Lake County Truck Accident Attorneys

Commercial truck drivers are invaluable components of the United States’ supply chain, and drivers throughout Lake County are likely to encounter large commercial trucks as they drive through the area every day. While most drivers pass by these large vehicles without issue, commercial truck accidents do happen for many possible reasons. When truck accidents do happen, they often cause much worse damage than a standard passenger vehicle accident is likely to cause and generate more complex questions of liability.

Lake County Truck Accident Attorneys

Helping Truck Accident Victims Recover in Lake County, IL

If you recently sustained injuries in a truck accident, it’s vital to know how to prove fault and secure compensation for the losses you suffered. A Lake County truck accident attorney is an invaluable asset in this situation. Your legal representative can help you understand the various legal challenges you could encounter while seeking compensation for your damages, and they will be your most important asset when it comes to navigating a difficult auto insurance claim filing process. When insurance alone cannot compensate you for all your damages, you will need their help to build a cohesive personal injury claim.

Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley provides compassionate and responsive legal representation to our clients in Lake County and surrounding areas. We know how challenging it can be to confront any type of vehicle accident case and the various obstacles that may be between you and your recovery. We can help prove who was at fault for the accident, recover as much compensation as possible through auto insurance, and then build a comprehensive personal injury suit that aims for maximum compensation if insurance alone cannot repay your damages.

How to Prove Liability for Your Truck Accident in Lake County

If you suffered harm in a truck accident that someone else caused, you must prove the exact cause of the accident before you can recover compensation for the damages you suffered. However, proving fault for a truck accident is often more challenging than it is to prove fault for a standard passenger vehicle accident. While truck accidents are less common than typical car accidents, they tend to result in far worse damages and can raise difficult questions when it comes to determining fault.

One issue that commonly arises in Lake County truck accident cases is vicarious liability. This is a legal term to define any situation in which one party, usually an employer, shares fault for the actions of another party, typically their employee. Even if the employer does not appear to have had any direct involvement in a truck accident, they could still bear fault for the actions of their employee.

Trucking is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States, and trucking companies, along with all other employers of truck drivers, are responsible for ensuring every driver is properly trained, that required background checks are performed for all newly hired drivers, and that every driver possesses the requisite certification to complete their assigned job duties. For example, if a truck driver has a record of a past conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), this should appear on an employer background check. However, if their employer never ran this check and the driver later caused an accident because of intoxicated driving, vicarious liability would likely apply to the case, and the employer would face vicarious liability for all the resulting damages.

A few of the most commonly reported causes of truck accidents in Lake County include distracted driving, speeding, moving violations, and truck driver error. A commercial truck accident can happen because of improperly loaded cargo, substandard truck maintenance, and other issues that fall outside the realm of typical negligence. If an accident occurs because of intentional misconduct, such as DUI or reckless driving, the responsible driver may face criminal prosecution along with their responsibility for the damages.

Filing an Auto Insurance Claim for a Trucking Accident

Illinois is a fault state when it comes to vehicle accidents, meaning the driver at fault for causing an accident absorbs liability for all resulting damages. This law also requires that all drivers have automobile insurance with coverage for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. When an accident happens, fault must be determined, and then the injured driver can file a claim on the responsible driver’s insurance.

While many trucking companies and other employers who run trucking operations will have substantial auto insurance coverage, this does not mean that filing your claim will be easy or that insurance alone can compensate you for all your damages. Your Lake County truck accident attorney can be invaluable for the help they can provide in filing your claim. Once the insurance carrier receives your claim, they may contact you for additional information and/or challenge your claim in various ways. It’s also possible to be met with an unfair denial, and you will need a seasoned attorney’s help to appeal this decision and get the compensation you legally deserve.

Building Personal Injuries Claims for Truck Accidents in Lake County

After you recover as much compensation as you can through the insurance claim filing process, any outstanding damages must be recovered through a personal injury suit. Your Lake County truck accident attorney can help identify every defendant to target with your claim, and their help will also be invaluable for uncovering every type of compensation you can seek from the responsible driver.

Under the state’s personal injury laws, once a plaintiff has proven that a defendant’s negligence or illegal misconduct directly caused their claimed losses, they can recover full compensation for those losses. Success with your injury claim will require clear proof the defendant harmed you, as well as evidence showing the full extent of the harm they caused. You must not only prove the full extent of your damages but also prove the defendant is directly responsible for causing those damages.

One issue that could complicate your truck accident claim or any vehicle accident claim in Lake County is comparative fault. The state upholds the modified comparative fault rule, meaning it is possible for a plaintiff to share fault with a defendant for causing their claimed damages and still recover compensation. However, they lose a percentage of their final case award to reflect this shared fault. As long as the plaintiff is less than 50% at fault, their fault percentage is taken from their final case award as a penalty for their comparative negligence. If they are 50% or more at fault, they may not claim compensation and will be personally responsible for their damages.

Compensation You Could Claim in a Truck Accident Case

Your Lake County truck accident attorney can be an invaluable asset for building your injury claim. While the average plaintiff will likely be able to identify their immediately recognizable losses, such as hospital bills and vehicle repair costs, they may struggle when it comes to accurate calculation of the full value of their case. Under state law, you may be able to claim economic damages from the responsible driver who caused your accident, which may include:

  • Medical treatment costs, including the price of any future healthcare you need to achieve maximum medical improvement from the injuries. State law lets the plaintiff hold the defendant who injured them accountable for hospital bills, prescription costs, and any costs associated with ongoing care. Your Lake County truck accident attorney can help to ensure that all your medical expenses are properly addressed in your injury claim.
  • Lost income. If you cannot work and earn an income because of an injury someone else caused, they must repay you for the money you cannot earn during your recovery. Many truck accidents cause catastrophic injuries, some of which can leave victims unable to return to work in the future. Your Lake County truck accident attorney can help assess the full long-term impact of your truck accident on your ability to earn money and hold the defendant appropriately accountable for these cumulative losses.
  • Property damage. Insurance may cover some of your vehicle repair costs, but any remainder must be sought through your injury case. The defendant may be liable for the full cash value of your vehicle as well as the price of replacing any other personal property that was lost in the accident.

Once you calculate the full extent of your economic damages, you may realize that you have grounds to claim much more compensation than you initially expected. Your attorney can help maximize the compensation you receive for your economic losses, and they can also assist you with recovering pain and suffering recompense as well.

It may sound difficult to determine an appropriate monetary value for your pain and emotional distress resulting from a personal injury, and your Lake County truck accident attorney can offer helpful guidance when it comes to this aspect of your claim. Nothing limits pain and suffering recompense in a personal injury claim, so you have the right to seek as much as you believe to be suitable to reflect the serious nature of the harm you experienced.

Your attorney may seek a big lump sum for you in pain and suffering recompense if you suffered any permanent harm from your truck accident. They’ll likely calculate this amount by multiplying the cost of these losses by a number that represents the serious nature of your condition, typically one to five. Alternatively, they may seek an amount that reflects the time it will take for you to reach maximum medical improvement from your injury. If you sustained any catastrophic harm from your truck accident, the pain and suffering recompense you secure with your injury claim could be the bulk of your total case award.

What to Expect in Your Lake County Truck Accident Case

Even if fault for your recent commercial truck accident in Lake County seems readily apparent, this does not mean that you will have an easy time collecting the compensation you need to recover and rightfully deserve. You have a limited time in which to file a personal injury claim and an even shorter time limit in which to file your auto insurance claim. It’s vital to connect with a Lake County truck accident attorney you can trust as soon as possible after your accident if you want to recover as fully as the law allows.

When you choose Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley as your legal representative, we will immediately get to work securing the evidence you will need to build your suit and determine your most viable path for recovery. Most victims of these accidents begin their recovery efforts by filing auto insurance claims, followed by personal injury suits when insurance can’t provide full compensation for their damages.

Our team will help file your auto insurance claim and resolve any problems you encounter with the responsible driver’s insurance carrier. If they unfairly deny your claim or offer a lowball settlement, we will negotiate for you and resolve the claim as efficiently as we can. When you must file a personal injury claim to fully recover your losses, our team will prepare you for each step of this case and aim for maximum compensation for you. We typically settle our clients’ personal injury cases outside of court whenever possible, but if private settlement negotiations are not possible, you can rely on us to represent you in litigation.

The attorneys at Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley accept personal injury cases and charge on the contingency fee basis. This means you will not pay upfront legal fees and will only owe our firm when we win the case. The contingency fee you would owe is only a percentage of the total amount we recover for you, so you will not pay more in legal fees than you win in compensation for your damages.

Ultimately, hiring the right attorney to represent you can be the most important decision you make regarding your recovery efforts, so it’s vital to find legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible after your accident. Contact Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley today to make an appointment for a consultation with a Lake County truck accident attorney and learn how our firm can assist in your recovery.

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