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How To Prove Fault in a Truck Accident

January 3, 2023

Understanding how to prove fault in a truck accident case is critical to recovering compensation for a wreck caused by a large commercial vehicle. Truck accident cases, like all personal injury claims, center on the principle of negligence. If another party’s reckless or careless behavior caused you to suffer harm, the negligent party can – and should – be held accountable for the damages they caused. However, negligence must be proven.

The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Coplan + Crane have helped the wrongfully injured in Illinois for years. We help our clients seek the maximum compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Truck accident cases are particularly complex, as they can involve catastrophic injuries, exorbitant medical bills, and large trucking companies working against your best interests. Our accomplished legal team knows what it takes to win these difficult cases. We aren’t intimidated by big trucking carriers or their vast legal teams. We work diligently on behalf of our clients and we never back down from a fight.

Act Quickly After a Truck Accident

Prompt action is advised after any crash, but especially in truck accident cases. Trucking companies take accident cases very seriously. They send their own investigators to a crash site as soon as possible to begin building a case that supports their best interests. That’s why it is so important to contact an attorney as quickly as you can after a wreck.

Witnesses move and skid marks fade; if you don’t have a lawyer on your side in the early stages of a truck accident case, you risk missing crucial evidence that could support your side of the story. An experienced truck accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and gather pertinent evidence on your behalf. An attorney will also deal with the insurance company. This is important because like trucking companies, insurance companies are in the business of making profits, not paying out claims. The insurance company does not have your best interests at heart. A lawyer understands the tactics insurers use to reduce and deny claims and can help you avoid critical mistakes that could jeopardize your financial recovery.

You Have a Limited Time to Take Action

In Illinois, injury victims must bring a personal injury claim within 2 years of the date of the injury. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. The 2-year deadline applies to all personal injury cases in Illinois, including truck accident cases and wrongful death claims (in the event someone died in the wreck).

Although most accident claims settle out of court without the necessity of a lawsuit, truck accident cases can take more time – and are more likely to go to trial – due to the extensive nature of the damages and the complicated liability issues these cases often involve.

Considering the limited timeframe in which you have to bring a claim and the complexities involved in the investigation and litigation of a truck accident case, it is in your best interest to reach out to an attorney right away.

Choose an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

As stated above, contacting an attorney right away is a crucial step toward obtaining the full and fair compensation you deserve for your accident-related losses. However, you need to be confident in the knowledge, experience, and capabilities of the attorney you ultimately choose.

The first step in choosing a truck accident lawyer begins with a consultation. An initial consultation is your opportunity to share your side of the story and learn more about the prospective attorney. Consider asking questions such as:

  • How much experience do you have handling cases like mine?
  • What is your record of success with truck accident cases?
  • Will I work directly with you or someone else?
  • Do you think I have a viable claim?
  • How much do you think my case is worth?
  • Do you think my case will settle or go to trial?
  • Do you have testimonials from previous clients?

Initial consultations at Coplan + Crane are completely free of cost and obligation. During your free case review, our attorneys will listen to your story, assess the merits of your claim, explain your rights, and discuss your legal options.

If we choose to move forward together, you will not pay anything unless we reach a favorable outcome in your case. This is because we handle truck accident cases on a contingency basis, which means if we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Proving Negligence In a Chicago Accident Case

To prove fault in a truck accident case in Chicago, you must establish four key elements:

  • Duty: First, you must prove that person or company that harmed you owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. In a truck accident case, you would demonstrate that the truck driver had a duty to follow the rules of the road and exercise care when behind the wheel.
  • Breach: Next, you must prove that the person or company “breached” its duty to you.
  • Causation: You must then prove that the breach of the trucker’s or trucking company’s duty caused the accident.
  • Harm – Finally, you must prove that the accident that resulted from the driver’s or trucking company’s breach of duty caused you to suffer harm. This includes your physical, financial, and emotional losses.

What Evidence Is Used to Prove Fault in a Truck Accident Case?

A truck accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case and gather evidence that supports your claim. In a truck accident case, potential evidence includes:

  • The truck cab and the trailer involved in the crash
  • “Black box” data from the truck (digital information from the truck’s event data recorder)
  • The driver’s cell phone records and other electronic data
  • The truck driver’s logbooks
  • The trucker’s driving record
  • Employment records concerning the truck driver’s hiring, performance, medical fitness, etc.
  • Maintenance records for the truck and the trailer
  • Paperwork showing the cargo being hauled at the time of the wreck

Speak with a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer for FREE

It is not easy to prove fault in a truck accident case. At Coplan + Crane, our Chicago truck accident lawyers have years of experience helping accident victims recover the compensation they need and deserve to move forward.

See our results.

Contact our office today online or at (708) 358-8080 for a FREE case review. We serve clients throughout Illinois, including Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, and other areas.