Truck Backing Accidents

Chicago Lawyers Holding Tractor-Trailer Drivers Responsible for Injuries

Backing a truck up is dangerous. Often it's good for spotters to be outside helping a driver as he or she backs up. The truck driver is also supposed to signal to others that the truck will be moving in reverse by turning on four-way flashers and activating beepers. Many truck drivers realize that they shouldn't back up when they can drive forward because they understand that when the truck drives in reverse, there's a greater chance of an accident. However, sometimes backing is necessary and causes an accident, either due to a driver's lack of training or other reasons. If you were injured in a truck backing collision, the seasoned Chicago truck accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck can assess whether you may have a claim for damages.

Truck Backing Accidents

Many big rigs are manufactured with safety features that alert other people to the fact that they are backing up. These may include reverse lights and beeping. It is crucial for the truck's owner and driver to make sure these mechanisms are functioning appropriately to avoid injuries to bystanders, kids, spotters, and dockworkers. They need to be maintained like all other parts of the truck. In addition to malfunctions or a failure to turn on the alerts, a truck backing accident may be caused by inexperience, lack of concentration, poor visibility, or poor training.

A semi-truck that is more than 50 feet long can weigh 80,000 pounds. This makes it more difficult to control them, especially when backing. They also take much longer to stop than passenger vehicles do. There is a blind spot immediately behind the truck and the dangers are increased when the trailer is overloaded or the operator of the truck is fatigued, impaired by medication, or drunk. Further, when drivers are focused on just one mirror, there are blind spots generated to the rear and the other side of the semi. A driver gets a better view by looking at both mirrors.

Truck Accident Injuries

Truck accidents are often devastating. Victims of backing accidents may need to be hospitalized long-term. There may be huge medical bills and the inability of the victim to earn a paycheck. Passenger vehicles are generally much lighter than large trucks, meaning that people inside a passenger vehicle, or who are pedestrians, are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries in a truck accident. These can include paralysis, spinal cord damage, head trauma, skull fractures, broken bones, and crushing injuries. Sometimes these injuries are fatal and result in one or more wrongful deaths.

If you were injured in a truck backing accident and want to seek compensation, you will likely need to prove the truck driver's negligence, and an injury lawyer serving Chicago can help. In a negligence lawsuit you will need to show: (1) the truck driver owed you a duty of care, (2) breach of duty, (3) causation and (4) actual damages. For example, if a truck driver began backing up without checking both mirrors and backed into a pedestrian, a jury could find that he had breached the duty to use reasonable care.

Damages After a Truck Accident

After a collision, many truck drivers may point fingers at the accident victim's own actions or omissions, and argue that he or she was comparatively negligent. For example, if it's dark outside and a pedestrian runs out behind a truck that's backing up, he may be partially to blame for the resulting accident. If the jury finds that a pedestrian or someone in a passenger vehicle failed to use reasonable care and this failure contributed to his or her injuries, it will determine damages and assign each party a proportion of fault. The plaintiff's total damages will be reduced by an amount equal to the plaintiff's degree of fault. If the plaintiff is found more than 50% at fault, he can be barred from recovering any damages.

The damages that may be recovered depend on the extent of the plaintiff's personal injuries. Economic losses that may be covered include amounts related to lost wages and medical expenses. Noneconomic losses can include pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. If a loved one has died as a result of a truck backing accident, it may be possible to recover damages in a wrongful death action.

Truck Accident Attorneys Helping Chicago Area Residents

If you have been injured in a truck backing accident in Chicago, you may be facing a growing list of expenses as well as physical pain, and be unsure of where to turn. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, represent accident victims in areas including Champaign, Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Springfield, as well as Cook, Adams, Sangamon, Champaign, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Please call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation.