measurable losses or actual harm. Finally, you must establish causation between your claimed damages and their negligence.
It is important to understand that many vehicle accidents happen due to the fault of multiple drivers. If this applies to your recent truck accident, each liable party will absorb a percentage of the total fault for the accident, and these percentages indicate how much of the resulting damages they are responsible for repaying. For example, two defendants could be found 40% and 60% at fault, and they would be respectively responsible for corresponding shares of the damages.
However, it is possible for a plaintiff to be found partially liable for causing the accident. If you are found partially liable for your recent truck accident, your fault percentage will be taken from your case award as a penalty. As long as you are less than 50% at fault, whatever fault percentage is assigned to you will be deducted from your case award. If you are found 50% or more at fault, you will not be able to claim compensation from any other liable party.
Your Chesterville trucking accident attorney can help determine whether comparative fault could factor into your impending case and, if so, how it might influence your total recovery. When you have Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, representing you, we will do everything we can to minimize any comparative fault assigned to you to preserve your final recovery as much as possible.
There is always a risk of physical injury from any vehicle accident, but this risk is much greater in any accident involving a large commercial truck. These vehicles are capable of inflicting tremendous damage on smaller vehicles, and it is common for truck accidents to result in multiple victims. Some of the most commonly cited injuries from truck accidents include:
Many victims of truck accidents require extensive medical treatment followed by long-term rehabilitative care. These incidents are also psychologically traumatic, and it is common for victims to experience anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) along with their physical injuries.
When you have an experienced Chesterville trucking accident attorney representing you, they can help determine the full extent of the damages you can seek from the defendant in your case. They will carefully review your medical reports and help to ensure that all your physical injuries are appropriately compensated by the defendant. If you have endured mental health problems since your accident, they will know how to address these issues as well.
Auto insurance is typically the first option for recovering compensation for truck accident damages. Every driver in the state must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. At a minimum, an individual auto insurance policy in Illinois must include:
Although not strictly required, drivers are strongly encouraged to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. If you have this type of coverage and an uninsured driver causes an accident with you, you can claim against your own insurance policy for some immediate recovery after your accident, and this should not result in higher insurance premiums because you were not at fault.
When a driver causes a vehicle accident, their auto insurance will go toward paying for the resulting damages. Truck drivers and their employers are also required to have auto insurance that meets basic coverage requirements, and many of them have greater coverage than the average individual driver in the state. However, do not assume that insurance alone will be able to cover your damages or that the insurance company is on your side.
Insurance companies lose profits when they pay out on claims, so insurance claim adjusters typically do everything they can to justify lowball settlement offers or to deny claims outright. Some even go so far as to engage in unlawful bad faith tactics, hoping that a claimant’s desperation will compel them into accepting much less compensation than they legally deserve.
Your Chesterville trucking accident attorney can help navigate the insurance claim filing process with confidence, addressing any unfair treatment you experience and ensuring that the insurance carrier handles your claim in good faith. Once you receive your settlement offer, your attorney can help ensure it is fair and reasonable under the terms of the policy.
An insurance company acts in bad faith when it does not uphold the terms of its policy or when it engages in unethical tactics in its efforts to avoid paying out on a claim. For example, some insurance company representatives will intentionally misrepresent elements of a policy to convince a claimant that they are not entitled to certain forms of compensation or a certain amount of compensation.
If you believe an insurance company has acted in bad faith, you will need an attorney’s help to hold them accountable. Any insurance company found to have acted in bad faith can face severe legal penalties. It may owe not only the full extent of the coverage listed in the policy but additional penalties as well. Your attorney will know how to address any such issues you encounter with your insurance claim.
When an at-fault driver’s insurance does not fully cover your damages, you will need to file a personal injury claim against them to recover the remainder of the losses they inflicted. Your recovery from a successful personal injury claim may include compensation for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages are the most straightforward, and you typically prove these losses with the correct documentation.
First are medical expenses. The defendant’s auto insurance may offer some compensation for medical treatment costs if your truck accident resulted in serious injuries, but it may not cover the full extent of medical care you will require to reach maximum medical improvement from your injuries. You can seek recompense for both immediate and future medical treatment costs resulting from your accident.
Next is property damage. You have the right to hold the defendant accountable for repairing/replacing your vehicle as well as the cost of any personal belongings lost in the accident. Again, their insurance may cover some of these damages through their property damage liability coverage, but any remainder must be recovered through your personal injury claim.
Finally, your economic damages may also include lost income. If your accident resulted in injuries that will prevent you from working for any period of time, the defendant is liable for the income you are unable to earn during this period. It is important to remember that if you developed a permanent disability from your accident, the defendant is liable for the income you can no longer earn.
You might be able to identify immediately recognizable economic losses after your accident, such as hospital and vehicle repair costs. However, an accurate assessment of the full extent of future economic damages your accident has caused will be more challenging. Your Chesterville trucking accident attorney can carefully review the details of your damages to ensure you claim full compensation for both immediate and future financial losses the defendant inflicted.
Along with your economic damages, you have the right to hold the defendant accountable for the physical pain, emotional suffering, and psychological trauma you experienced because of their actions. The average person may find it hard to assign a monetary value to intangible losses, but your attorney will know how to calculate an appropriate amount.
There is no strict formula that you must use to calculate appropriate pain and suffering recompense in a personal injury claim. Your attorney can help determine a suitable amount that reflects the severity of your injuries and the extent of long-term damage you have sustained. Attorneys throughout the state commonly use two methods for these calculations:
For many personal injury plaintiffs, pain and suffering recompense accounts for most of their case awards. When you choose Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, to represent your truck accident claim, we will closely review the details of the injuries you suffered and ensure that you maximize compensation for your non-economic damages.
Judges use punitive damages to punish a defendant for their behavior rather than to compensate for the plaintiff’s losses. The plaintiff may not directly claim punitive damages, but they may be awarded at the discretion of the judge overseeing their case. When a defendant’s behavior has exceeded the extent of standard negligence and/or they have caused a serious personal injury while doing something illegal, punitive damages are likely to come into play.
The amount of punitive damages a defendant pays generally depends on the severity of their actions and their financial status. If the defendant is criminally prosecuted for their actions, they may be sentenced to restitution along with their other penalties. Your attorney can advise you as to how punitive damages and the defendant’s illegal behavior may influence your recovery.
While the defendant who injured you can be held liable for the full extent of damages they inflicted, they could also face additional penalties depending on how the accident occurred. Specifically, if your truck accident was the result of a truck driver and/or their employer’s failure to abide by trucking industry regulations, this can lead to a host of legal penalties.
The trucking industry is heavily regulated at the federal and state levels, and when trucking companies fail to enforce applicable regulations, they can face liability for any resulting accidents. The term “vicarious liability” often arises in truck accident cases to indicate that a trucking company or other employer bears fault for the actions of their employee.
For example, if a trucking company failed to perform an appropriate background check on a driver and/or did not enforce specific safety regulations, an investigation might reveal that these failings directly contributed to the accident. There are many ways for a trucking company and/or their employee to face serious legal penalties for an accident, and your attorney can explain how any such variables might impact your case proceedings.
Once you have recovered as much compensation as you can through auto insurance and you are ready to file a civil suit with the court, your case can go in one of two possible directions. If the defendant accepts responsibility for the accident, the case can proceed to settlement negotiations. If they deny liability, the case will need to go to trial.
Settlement offers the parties involved in the case the opportunity to settle the matter privately and in a fraction of the time that litigation usually requires. If both the plaintiff and the defendant compromise on mutually acceptable terms to settle the case, settlement may only require a few weeks to complete.
Alternatively, if settlement is not a viable option for your case, the case will need to go to court. During litigation, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony before a judge. The judge will consider all the facts in play before delivering their ruling. They will determine liability for the damages and the compensation owed to the plaintiff, if any.
It is important for both the plaintiff and the defendant to recognize the value of settlement. Even if you think a judge would side with you in a civil suit, this is never guaranteed, and you may end up with a worse case award than you could have obtained through settlement. The defendant will also pay more for legal fees if their case goes to trial, so this often encourages defendants in personal injury cases to seek swift private settlements and avoid protracted litigation.
An experienced legal advocate will be indispensable to your truck accident claim in many ways. At the beginning of your recovery efforts, you can rely on your attorney to develop a roadmap to recovery. They will identify all your available options for legal recourse and help determine which route to compensation is most viable. Once you have determined the direction of your recovery efforts, they can help start building your case.
When dealing with insurance companies, you are far less likely to encounter any bad-faith dealings when an insurance company notices that you have legal representation. The insurer will be likely to process your claim swiftly and in good faith, delivering a fair settlement offer. Your attorney can ensure that they have honored the terms of the policy.
If you must pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident, your legal advocate will be especially valuable. They can help build a comprehensive and compelling civil claim that encourages the defendant to seek a settlement as soon as possible. Your attorney may also uncover avenues of compensation that you did not know were available to you, enhancing your total case award significantly.
Every truck accident victim will face different challenges and have unique opportunities with their recovery efforts after their accidents. When you choose Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, to handle your case, our goal is to maximize your recovery in the shortest possible timeframe.
When you are struggling in the aftermath of a commercial truck accident and dealing with painful injuries and financial stress, having an attorney on your side to guide you through your recovery efforts is a tremendous benefit. The right attorney can help you feel more comfortable about approaching the proceedings ahead, and with their help, you are likely to maximize your total recovery as much as state law allows.
Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, approaches every case we accept with the client foremost in mind. We know that no two cases are exactly alike and that every client has unique needs and concerns about their recovery. When you meet with our team for the first time, we will listen to your story and help determine your most viable options for legal recourse.
If you are concerned about the potential cost of legal representation, bear in mind that you are unlikely to obtain the same level of compensation that an attorney could win for you. Even after you account for the cost of hiring your attorney, they can significantly increase your final case award by a large margin. We will take time to carefully explain our billing policy before any contracts are signed so there are no surprises in terms of your legal fees.
Ultimately, you have a better chance of winning a case and maximizing your total recovery when you have a Chesterville trucking accident attorney representing you. Our firm will carefully examine the details of your accident and help create a winning strategy that aims for maximum compensation for our damages. We’ll attempt to settle your case if possible, but we are fully prepared to litigate for you if necessary.
Our team is ready to help build your truck accident claim in Chesterville. You have a limited time in which to pursue recovery, so it is vital that you connect with legal counsel you can trust right away. Contact Brandenburg & Rees, LLP, today and make an appointment for a consultation with a Chesterville trucking accident attorney to learn how our firm can assist you.