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Every year in Illinois, men, women, and children are injured and killed in truck accidents, especially on highways near Chicago. In 2018 alone, over 12,000 commercial vehicle accidents occurred in Illinois, injuring over 3,400 people and killing over 120 people. A lot of these accidents happen on the deadliest highways and roadways in Illinois, including I-57, I-55, and I-80.
If you were recently injured in a truck crash, we want you to know that you are not alone. Our lawyers understand the situation you're in and the unique challenges that come with it. We want to be your advocate for getting better and living your best life after a traumatic injury or wrongful death.
You see, our accident attorneys understand because we've seen it firsthand with other truck accidents we've investigated.
Many of our past clients were left to suffer serious consequences—painful injuries, emotional trauma, a pile of medical bills, and loss of income. But they didn't have to bear that burden by themselves.
Like you, they have rights that can be protected. In Illinois, you have the right to seek justice and compensation for your pain and suffering by filing a lawsuit against those responsible, including the truck driver and the trucking company.
Our clients filed suit against these negligent parties--and won.
Why Choose Shannon Law Group?
For over 25 years, our truck accident lawyers represent those who have been hurt by bad truck drivers and the companies who recklessly hire them.
Attorneys Joe Shannon, Pat Cummings, Jon Svitak, Pat Anderson, and Jack Cannon are available from the moment your accident occurs until the final verdict is read. For all of our cases, we don't settle for pennies on the dollar. We are a trial law firm, so we prepare each case as if we're going to trial.
That means our lawyers investigate and analyze the accident. We leave no stone unturned. Our number one goal is to secure compensation for our clients that will help them live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
Together, our team has secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for many Illinois truck crash victims and their families. One of those verdicts is still the largest jury verdict in Will County history, for a total of 23.7 million against C.H. Robinson.
As a result, many lawyers across the country have consulted us when they need help with a truck accident case.
We know truck accident cases like the back of our hand
Our attorneys are also very familiar with the rules and regulations that trucking companies and CDL drivers promise to follow. These rules are called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), and they apply to any commercial motor vehicle carrier that does interstate business.
We specifically hire experts with knowledge of the safety and training of truck drivers. These experts testify as to whether the trucking company failed to properly train the at-fault driver, according to regulations.
While your case is pending, our attorneys also take care of all the technical details of your case, so you and your family can concentrate on what matters most. We also ensure that our clients' medical needs are met, so they can move forward toward a better future.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries from a truck accident, call our Chicago area office today at 312-578-9501. You can also take a moment to fill out our online contact form. You’ll receive a prompt response from one of our experienced attorneys, who will personally review your case.
Keep reading to learn more about truck accidents and get answers to frequently asked questions regarding these cases.
Recovering after a Truck Accident?
Find out what you NEED to Know After a Truck-Related Injury
Truck accidents can happen to anyone. It's what you do after the truck accident that matters most. In this free guide by truck accident lawyer Patrick Cummings, you'll learn everything you must do to have a successful case and get back on your feet.
We Get Results That Make a Difference
$7.775 M Verdict for Multi-Vehicle Truck Crash Victim and Family
$5 Million Settlement for Truck Crash Victim
$4.825 Million Settlement for Injured Forklift Operator in Truck Rollaway Crash
I was seriously injured in a truck accident, what are my next steps?
As soon as you can after a truck crash, you should look for a very good lawyer who handles these types of cases. This should be your number one priority because the trucking company is already investigating the crash.
You need someone in your corner who can investigate the crash on your behalf. There's evidence like the computers in the semi-truck that attorneys like us can recover.
The longer you wait to hire a lawyer, the more opportunity you give the trucking company to destroy or warp the evidence.
To speak with one of our lawyers right now, call us at (312) 578-9501.
Can I sue the truck accident driver's company for my injuries?
Yes, you can definitely file suit against the truck driver's company for your injuries. Why? Because a transportation company can only act through their agents (AKA truck drivers). In general, any corporation only acts through its employees.
So when a truck driver crosses into your lane and hits your car, it's actually the trucking company that is responsible. The truck driver will not carry an insurance policy himself. The trucking company carries the insurance policy that covers all employees and their actions.
After an accident, it's often difficult to figure out who the truck driver is working for. Sometimes, these drivers are "independent contractors" hired by transportation logistics companies like C.H. Robinson. These third-party logistics companies can also be held responsible for the truck accident.
To figure out which companies should be held responsible for your injuries, you should hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to investigate your case as soon as possible.
How can a truck accident lawyer help me after a serious crash?
Hiring an attorney like Joe Shannon or Pat Cummings to represent you after a catastrophic crash can be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. Why?
As your advocates, we preserve your rights and add significant value to your case. In short, we lookout for what's best for you, unlike the trucking companies and their insurers.
Here are just a few benefits of hiring a lawyer after a devasting truck crash:
#1: We preserve crucial evidence (and hold trucking companies accountable when they destroy it)
Within 24 hours of signing up a truck accident case, we send out spoliation letters to the trucking company, driver, and insurance company.
These letters advise the trucking company of potential litigation and instruct them to preserve any evidence that may be related to the crash.
Sometimes, these companies fail to preserve this evidence, even after we tell them to. From refusing to turn over company safety manuals to destroying all telephone call recordings from the company’s recorded dispatch line, these companies will sometimes stop at nothing to protect their bottom line. If they do destroy evidence, we will hold them accountable in the courtroom.
We also send our investigator out to the scene of the crash to take photos and collect evidence. There may be video footage of the crash from a local business. Our investigator also takes statements from any key witnesses.
#2: We Protect You from Insurance Companies
Hiring a lawyer also protects you from unwanted calls from insurance adjusters that represent the at-fault trucking company. Oftentimes, they will ask you for information about the crash or your medical treatment. None of that information is their business.
When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you will not have to deal with any insurance companies or their attorneys. Instead, we will shoulder the stresses and burdens of your litigation so that you can focus on what’s most important: recovering from your injuries.
#3: We Preserve Your Rights By Filing Your Case on Time
Hiring a lawyer right away following a truck accident helps ensure that your case is filed on time. In every state, you only have a certain amount of time to bring lawsuits against certain parties.
Too many times over the years, we have had people come to us long after a violent collision. Sometimes, we have had to turn down someone’s case because the statute of limitations (the period of time to file a lawsuit) has already expired.
When all is said and done, consulting with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible costs nothing. It can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches that come if a deadline is blown.
How soon After a Truck Accident Should I Contact an Attorney?
The short answer you should contact an attorney as soon as possible if you were hit by a commercial motor vehicle. Why?
The unfortunate reality is that most people injured in truck accidents start off behind the eight ball. A good trucking insurance company begins the defense of its case before the injured party emerges from surgery.
If you're like most of our clients, you probably have zero experience with serious accidents and zero experience with the civil justice system.
On the other hand, the at-fault trucking company and their insurance companies handle serious injury cases and claims every single day. Within hours (if not minutes) of a serious semi-truck crash, insurance companies dispatch claims personnel to the scene to investigate the accident.
Unlike crash investigations by law enforcement, these insurance company claims investigators do not aim to learn the “who, what, when, where, whys” of the truck accident. Instead, they conduct their own investigation with a single goal: Limit the trucking company’s liability. In layman’s terms, they want to keep as much money as possible in their wallets and out of the hands of injured people.
That is why you must hire an experienced trucking attorney as soon as possible after a serious crash. You need to level the investigation playing field by hiring an experienced truck accident attorney.
What Should I Know Before Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Choosing the right truck accident lawyer can make your case significantly more valuable. Here are some tips on how to know if you're hiring the right one to represent you after a truck crash:
Tip #1: Research their experience and track record
Before you hire an attorney who helps people injured in truck crashes, you should first find out how much experience they have. If they don't have a lot of experience handling these complex cases, you may be taking a gamble hiring them.
How do you find out about their experience? Look at their case results for past truck accident cases they've handled. The proof will be in the pudding.
Tip #2: Find out how they treat their clients
Next, research how they treat their clients. How do you do this? Look up reviews of their law firm on Google, Avvo, and Facebook, and see what real people have to say about their law practice.
Tip #3: Schedule a consultation and sit down with them
If they look like a great experienced truck accident lawyer, schedule a consultation with them, and see how they are in person. Ask them again about their experience handling truck accident cases. If they seem like a great fit for you, you should hire them.
But if something seems off, don't ignore your instincts. You can always leave the meeting without signing any papers. As the injured party, you are more than welcome to contact other firms as well to explore your options. At the end of the day, it's your case, not theirs.
At Shannon Law Group, we understand truck accident cases like the back of our hand. If you want to have us review your case, we're more than happy to sit down with you. Call us 24/7 at (312) 578-9501 to get started.
How much is my truck accident case worth?
The investigation following a truck accident is the biggest factor that determines the value of your case. If the facts are on your side in the courtroom, you have a better chance of winning a settlement or verdict against the negligent trucking company and potentially several other defendants.
When you hire a law firm like Shannon Law Group, our lawyers will build your case as if we're headed for trial. What does that mean? We will investigate and find every photo, document, or video from the crash and the trucking company.
The moment we're hired, we call our investigator and send them to the scene of the truck accident to get the facts. Our attorneys will also request information on the bad truck driver and the trucking company from the government.
In our investigation, we may find out that the truck driver who hit you had a bad driving record. The trucking company should have never hired him in the first place. Knowing these facts adds significant value to your case in the eyes of a jury.
Other factors that can influence how much your truck accident case is worth include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical bills
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of your normal life
- Other losses
What should I expect during my truck accident case?
If you were recently in a truck accident, chances are that you have never been in this situation before. Fortunately, our lawyers have helped people in your shoes before. Here, we explain how these cases work in Illinois.
Here are the 6 major phases in a truck accident case that you should know about:
Step #1: Investigation
Investigating the truck accident is the most important step in your case. After you hire us, we will preserve as much evidence as we can. We'll send our investigator out to the scene of the crash, get the police report, obtain video footage of the crash if available, secure crucial documents from the trucking company, get statements from any witnesses, and more.
In short, we gather all of the evidence we need to take on the at-fault trucking company, which often has millions of dollars at their disposal to defend their case.
Step #2: Pleadings & Motions Practice
Once we have finished our preliminary investigation, we will file your case against the at-fault truck driver, the trucking company, and any other at-fault parties involved. When we file your case, we submit a complaint on your behalf against the at-fault parties. The complaint alleges that each party's negligence contributed to your injuries and pain and suffering.
After that, all of the parties will respond to your complaint and may try to dismiss your complaint. What results is a back-and-forth response between your attorneys and the defense lawyers. This process can take 1-2 months to a whole year.
Step #3: Written Discovery
Once pleadings and motions practice has been completed, we move into the written discovery phase of your case. In this step, we ask the trucking company to give us documents and information related to the crash. In response, the trucking company will ask for information from you.
At this stage, your attorney will work with you to answer the defense counsel's questions. Your lawyer will request and obtain all of your medical records and medical bills related to the crash as well.
Step #4: Depositions
After written discovery is finished, all parties involved will begin taking depositions. A deposition involves taking the sworn, out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that will be reduced to a written transcript for later use in court or discovery.
At some point, you will be asked to be deposed as the plaintiff in the case. Your truck accident lawyer will prepare you for the deposition ahead of time, so there's no need to worry if you've never been to one before.
As your lawyers, we will depose the at-fault parties, including the truck driver and the owner of the trucking company.
Step #5: Settlement Negotiations
Next, if the trucking company and its insurance company release that they could have an excessive judgment ruled against them by a jury, they will move to settle the case. Many times, settlement negotiations start a week or two before a trial.
Step #6: Trial
If the settlement negotiations fall through, we will proceed to trial without hesitation. We will present your case in front of a jury and ask them to award you compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, economic losses, and more. Trials can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Sometimes, your case may settle in the middle of the trial, depending on how the defense counsel acts.
To learn more about your truck accident case and what to expect, download our book, Avoiding a Trucking Nightmare by SLG attorney Patrick Cummings, and turn to Chapter 6: "How Does My Trucking Lawsuit Work?"
What types of truck accident cases do you handle?
Our truck accident lawyers have helped many accident victims just like you obtain the justice and compensation they deserved in cases involving the following factors:
- Fatigued drivers
- Impaired drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Mechanical defects
- No zone/blind spots
- Improper hiring of drivers
- Improper training of drivers
- Improperly loaded cargo
Semi-trucks aren't the only commercially-owned vehicles on the road. We also represent people injured in crashes with the following types of commercial motor vehicles:
- Tractor-trailer trucks
- Buses (school buses, coach buses, etc.)
- Box trucks
- Any vehicles operated by a major corporation (Amazon, FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc.)
- Heavy equipment vehicles, like those used for construction and farming
- Any vehicle towing a large trailer
- Cargo vans
If you were involved in an accident with any vehicle owned by a corporation, it's important that you meet with a law firm like Shannon Law Group to explore your legal options.
More Truck Crash FAQs:
In every state in the country, there are time limitations to bring lawsuits against certain parties.
In Illinois, you typically have two (2) years from the date of the truck accident to file a lawsuit. However, that amount of time can vary depending on multiple factors.
That’s why we highly recommend contacting an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Don’t wait until the very last minute to look for a lawyer. Take action: Call us today at (312) 578-9501.
After a catastrophic crash like a truck accident, most families that come into our office have already incurred a mountain of medical bills. Many of them expect the at-fault trucking company’s insurance company to pay for all their medical bills as they come in.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The insurance company won’t pay anything until your case against them is completely resolved through a settlement or trial verdict.
Most of our cases are filed in Cook County. Typically, it takes an average of 2-3 years for a truck accident case to resolve. That means you likely have to wait years before the trucking company's insurance company pays anything.
In the meantime, your medical bills will continue to pile up. You do have some options that will help you as your case churns through the civil justice system.
You have three options to help pay the bills while your case is pending:
Option #1: Medical Payment Coverage (AKA MedPay)
If you have auto insurance (which you should), you likely have medical payments ("MedPay") coverage under your policy.
Under this coverage, your car insurance company will help pay accident-related medical bills up to the limits of your MedPay coverage. Look at your insurance policy’s declaration page to determine how much MedPay coverage you have.
To get this compensation, your attorney will then submit your medical bills to your insurance company directly. They will issue a check to you for the amount of the bills up to the policy limits.
Do not let your insurance company send these checks directly to your health care treaters. You pay for this benefit as a part of your premium. You should decide how you want to use it, not the insurance company.
Option #2: Tell your medical providers to bill your health insurance carrier directly
There’s a reason you pay monthly health insurance premiums: to protect yourself from huge medical expenses as a result of something like a truck accident.
As you know, your medical providers have agreements in place with most health insurance companies. However, sometimes treaters try to avoid submitting your bills to your health insurance provider and issue a lien instead.
A medical lien provides the right of a health care provider, doctor, or hospital to assert an interest in personal injury recoveries of its patients. They believe they can recover more money from a settlement this way.
To the best of your ability, don’t let your medical providers get away with it. If the hospital refuses to submit your bills to your health insurance company, we’re happy to talk with them. Oftentimes, we can show them that processing your bills through your own health insurance is in the hospital’s own best interest.
Option #3: Public and private financial assistance programs
There may be several public and private assistance programs available to you. These programs can help you endure the difficult financial situations that lie ahead.
In the past, we’ve had clients successfully apply for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability benefits, short-term and long-term disability insurance benefits, and unemployment benefits.
In addition to those programs, our truck accident clients have worked with some great local charity organizations that help people in need. If you need assistance, talk with us about what you need, and we will do our best to connect you to an organization best suited for you.
At Shannon Law Group, all of our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. What does that mean? It means that we don't get paid unless we come through for you. If we are successful in obtaining a settlement or verdict for you, we will take an attorney's fee, which is a percentage of the total awarded to you.
You will never receive a bill from our office, even if we don't win. If we lose, we will absorb the costs of your case.
In short, there's no downside to hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer like us to represent you.
Our compassionate and dedicated lawyers at Shannon Law Group represent individuals injured in truck accidents that happen in every county and city in Illinois. We represent people from the City of Chicago, as well as people from rural cities like Ottawa and suburban areas like Joliet.
If you were injured in a truck accident anywhere in Illinois, we will come to meet with you personally and discuss your options, even if you live 5 hours away from our office. We have some of the best truck accident lawyers in the state, and you deserve only the best attorneys to represent you in your case.
The short answer is yes: Even if the police gave you a ticket, you may have a case against the truck driver and the trucking company. Many of our clients are completely blameless for the accident that caused their injuries.
In more complicated crashes like a truck accident, it’s more difficult to determine the level of fault for each driver. Ultimately, a jury, not the police officer, will be asked to assign fault for each driver in a bad car accident.
Under Illinois law, an individual injured in a car crash may recover damages for their injuries as long as the injured party was less than fifty percent (50%) at fault for the crash.
If the police said you were at fault for a truck crash, you may still have a case. Our accident lawyers would be happy to review your case at no cost to you. Call us today at (312) 578-9501 to get started.
Truck crash cases are any case that involves a “commercial motor vehicle” (CMV). A commercial motor vehicle is a term used within the transportation industry and legal community. Here are 3 reasons why truck accident lawsuits are very different from a normal car accident case:
#1: Sometimes, the at-fault driver doesn't even know they're operating a CMV
Many types of vehicles qualify as CMVs that you might not expect to. Obviously, semi-tractor trailers that weigh approximately 80,000 pounds fully loaded are a commercial motor vehicle.
However, most people don't know that any vehicle can be considered a commercial motor vehicle if it weighs as little as 10,000 pounds.
Oftentimes, the at-fault driver doesn’t even know they’re driving a commercial motor vehicle.
When you or someone close to you is involved in a car accident, it is essential to have truck accident lawyers on your side that can identify commercial motor vehicles—even when the company operating the vehicle cannot.
#2: Truck crashes involve professional drivers, big corporations, and regulations
Truck accidents are also different from regular car crash cases because they involve professional drivers. CMV operators have many more rules and regulations that they must follow, compared to other drivers. Why? Because commercial motor vehicles like semi-trucks and buses spend more time on the road, and their size makes them much more dangerous than your average sedan.
These CMV drivers are one part of a larger system, which can include trucking, insurance, and logistics companies. As a whole, these trucking companies want to protect their bottom line at all costs.
Often, this means that truck accident cases require extra detail and attention. Lawyers who work on these cases must know about federal regulations for truck drivers and safety training, insurance guidelines, mechanical systems, and more.
#3: Truck Accidents Pose More Serious Dangers to the Other Drivers
When they collide with another car, large trucks can cause more damage to passenger vehicles. The force of the impact often leaves the occupants in the passenger cars seriously injured or dead.
Typically, commercial trucks like 18-wheelers are much larger and heavier than other vehicles sharing the road with them. Some car safety features cannot protect occupants or absorb the impact of such a large vehicle.
As a result, occupants in passenger vehicles sustain more serious injuries compared to truck drivers. On average, research tells us that occupants of smaller vehicles are injured and killed more often in large truck accidents.
People injured in truck crashes often face long and difficult recoveries. They can be forced to miss a good deal of work or be unable to work again, forced to apply for disability benefits. Moreover, the physical and emotional pain that can accompany these injuries may require rigorous and ongoing medical treatment for the rest of their lives.
That's why the stakes in these cases are high for victims and their families. To go up against the truck company and its insurer, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side like the ones here at Shannon Law Group.
Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Will Fight for You
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a truck accident, the stakes are high. Your health and financial future can be on the line, so your family will need attorneys who possess the knowledge and tenacity to get the job done.
At Shannon Law Group, PC we pride ourselves on our relentless pursuit of justice and compensation for our clients. Our commitment is demonstrated in our results, which includes the highest recorded truck accident verdict handed down in Will County.
While other lawyers may take the easy way out and accept a settlement right away, our attorneys will fight to get you the results you deserve. When you retain the services of an attorney, you expect that they will offer knowledge and experience for the best possible outcome, and we take that responsibility seriously. Joe Shannon, Pat Cummings, and Jon Svitak can help ease the burden on your family after a truck accident. Our team will work tenaciously on your behalf, so you can use your energy to get well and rebuild your life.