Truck Accident Attorney in Chicago332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603
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Truck Accident Lawyers in Chicago
Truck accidents are unfortunately quite common and can cause severe, lifelong injuries. The wide, large, and heavy design of a truck makes them prone to rolling over, and collisions with cars are especially dangerous because of their weight and size. When you are seriously injured in an 18-wheeler or other large truck accident, having the right lawyer to represent you is crucial, as there are complexities in truck accident claims that many people don’t fully understand. With a typical car accident claim, it’s usually clear who is responsible: the party who caused the accident. In a truck accident case, it’s possible that the driver is responsible, but if they are working at the time of the accident, you may be able to hold their employer responsible as well.
The Morgan & Morgan truck accident lawyers in Chicago are here to help. We have been handling truck accident claims for decades and know what it takes to obtain the financial compensation you deserve. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to schedule a free consultation.
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What to Do After an Accident?
Being involved in a truck accident can be a scary and traumatic experience. It’s important that you know what steps to take after the accident to give yourself the best chance of healing and obtaining the compensation you deserve. Consider taking the following steps:
- Get to safety. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are in a safe place and aren’t in danger. It’s always a good idea to leave the accident scene untouched until law enforcement arrives, but if you or your vehicle are in danger, make sure you move somewhere safe.
- Call 911. Once you’re safe, you should call 911 right away, even if the accident doesn’t seem serious. You always want law enforcement to come to the scene so they can interview all parties involved and any eyewitnesses. They will also make note of the accident scene and anything else they observe when writing up their accident report. You should always request a copy of this report in case you decide to file a claim in the future.
- Take photos. If you aren’t too injured, take photos of the scene before you leave. Photograph where your vehicle is, where the truck is, and the damage to both vehicles. Additionally, take pictures of any visible injuries you incurred as well as any property damage that occurred as a result of the accident.
- Seek medical attention. Once you speak with law enforcement and take photos, you should always seek medical attention. This is true even if you don’t have severe visible injuries, as you want to ensure that there is a record of your condition after the accident and to get checked for internal injuries.
- Contact a lawyer. Finally, contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. While you aren’t required to use an attorney to receive a payout from an insurance company, it’s always a good idea to have a professional assist you. Insurance companies are always worried about their bottom line and making as much money as possible. This means they want to pay you as little as possible. When you hire an attorney and allow them to speak with the insurance company, it’s less likely that they will try to take advantage of you. A lawyer can also help you determine your next steps, as a personal injury lawsuit may be your best option.
Statute of Limitations
If you are going to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party, you must do so within a specified period of time or you will be barred from pursuing compensation. In Chicago, you typically must file this claim within 2 years of the date of the accident. In limited circumstances, there are exceptions to this deadline.
Exceptions to the Deadline
A few of the most common exceptions to the statute of limitations include the following:
Victim was a Minor. If the victim was a minor at the time of the truck accident, the statute of limitations is extended. It won’t begin to run until the victim turns 18. Once they turn 18, the victim has the typical 2-year deadline. This means that almost anyone under the age of 18 who is injured in a truck accident in Chicago should have until they turn 20 years old to file a personal injury claim.
Discovery. If an individual is in a car accident but doesn’t discover their injury until later, this may affect the statute of limitations. The deadline will be extended if the victim had no way to reasonably discover their injuries or be aware that they were a result of their accident. The statute of limitations, in this case, wouldn’t begin to run until the injury or cause of injury is discovered.
Disability. If the victim was legally disabled at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until the victim is no longer disabled.
It’s important that you never rely on an exception or assume that it applies. In some cases, you will have to convince the court that an exception should apply, so you should never assume that it will extend the life of your case. Always speak with truck accident lawyers in Chicago as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out on the ability to recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you were involved in a truck accident while you were on the job, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to collect certain compensation and benefits. It’s important to contact an experienced lawyer right away to discuss your options. Workers’ compensation claims are not based on fault; you do not have to prove that the accident occurred because of someone else’s negligence. In most cases, you will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if the accident occurred during work and in the scope of your employment, even if you were at fault. However, there are exceptions to this. For example, if your accident occurred because you were under the influence, you won’t be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
To file a successful workers’ compensation claim, you must meet certain requirements and deadlines. You are required to notify your employer about your accident within 45 days. While you have some time, it’s always a good idea to notify them immediately. The notification can be orally or in writing. If you notify your employer orally, you should always follow up with an email or a letter so that there’s evidence that you followed the appropriate procedures.
You will also have to file the actual workers’ comp claim within 3 years of the date of the accident. This sounds like a long time, but again, you should always speak with a lawyer and try to file this claim as soon as possible. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner they can investigate your claim and try to get you the benefits you’re entitled to.
How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
Truck accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This means their payment is contingent upon the successful outcome of your case. If you don’t get paid, they don’t get paid. If you obtain a settlement or are awarded financial compensation at the conclusion of a trial, your lawyer gets paid a percentage as their fee, usually between 30 and 40 percent. This means you never have to pay your lawyer anything up front and there’s no financial risk to you.
What If I was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
In Illinois, personal injury claims are governed by modified comparative negligence. This means that victims can still recover financial compensation for an accident that was partially their fault, as long as they were less than 50 percent responsible. If it is determined that the victim is 50 percent or more responsible, there will be no possibility of financial recovery.
Once the court determines the victim’s level of fault, the monetary award will be reduced by that percentage. For example, the victim is awarded $50,000 and is determined to be 10 percent at fault. The victim will take home 90 percent of the financial award, or $45,000.
Contact Morgan & Morgan For Help
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a truck accident, it is important that you contact an experienced accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will evaluate your case and pursue financial compensation on your behalf. Money won’t solve everything, but you deserve to have the time and space to heal emotionally and physically without having to worry about the financial burden of medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Trucks are one of the largest and most powerful vehicles on the road, and accidents involving them can result in devastating injuries or death.
If you need help finding a qualified lawyer for your truck accident case, contact Morgan & Morgan today. We have decades of experience handling truck accident cases. All our truck accident lawyers in Chicago will use their expertise to investigate your claim, negotiate a settlement, and take the case to trial if necessary. As the largest personal injury firm in America, you can be certain that we have the resources necessary to successfully handle your case. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.