Large commercial vehicles haul heavy cargo along Chicago’s highways and streets each day. State and federal regulations provide safety protocols for securing loads on tractor-trailers and big rigs. Despite these safety requirements, falling debris from trucks may cause serious injuries to people sharing the road with tractor-trailers. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago truck accident lawyers help victims assert their legal rights as they seek compensation from at-fault parties that have caused their harm. We represent injured people throughout Illinois, aiming to hold truck drivers and their employers accountable for careless conduct.Bringing a Personal Injury Claim Based on Falling Debris
Falling debris occurs when commercial trucks are overloaded or have been improperly loaded in violation of safety standards. When commercial trucks cross state lines, they are required to abide by federal regulations. Within Illinois, they must comply with state laws that restrict load weights to certain amounts, depending on the width and length of the truck and the corresponding load. According to Illinois law, the maximum allowable weight for vehicles is calculated according to a formula that takes into account the maximum weight carried by a group of axles, the spacing between specific axles, and the number of axles. Vehicles that do not abide by the weight requirement may be subject to citations and penalties.
A number of factors may cause cargo or loose debris to fall off a big rig or tractor-trailer. Many times, a driver fails to properly secure the load. As cargo loosens on the truck or trailer, it may force another driver to brake suddenly or swerve in order to avoid colliding with the debris. Additionally, falling debris may lead to dangerous road conditions, creating slick surfaces.
Holding an entity or individual liable for injuries resulting from falling debris usually requires demonstrating negligence. Injured individuals would set forth evidence showing that the driver and cargo leaders owed them a duty of care, breached this duty, and directly caused the resulting injuries and damages. Victims may recover damages from a party that failed to properly load the cargo and the truck company, if the driver did not properly inspect the cargo and secure it before driving.
Victims may rely on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, laws that govern truck drivers and their employers, to support their negligence allegations. Cargo must be secured through specific devices designed to prevent other items from moving, shifting, and falling from the vehicle. These regulations are intended to reduce accidents that take place because of falling cargo.
In some situations, a violation of a law supports a negligence per se theory. This inference of negligence is appropriate when a safety law has been violated and results in an injury of the type that the statute was designed to prevent.
After demonstrating the liability of the at-fault party, whether it is the truck driver, the truck company, or someone else, a victim of a falling debris accident may be able to recover damages. Lost income, medical bills, and out-of pocket expenses are examples of the monetary damages that may be recovered by plaintiffs in a personal injury lawsuit. Defendants may also be legally responsible for the pain and suffering caused by their careless or reckless conduct.Seek Guidance from a Chicago Lawyer Following a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident near Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, an experienced attorney can protect your right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. Truck drivers and companies must follow numerous laws and safety regulations, and the skilled motor vehicle collision attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca are familiar with these rules. Discuss your claim with us today by calling (800) 444-1525 or by using our online form to set up an appointment. We provide a free consultation and represent people injured by commercial vehicles throughout Illinois, including in Springfield, Aurora, Champaign, Quincy, Rockford, and other areas of Kane, Cook, Adams, Champaign, and Winnebago Counties.