Different lawyers will charge different rates for accident claims. The complexity of the case and the type of payment plan or structure used by the attorney can drastically alter the amount they charge to offer you legal consultation or provide you with legal representation throughout your claim. This can be troubling news to hear for those pursuing their own personal injury lawsuit, particularly as these types of cases can put you under enormous financial pressure. The good news, however, is that the majority of accident attorneys will work for a contingency fee. This means that they do not collect their payment unless they are able to successfully negotiate a settlement on your behalf or win a financial award in a trial.

One of the most significant benefits of having an attorney who bills through a contingency fee is that it offers them more incentive to get the maximum compensation for you. They will be paid from a percentage of your claim award, and the larger the number they can win for you reflects directly on their own paycheck for the case. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, or through the negligence of another you should find a dedicated personal injury lawyer to work with as quickly as possible.

Chicago car accident lawyer Chris Ktenas speaking with a client

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers our experienced lawyers have an established track record for getting our clients the compensation they are due. Our team will help you understand the process for filing your injury claim, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and prepare an aggressive legal strategy in the event that your case goes to trial. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

How Lawyers Get Paid

There is no industry standard that regulates how attorneys are paid for their work. Every law firm will likely structure its payment plans a little differently than others, and within the same law firm, different attorneys can work at different rates. The best way to know how much an attorney will cost you is to set up a meeting to breakdown their fee structure.

There are, however, several different types of payments that lawyers tend to use for billing. These are:

  1. Contingency Fees: a payment structure in which your attorney receives a specified percentage of your financial award.
  2. Hourly Fees: some attorneys will bill by an hourly rate, so the longer and more complex your case the more expensive it will be.
  3. Flat Fees: a payment plan in which the attorney bills you a specific price in exchange for a particular service.

Accident injuries often leave the victim in a difficult financial position, making it difficult for victims to afford attorney fees. Because of this, many accident attorneys will work for a contingency fee. This means that the attorney will be paid if and when they are able to get you a settlement, at a rate agreed on by both parties before the attorney begins working on your case.

When you have found the lawyer you want to represent you throughout your accident claim, make sure you understand their fee structure before moving forward. Ask them any questions you have regarding how they get paid and what services they can expect in exchange. They shouldn't have any problem breaking their pricing down for you to understand.

person consulting with a lawyer, How Much Do Lawyers Charge for Accident Claims

FAQ: How do I find a good car accident lawyer?

What You Are Paying a Lawyer For

Now that you know how lawyers get paid, you need to understand what exactly you are paying them for. Attorneys tend to wear quite a few different hats throughout a case, offering several important services to help you. It is common for a lawyer to do any of the following for their clients:

Lawyer Contingency Fees

The vast majority of personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This is good news for many accident victims as they are frequently left facing financial difficulty due to medical bills, property damage, and lost income. When an attorney works for a contingency fee, they only collect their fee if they succeed in getting their client financial compensation. With this format nearly all of the financial risk is removed from the client, making it far easier for many people to afford attorneys even after a severe injury.

When you hire your lawyer they should give you a breakdown of their fees and fee structure. Be sure you understand the payment plan before you sign it, and ask questions about anything that is not clear. The contingency fee agreement will spell out terms for how your attorney will get paid, including what percentage they get and how that may change if certain terms are met. If you receive financial compensation for your injuries it will come in one of two forms:

  1. A settlement resulting from negotiations with the insurance company.
  2. A financial award given by the judge hearing your trial.

The contingency fee percentage will vary from one lawyer to the next, and will also often change depending on how your case unfolds. For example, one accident lawyer might charge 25% for easy cases that are able to be quickly settled via negotiation, and 35% if the same case requires a trial. This allows the lawyer to offset the difference in the amount of time each of those situations requires.

Be sure to remember that this percentage is just the attorney fees, and any expenses that add up during the case will be separately billed. Make sure you have a copy of the contingency fee arrangement and fully understand how everything will be calculated for your case.

Additional Fees to Consider

Your case is almost certain to require a few extra costs along the way, and these are billed in addition to the agreed-upon percentage that makes up your attorney's fees. These are generally just the costs that come from opening a legal case including filing fees, court costs, cost of materials, expert witness fees, and further litigation costs. The total amount can vary widely from one case to the next depending on its complexity and how long it takes to conclude.

Once again, it is critical for you to understand the payment structure before you hire an attorney. This will tell you if you or the lawyer will be expected to cover any upfront costs for the case, and if so which ones. Additionally, it will allow you to understand if the law firm will waive these costs or if they will be paid back from the financial award.

When Should I Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident?

You should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can following an accident injury. This will allow them to take the time necessary to gather information on your case and build an aggressive strategy for settlement negotiations. And if negotiations are unsuccessful their familiarity with your case will allow them to develop the strongest possible case to present to the judge.

two toy cars hitting each other with a gavel and lawyer in the background

FAQ: What happens if I'm at fault in a car accident in Chicago?

Is It Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer?

If you have been injured in a car accident it is absolutely worth it to hire an experienced car accident attorney. They will offer a variety of legal services to help you claim your fair accident settlement, including filing your personal injury claim, negotiating with insurance companies as your representative, and handling any legal communication for you.

Lots of variables factor into attorney costs, and this is particularly true for car accident attorneys. Fortunately, many accident lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis, allowing you to pay your legal expenses out of whatever financial award you receive. Our dedicated legal team at Ktenas Injury Lawyers knows what it takes to get you the maximum compensation for your case, and will fight tirelessly to get it. Contact us today at (312) 300-2515 to schedule a free initial case consultation.

Whether you've been in an accident before or not, accidents involving trucks can be terrifying, dangerous, and deadly. They also tend to be extremely expensive, as large trucks are extremely expensive vehicles. There are many rules and regulations in place when it comes to CDLs or commercial driver's licenses, the kind of licenses need to drive these large trucks. These extra tests and rules are to help prevent as many accidents as possible, but they do still happen. 

Truck accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

If you have been involved in a trucking accident, it is important that you protect yourself as soon as possible. Whether the accident was your fault or not, these accidents tend to be extremely expensive and insurance companies want to avoid paying out as much as possible. That means that insurance companies will do whatever they can to push blame and those costs onto anyone else they can. The best way to protect yourself and your interests is with the help of our dedicated Chicago truck accident attorneys. At Ktenas Injury Lawyers we do everything we can to protect our clients and their needs and interests. 

What are the 3 Steps You Should Take Right After an Accident? 

These steps apply to all car accident situations, not just a truck accident claim. These steps will need to be tailored slightly to your particular situation. In trucking accidents, for example, you may be dealing with the trucking company's insurance, not your own or the at-fault driver's insurance. This is why having a personal injury law firm working for you is the best idea: because of the intimate knowledge they have of the legal system and of insurance companies, they will know the exact right steps for you to take, and cater to your exact situation. 

FAQ: Is the truck driver or trucking company liable for my accident?

Who is Responsible For Paying for the Accident? 

In almost all car accidents, this is very simple: the insurance of the driver who caused the accident. Truck accidents, however, are very different. There are normally at least three insurance companies involved, adding one more for each victim of the accident. Those three insurance companies are the insurance companies of the trucking company, the truck driver, and the insurance of the other driver.

a truck turned over in a ditch, what to do after a truck accident

And because of how expensive truck accidents are, many times insurance with try to blame anything else for all or part of the accident, to try and avoid paying all of the costs and fees. This can mean blaming the weather, mechanics who worked on the trucks, bad driving by the truck driver or the car driver, etc. 

There are cases in which both or neither drivers may be found at fault. In these cases, it can seem like there is nowhere to turn to for help, especially if you disagree with the no-fault or equal-fault ruling. Having an attorney on your side means knowing which insurance to file claims with, and making sure that you receive the settlement you need and deserve. 

What Can I Include in My Insurance Settlement Claim? 

Property damages and physical injury aren't the only things you can include in your insurance settlement claim. Any and all medical attention and treatment needed, mental and physical, can be included. This means your PTSD or depression claim is just as valid as a broken arm claim. You can also sue for lowered quality of life if you have become disabled, or for lost wages if you missed work due to the accident.

This can be especially important for truck accident victims if you lost your job from an inability to work due to a long-term or permanent injury. This doesn't just include the actual injury treatment, but also any physical therapy needed to help you recover. 

Severe injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries resulting in a constant need for medical attention, tend to happen more often during accidents involving commercial trucks because these trucks have a tendency to crush anything in their way. This also means that many truck accidents are fatal truck accidents. If a loved one or family member was killed in a trucking accident, you may be able to make a wrongful death claim or sue for wrongful death. 

If you feel as though the accident was due to extreme negligence on the part of the other driver, you can also ask for punitive damages. These are added fees, up to the discretion of the deciding party, awarded to victims when the at-fault driver showed a certain lack of concern for the life of those around them. This can apply during drug or alcohol-related DUI truck accidents, or if the at-fault driver was speeding dangerously.  

What Do I Do if the Insurance Rejects My Claim or the Settlement is Too Little?

You have two options if you are not offered a settlement or the settlement offered is too small: a lawsuit with the insurance company, or a lawsuit with the at-fault driver. If you so wish, you are able to sue both parties. If you choose to sue both the at-fault driver personally and the insurance company, winning one of those cases makes it easier and more likely to win the second lawsuit. 

Suing the insurance companies is more likely to result in an actual settlement, as many times the at-fault driver will not have the actual funds to pay whatever settlement is ruled in your favor. On the other hand, however, it is also much harder and much more expensive to sue insurance companies, as they normally use very experienced and expensive attorneys to protect themselves in court.

FAQ: When should you get a lawyer for a truck accident?

Having the right truck accident lawyers on your side, however, will make sure that you are able to build a strong case and win what you deserve. Liable parties may avoid a settlement as long as they can, but the longer they drag out the case the more money the case normally ends up awarding, as your attorney fees are normally included in your settlement. 

How Much Does an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Cost? 

Trucking accident attorneys normally take payment after a settlement has been reached, through a percentage of the settlement you are awarded. Many times those suffering from truck accidents do not even have the money to care for themselves, definitely not to pay an attorney to help them. This is why personal injury attorneys and trucking accident lawyers sign contracts with their clients, taking payment as normally around 30-35% of the final settlement. If the case goes to trial, these fees normally increase to 35-40% of the final settlement. 

a truck turned on it's side after an accident

This arrangement is also normally a guarantee from your attorney that they will be doing everything possible to raise your settlement and ensure that you are taken care of because if you do not receive a settlement, they do not get paid. The higher your settlement, the more they get paid, as well. 

Call Us Today

Truck crashes happen every day in the United States and in Illinois. Our Ktenas Injury Lawyers know that many victims in these accidents need financial compensation to simply be able to survive. Passenger vehicles are no match for commercial vehicles, and semi-truck accidents often leave truck accident victims horribly injured and in need of extreme help.

During your initial consultation at Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we will help you figure out the likelihood of a possible settlement and realistic amounts that settlement might be, as well as walk you through the legal process of filing a claim or lawsuit. Call us today, and let us help you start on the road to healing. 

Trucking is one of the hardest and most skilled workforces on the road. Driving supermassive trucks, loaded down with anything from boxes filled with pillows to parts of prefab houses or airplanes or wind turbines. Nearly everything you can buy or use in the United States is transported at some point by truckers from its original location. The cargo in these trucks can range from a couple hundred or thousand dollars to well into the millions, which makes truck accidents extremely expensive. That's before you even consider the cost of a commercial truck and the repairs on them, physical injuries, and 

Chicago truck accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

The average 18-wheeler accident comes with a price tag of around $200,000, but they can go up into the millions, without even considering the cost of devastating injuries that are common in commercial vehicle accidents. If you get a lawyer for a truck accident you are setting yourself up for the best chance at a fair settlement without having to deal with the stress of researching and fighting for yourself. At Ktenas Injury Lawyers we have the knowledge and experience to ensure that your case comes to the best possible conclusion for accident victims. 

What is the Process of Receiving a Settlement for a Truck Accident?

Unlike normal car accidents, there are more than just the drivers involved when it comes to truck accidents. Not only are all involved drivers, their insurances, and attorneys a part of the case but also the trucking company that employs the truck driver, their attorneys and insurance, as well as the company that owns the cargo that has been affected and their insurance and attorneys. This amount of people can make for a very complicated and confusing case, with lots of people to make whole again. 

a truck getting towed after flipping over

Once the courts decide who is at fault for the accident, then that party's insurance company steps in. The insurance will do their own investigation into the damages and injuries, and make settlement offers to everyone involved if they feel a settlement is needed. Insurance is rarely, if ever, actually involved in the accident scene, and only has evidence gathered by others to look over, and can be wrong. If you do not feel that the maximum compensation offered to you is fair, you can fight back against the insurance.

It's at this point that you will want to hire a personal injury attorney or experienced Chicago truck accident attorney to speak to the insurance adjusters on your behalf. While you know the situation that your accident has put you in better than anyone else, experienced attorneys know the law better than the average citizen and can argue better on your behalf. 

Who Pays for Injuries When the Truck Driver is at Fault?

In most cases, truck drivers are considered "judgment-proof". What this means is that the court assumes, almost always correctly, that the individual truck driver does not have the money to pay for all of the property damage and injuries themselves. If the truck driver is found to be judgment-proof, the judgment falls upon the company they work for. Trucking companies normally have very expensive, and extensive, insurance on their trucks and drivers for this reason. 

Since trucking companies are almost always found to be responsible for any accidents their truckers are found guilty of causing, these companies normally do everything they can to lessen the chance their truckers will ever be involved in an accident. This includes all kinds of things, from making sure their drivers are always obeying the law and their trucks are sound and in compliance with regulations, to requiring extra permits and training for all of their drivers. 

Learn More: Damages You Can Recover From a Truck Accident Claim

What Happens if None of the Drivers Are Found at Fault?

Sometimes factors outside of the driver's control cause accidents. When natural occurrences, like weather, cause an accident, normally each drivers insurance pays for their own client and clients car, and the state decides how much of the property damage to road barriers and roads each party is responsible for. 

Sometimes neither driver is at fault, but a third party can be found responsible. This party can vary. Sometimes the company that owns the cargo is found responsible. This can happen when the cargo on the truck was improperly packed for shipping, causing the weight of the truck to be off. Even the state could be held liable if road conditions such as potholes or damaged roads were found to be at fault. 

What do I do if the Insurance Company Rejects My Personal Injury Claim?

When it comes to trucking accidents, and the price tag attached to them, insurance companies for the party found at fault will do everything they can to pay the least amount of money possible, especially since the price tag is already going to be so high for them. This means offering inadequate settlements, or no settlements at all. With a Chicago personal injury lawyer on your side, it's a lot more likely the insurance company will offer you a reasonable settlement. 

If the insurance company does not offer you a reasonable settlement through mediation, you can then take the insurance company to court to sue for the settlement you believe you deserve. Your attorney will gather and review all available evidence and advise you during the mediation stage what an adequate settlement will be, and if that is not reached during mediation, they will advise you whether or not a lawsuit is a good idea. 

Related Content: Who can be Sued After a Truck Accident?

What Will My Attorney Need? 

When it comes to evidence for your case, the more the better. From medical records to your driving track record, to witness statements or video footage, the more evidence you have to support your claim the better it is for your case. A legal strategy used by some, especially those with more than enough articles of evidence, is sometimes to overwhelm the insurance adjusters with the sheer amount of evidence available so they understand completely and totally that they will lose in court, and offer up a fair settlement immediately to avoid further attorney costs associated with a court case.

Some people even hire accident reconstructionists, to use diagrams or digital videos to recreate the accident scene. This can help give insurance adjusters a better idea of what actually happened from the view of the injured party, as well as help judges in court, understand what actually happened in your commercial trucking accident case. With an experienced trucking accident lawyer on your side, there are many more options for building a case and evidence for truck accident victims than if they move forward alone. 

a truck with a messed up tire after an accident, get a lawyer for a truck accident

Experienced lawyers know, on both sides, that the cheapest option for everyones clients is to reach a settlement without having to involve the courts or other government entities. Both your legal team and the insurance company's or liable parties' legal team will advise everyone as such. 

Related Content: What to do at the Scene of a Truck Accident

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?

Unlike many other types of attorneys, attorneys that take cases suing insurance companies over sustained injuries don't expect payment upfront. Instead, they will ask for a certain percentage of the settlement you receive. This percentage is normally somewhere around 30-35% of your settlement total but can reach up to 40% if you end up going to court to sue the insurance company. 

This also means that if you don't receive any settlement at all, you are not responsible for paying your attorney. This is a risk that personal injury attorneys take when they accept a new case, and new client, which is why they vet their clients thoroughly and usually only take cases with a high probability of a reasonable settlement. 

There are some fees you will be responsible for at the end of your case, whether or not you win any money. These are normal fees associated with going to court, such as filing fees and any costs sustained attempting to prove your case. This could include things like the price to hire a private investigator, etc. These fees are not much, normally around several hundred dollars. If you do receive a settlement, these additional fees will be taken from your settlement at the end of your case, but if you do not receive a settlement you will be personally responsible. 

Related Content: Is it Worth Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Review Your Truck Accident Claim With Our Firm

If you've been injured in a trucking accident, you should retain an attorney as soon as possible. With so many large players and companies involved, you don't want to find yourself being pushed aside while insurance companies argue over cargo and truck repair costs, which are very expensive. With an attorney on your side, your voice and pain will be heard and taken seriously. 

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers we take every case, and client, seriously, every time. We know that without us, your voice can be lost in the hustle and bustle. Our goal is to always make sure that our client's needs and concerns always have a place at the table, and are taken seriously, and our clients are awarded the damages and maximum compensation they deserve. Call us today for a free initial consultation. Let us take the stress of mediation and court off of your shoulders, so you can focus on healing. 

When you are in an accident with a commercial truck driver, you might assume that all of the liability is on the driver. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, however, you may actually be able to hold the trucking company accountable for your damages. It makes sense given that companies are usually responsible for their employee's actions while on the job. These situations can get complicated, and determining who is liable for a truck accident may not be as simple as it first appears.

Truck accidents are complicated by the fact that it is difficult to determine whether the driver of the truck or the trucking company itself is responsible for any injuries or damages caused by the accident. Liability for any damages that occur may fall on the driver or on the company depending on the details surrounding the particular accident.

Illinois truck accident attorney Chris Ktenas

If you have been in an accident involving a commercial truck you should contact an experienced accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Ktenas Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the complications that will come up in determining liability and getting the payment you deserve for your damages. Call us today at (312) 300-2515 or contact us online to schedule an appointment for a free case consultation.

What Determines Liability? 

Determining liability in an accident with a commercial vehicle is a complex issue, but it is also a critical step for your case. The situation is rarely as straightforward as filing a claim with the driver's insurance company when you are seeking compensation for damages, medical bills, and lost wages. With multiple parties involved, things can get messy, and liability will be determined based on a number of factors. These may include:

There are an incredible number of possibilities that come into play when determining liability in a commercial trucking accident. If you are unfamiliar with previous cases and the law that governs these situations, it can be nearly impossible to handle your case in a way that sees you receiving fair compensation. Hiring a dedicated and experienced Chicago truck accident attorney will help you navigate this complicated situation with less stress, and let you focus on your recovery.

When Are Truck Drivers Liable for Damages from a Truck Accident?

If a truck accident occurs while a driver is acting within the scope of their employment, they typically are not liable for the damages caused. Liability will typically fall on the trucking company even when a truck driver is at fault. That said, there are situations in which a truck driver might be financially liable for the damages that result from a truck accident. These can include:

Independent Contractors

Trucking companies would historically use this employment classification as a loophole to shield themselves from liability in accidents. By leasing trucks and listing drivers as independent contractors, they could often dodge any blame in an accident case and put it squarely on the driver. 

Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Liable for an Accident?

Current federal law requires trucking companies to have exclusive control and use of the equipment throughout the life of the lease, and puts responsibility for the operation of the equipment back onto trucking companies.

While these regulations largely make the independent contractor defense invalid in commercial truck accidents, it is still common for defense attorneys to try to apply it in court.

Was the Driver Acting Within the Scope of Their Employment Contract?

A trucking company may avoid liability for an accident if the driver was acting outside their role as an employee. There are a number of outside factors and laws that can rule over this, but some common factors in determining if this is the case include:

A truck driver found to be acting outside the scope of their job may be held liable for the damages of an accident they are involved in, either fully or in part. This determination will be left to the court to decide after examining the driver's duties at work, the time and location of the accident, and other details that may come into play.

An experienced accident attorney can anticipate this as a potential issue in your case and develop a plan to manage it.

The Driver Acted Negligently

If the driver is found to have made decisions that were deliberate and negligent, and directly lead to or contributed to the accident, they may hold liability for damages. These types of behaviors include:

When Are Trucking Companies Liable for Damages from a Truck Accident?

State and federal laws require trucking companies to comply with a number of factors concerning truck maintenance and operation, hiring, and training. When one of their drivers is involved in an accident, they can be held liable if they don't comply with those rules. Factors that make trucking companies liable for accidents can include:

Poor Truck Maintenance

The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which requires trucking companies to maintain their trucks in roadworthy condition. Regular inspections of trucks are required of. Trucking companies, as well as making immediate repairs and performing preventative maintenance.

Poor maintenance practices by trucking companies can put their drivers and people on the road at risk for accidents and injuries. This is particularly true when there is a mechanical breakdown. Truck features can lead to dangerous and deadly truck accidents if they aren't properly maintained, including:

If it can be proven that a mechanical failure due to improper maintenance caused or contributed to the truck accident, the trucking company may be held liable for damages. 

Hours of Service Violations

Commercial truck drivers have a cap on the number of hours they can drive each day and each week set in place by the FMCSA, known as Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. The HOS regulations also establish mandatory breaks for drivers before they are permitted to resume driving. They require truck companies to enforce these rules, or be subject to fines and other penalties. The FMCSA has also made it a requirement for trucking companies to install electronic logbooks in their trucks to comply with HOS regulations.

Is the Driver or Company Liable for a truck Accident?

There are some truck companies, however, that have found workarounds for the logbooks and will push drivers to work beyond their HOS hours. These overworked and fatigued drivers are more likely to become involved in accidents. Companies that encourage or force HOS violations can be held liable for damages in an accident caused by a tired driver. 

Poor Hiring Standards

A trucking company has a legal responsibility to hire safe drivers who are qualified to drive and operate specific vehicles. Companies may find themselves liable for accidents caused by drivers that were hired due to poor standards. These negligent hiring practices can include: 

Issues with Cargo

Many trucking companies have employees that load cargo onto their trucks. The FMCSA has rules and requirements in place to ensure safe transit of goods and materials on a truck or trailer. Loaders are required to secure cargo so it doesn't shift during transport, and each truck and trailer has specific weight and balance requirements. In the event of an accident caused by a truck's cargo spilling onto the road, the trucking company may be held liable if they failed to properly train their employees to secure cargo. Alternatively, if the employee who loaded the cargo made a negligent mistake that lead to the accident, they may be held liable. 

Learn More: Do You Have to go to Court for a Truck Accident Claim?

Hire an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Many of the most dangerous accidents on the road involve a commercial truck. These can carry higher medical costs to those involved as well. A loaded semi-truck is more likely to cause a violent impact that causes serious property damage and a higher possibility of death or grievous injury. In the aftermath of a truck accident, you shouldn't have to suffer financially. The talented personal injury lawyers at Ktenas Injury Lawyers have experience advocating for truck accident victims and will handle your case with the dedication needed to get the compensation you deserve.

Call us today at (312) 300-2515, or contact us online, to set up an appointment with a car accident attorney for a free case consultation!

Every year thousands of Illinois residents are injured and dozens are killed because of large truck accidents. Most truck accident victims have to deal with catastrophic injuries, unexpected medical expenses, property damage, and other devastating consequences after a trucking accident.

If a trucking company, truck driver, or another entity’s negligence causes a truck crash that harms you or your loved one, they can and should be held responsible. Many people wonder if it is worth hiring a truck accident lawyer after experiencing this. A seasoned truck accident lawyer like those at Ktenas Injury Lawyers knows this, and our legal team is ready to fight for you. We'll demand justice by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and their insurance company and pursuing maximum compensation for your physical injuries and financial damages.

Truck accident attorney Chris Ktenas

Call us today at (312) 300-2515 or contact our personal injury law firm online to learn more about how our experienced truck accident injury attorneys can help you.

Why Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Legally, being hit by an 18-wheeler truck differs from being hit by a car. If you’ve been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, there are many more legal implications and your truck accident case may be worth a lot more than if you were injured by another car. Often, the insurance company representing a commercial truck operator, or trucking company, will offer the injured person a low-ball settlement offer right away. This will prevent any truck accident lawsuit from developing and it ensures the responsible parties avoid a large payout. Before accepting any settlement offer, always consult a trusted truck accident injury lawyer.

Here are five reasons why hiring a trucking accident attorney is worthwhile.

Trucking Insurance Policies Are Complicated

In a typical auto accident case involving two passenger motor vehicles, the injured party often seeks compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. However, if you’ve sustained bodily injuries in a collision involving a commercial vehicle, it's imperative to note that multiple at-fault parties and insurance policies may come into play.

The trucking company that hired the truck driver will most probably have liability insurance. Also, the truck driver may have his or her own insurance policy. Further, it's vital to note that commercial vehicles are also covered by vehicle-specific insurance policies, and the cargo they haul might be insured as well.

Worth Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Filing an insurance claim with one insurance company is complicated enough, but dealing with multiple insurance providers at once is daunting, especially if you're not familiar with the legal process. The insurance adjusters’ job is to protect their company’s bottom line. They might do this by minimizing your accident claim or denying you financial compensation entirely. Without the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, you could be stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare with piles of paperwork from multiple insurance claims. This is extremely frustrating, especially when you're trying to recover from your truck accident injuries.

Again, commercial truck insurance policies typically have higher insurance policy limits to cover the catastrophic damage and severe injuries that often arise when large trucks are involved in crashes. Thus, insurance providers have even more motivation to minimize or deny truck accident claims when large payouts are involved. This isn't a legal battle you want to fight on your own. A truck accident lawyer with extensive experience handling hundreds of thousands of truck accident claims has the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to prove your accident claims.

Truck Crashes Often Cause More Damage

When a heavy truck collides with a passenger vehicle, it causes traumatic injuries and property damage. Often the truck driver walks away from the collision unscathed, but the occupants in the smaller motor vehicle sustain fatal injuries.

Unfortunately, the trucking company, truck driver, and their insurance providers might fight back against your personal injury claim. They might deny causing the crash, delay dealing with your personal injury claim, or may even try to blame you for the collision to avoid paying what you’re entitled to.

With a lot on the line, it’s essential to hire an experienced truck accident attorney to represent you and protect your rights. The liable parties and their insurers will have truck driver accident lawyers on their side who will do nothing but defend them against liability claims. Thus, you should also have qualified legal counsel looking out for your interests and fighting for you.

Multiple Parties Might be Liable for Truck Crashes

Some trucking accidents involve commercial truck drivers who are owner-operators, which means they're self-employed drivers who own their own 18-wheeler trucks. If an owner-operator causes a commercial truck crash, they alone are liable for accident-related financial damages.

However, most truck drivers work for companies that own multiple trucks or even large fleets of trucks. Also, there are other entities, such as cargo loading companies, truck manufacturers, third-party maintenance companies, and even the company that owns the cargo could bear some liability following a truck accident.

Proving fault in a truck accident claim is daunting and thus identifying all at-fault parties after a truck accident typically requires the help of a dedicated truck accident lawyer.

A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Develop a Solid Legal Strategy

An experienced attorney is familiar with the unique challenges the truck crash cases present and will develop solid legal strategies to increase your chances of success.

When you hire a personal injury lawyer from Ktenas Injury Lawyers to represent you, they'll build a strong legal strategy to give you the best chance at success by:

A lawyer reviewing a truck accident settlement offer with a client.

Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today for Legal Advice!

If you’ve been injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler truck, don’t trust your truck accident injury claim to just any lawyer. Often truck crash cases involve traumatic injuries, multiple responsible parties, and other entities who will fight fiercely to protect their bottom line. You deserve fair compensation for your injury claim to cover your present and future medical bills, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress, and other financial losses. With an experienced truck accident lawyer by your side, you can recover peacefully knowing that your case is in able hands.

Turn to the experienced legal team at Ktenas Injury Lawyers and let us get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today at (312) 300-2515 or reach out to us online for a free initial consultation.

In the US, the trucking industry is frequently used to transport products all around the country. Higher than seventy percent of annually transported freight passes through the road network via trucks. With an increased number of trucks traveling all over the country, there is always a high risk of commercial truck and passenger vehicles getting into an accident. Because of the difference in size between a truck and a car, individuals in passenger vehicles are in a lot more danger. Every year commercial vehicle accidents claim many lives.

One of the critical questions individuals have is ‘Why are truck accidents more serious than other accidents?’ Aside from the size of the vehicle, one of the other factors to consider is the weight of these vehicle types. The weight of a tractor-trailer can go up to eight thousand. That is like sixteen times the average size of an average passenger car. While putting this into consideration, it does mean that if a truck makes one wrong move on the road, it can lead to catastrophic injuries and major fatalities.

Illinois truck accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

One other thing is the braking ability of a truck. It is not that good. They take a while before they can come to a stop. Because trucks can take a while to break, turn widely, and are unable to move in and out of tough spaces in order to avoid a car that has stopped suddenly or something that has blocked the road, they have a high likelihood of getting into a crash.

Contact Ktenas Injury Lawyers today for a 100% FREE consultation and get your case started!

The Most Common Reasons Why Truck Accidents Occur

There are plenty of different reasons why trucking accidents occur. Here are some of the common causes of truck accidents.

A Bad Driver

When a negligent truck driver ignores the traffic rules and is aggressive on the road, they can easily cause a motor vehicle accident.

Improperly Loaded Cargo

A truck that is not correctly loaded can shift and slip off or overturn, leading to individuals who are behind the truck getting injured.

Why Are Truck Accidents More Serious Than Other Accidents?

Fatigue and Exhaustion

Big truck drivers travel long distances and can get sleep-deprived. Truck drivers getting exhausted and being sleep deprived is a major cause of car accidents. Some laws have been passed that dictate how long a commercial driver can be awake on the road. Even so, there still companies that encourage their employees to break these laws so they can deliver shipments quickly.

Drunk Driving

Compared to other drivers on the road, truck drivers have a lower blood alcohol content legal limit. When a commercial driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or higher, they are considered to be driving under the influence. Because they have higher standards than other drivers, it is advisable for them not to drink and drive.

However, if you have been accused of a DUI and you feel that the BAC level was all wrong because of a malfunction of one of the testing devices, you should you may need to contact a criminal lawyer. Getting charged and convicted of a DUI charge even as a first-time offender can lead to you having to change careers.

A Truck Stopping by the Road

Stopping a car by the roadside can lead to an accident, especially if the driver that was driving a passenger vehicle or a car does not see it in time.

Squeeze Play

Squeeze play happens when a truck driver makes or is in the process of making a right turn. When a passenger car is caught in between the curb and the truck, it can end up in serious injuries to the individuals in the vehicle, or it can lead to death.

Most Common Types of Truck Accidents

Trucks can be involved in various types of accidents because the vehicles are kind of unique. Some accidents are more serious compared to others. Here are the most common types of accidents.

Tire Blowouts

When tire blowouts occur, it can result in the vehicle moving in a manner that is unpredictable and uncontrollable. When a passenger vehicle moves in this manner, it is serious. It is even more serious with a track since it weighs a lot of pounds compared to a passenger vehicle. The reason why tire blowouts occur is because of poor maintenance practices of the tire. Maintenance practices such as checking if the tires are adequately inflated; hence the accident occurs.

Aside from resulting in the vehicle losing control when the accident occurs, tires can be sent flying in the air. When the tires come off, it can result in other drivers and road users in traffic getting hurt.

Blind Spots

Vehicles have blind spots. Blind spots are areas that cannot be seen on the side mirrors. Because of the trailers connected to the cab tracks, unlike other vehicles, they cannot look over their shoulders to confirm if there are blind spots. Truckers not noticing a blind spot will result in them making a lane change that is not safe. Passenger car drivers should avoid driving into the large blind spots that the big trucks have. In the likelihood that a truck makes a wide turn while attempting to make a lane change when the car is in the blind spot of the truck, it will not be able to escape if a collision occurs.

Truck Accidents More Serious

Underride Accidents

A truck can stop all of a sudden. If that happens, the truck may not have enough time to come to a halt and can result in the vehicle causing impact in the back of a truck. As a result, most vehicles end up underneath the back end of the truck. This kind of accident is known as an underride accident. This is one of the most serious truck accidents and can result in loss of lives to the people in the passenger vehicles and severe injuries.

As a result of an accident, most truck crash injuries and fatalities will affect passengers in the other vehicle more than truck drivers. Drivers in passenger vehicles need to be more vigilant to avoid a collision that can prove to be fatal.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident, it is uncommon for individuals to come out of the accident without an injury. You must make sure that you are in good health. Also, you need to make sure that you get in touch with an experienced truck crash attorney that will help get compensation for injuries after an accident. When a truck accident occurs, most trucking companies want to protect their interest and make sure they do not suffer losses. For that reason, they hire an aggressive defense and expert witnesses during cases that involve truck accident claims. 

So you can have a better chance of getting compensated by an insurance company after a truck accident, it is important to seek the service of experienced truck accident attorneys. A truck accident lawyer will discuss possible strategies with you and work with you to represent your interests if you go to trial. Call our attorneys today at (312) 300-2515 to schedule a free consultation for your truck accident claim.

If you’re involved in a motor vehicle traffic accident involving a commercial vehicle or a large truck, it can have a devastating impact on your life. Commercial trucks can cause catastrophic personal injuries and property damage, so you need to know what to do at the scene of a truck accident.

Chicago truck accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

Being involved in a commercial truck accident can leave you confused and not thinking clearly. Despite all this, it’s essential to know a few things you should always do after a tractor-trailer accident.

What are the First Few Things you Should Do at the Scene of a Truck Crash?

The moments after the initial impact are often the most dangerous, especially if the motor vehicle accident involved large trucks. The hazards that you must look out for are many. But remember that the size of the truck obstructing the roadway can make it challenging for passing motor vehicles to observe survivors.

Depending on what cargo the truck is carrying, and if there has been an associated spill, the road conditions can also make roadways dangerous for other vehicles on the road. Also, if there are any blind spots and potentially harsh weather conditions, be cautious, because survivors of the initial truck accident can be struck by passing motor vehicles.

Following a truck accident, remain calm as you determine whether you and the others involved in the accident are injured. If it is safe to do so, stay in your vehicle and turn your hazard lights on. Don’t move injured people because it can worsen their injuries.

What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?

Stay At The Accident Scene

Leaving the accident scene in some states constitutes a hit-and-run. Thus, following a truck accident, remain at the scene until the police and medical help arrive.

If you’re in traffic, move your vehicle to safety if you can. If you’re already in a safe place, don’t move your car. This allows you to preserve the evidence of what caused the crash and the damages and truck accident injuries resulting from the wreck.

Seek Medical Treatment

You must seek medical attention after an accident, no matter how you feel. Although truck crashes typically cause catastrophic bodily injuries, your adrenaline could prevent you from noticing an injury or feeling pain.

If you don’t receive medical care at the scene of the crash, or you aren’t immediately transported to the hospital, you must visit a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.

A doctor should check you to establish the injuries you sustained if any. Not seeking medical care or following through with the recommended treatment can interfere with your ability to seek financial compensation for your personal injuries later.

Identify Other Parties Involved in the Crash

If you’re not injured after the truck accident, identify damage to the truck and other vehicles involved in the wreck.

The truck driver may be liable for the crash, but the trucking company may also be liable for your bodily injuries or the damage to your car.

This information is vital in ensuring all potentially responsible parties are held accountable for their role in causing the crash.

Exchange Information with the Other Drivers

Communicating with all parties involved in the accident is critical. To recover the financial compensation you’re eligible for, you must know basic things about the driver who was responsible for the crash.

At the crash scene, collect the following information:

Take Videos, Photos, and Audio for Evidence

Immediately after the truck accident, the accident scene provides the best opportunity to capture as much evidence as possible to prove that you suffered bodily injuries and property damage because of another party’s negligence.

Also, this is the best time to build your truck accident claim. Take as many photos of the damage to all motor vehicles involved as you can, take pictures of any significant landmarks or intersections, and capture skid marks and other details that can help tell the story of what caused the truck accident.

Videos are the best form of evidence available because you can pull still images from your videos.

Also, video narrations or audio recordings from your videos can offer a better solution than just an image. As soon as you can, record an audio account of everything you remember from the truck crash. Having all of this evidence at your disposal is essential because details change or are forgotten over time. Often, truck accident lawsuits take months or more to settle. So preserve your evidence safely, share it with your truck accident attorney, and make backups.

Check for Truck Accident Witnesses

Remember to check for witnesses at or near the truck accident scene. Collect witness statements yourself, or you can ask eyewitnesses for their contact information. This way you'll get more details about the truck collision from the witnesses in the future.

These witnesses can testify on your behalf. Often, having eyewitnesses can make or break a personal injury lawsuit.

Further, the accident report provided by the responding police officer may include eyewitness statements as well.

If possible, collect this information from witnesses:

What Are Some Things You Should Never Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?

Whatever you do, following the truck crash, don’t accept liability. Don’t even say sorry, even though it seems innocent.

A witness might have seen the other driver texting while driving. Maybe a stoplight had malfunctioned and was marked for repair. Even if you think you might be partially liable, take some time to ask all the right questions, and stay calm.

Also, after the accident, an insurance adjuster will contact you. Be cautious about what you say to the insurance company representative following the truck accident because anything you say can be used against you.

Taking these steps at the scene of a truck accident can improve your claim.

If possible, speak with a truck accident lawyer before talking to an insurance adjuster. Your truck accident attorney will advise you on what to say. Often, truck accident lawyers handle all the communications with the insurance adjusters themselves. If the insurance adjuster asks for a written statement, decline until you have spoken with your truck accident attorney.

You must cooperate with the insurance company, but this doesn’t mean you give them an official statement.

What Should I Do in the Days Following a Truck Crash

Days after the truck accident:

Also, get copies of all medications, test results, treatments, and any other relevant medical records:

Don’t accept a settlement offer from the insurance carrier before consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Who Can Be Sued in a Truck Accident Claim?

In a truck or tractor-trailer accident case, the trucking company, the commercial truck drivers, or the owner of the truck/trailer can be sued. Often, however, the company responsible for loading the truck, or even the company responsible for the contents of the truck, can be liable as well.

However, every accident case is unique, so the best way to determine the legal action you should take is by speaking with an experienced truck accident lawyer. At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we offer a free initial consultation, so contact us today at (312) 300-2515 for a free case review.

How Much Does a Truck Crash Lawyer Cost in Illinois?

Whether you were involved in a crash with a truck while driving your passenger vehicle or if you’re a truck driver injured because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve financial compensation.

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, our Chicago personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means you’ll pay us once your personal injury claim is successfully paid out. This is essential because defendants, such as truck companies and insurance companies, can afford to hire the best legal representation.

The “contingency basis” type of payment system allows you to have the best legal representation, which ensures you receive compensation for all your damages, your personal injuries, medical bills, time lost from work, vehicle repair or replacement costs, pain and suffering, enabling you to piece your life after the devastating wreck.

Call Our Experienced Chicago Truck Crash Attorneys Today for Legal Advice!

If you have suffered truck accident injury or property damage after a trucking accident, you need help from a personal injury law firm that’s used to handling personal injury claims involving trucking accidents and trucking company insurers. At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience in helping victims of truck accidents recover the compensation they deserve, and we can help you too.

Our Chicago auto accident lawyers will present the facts of your case and prepare a defense strategy to protect your interests, not those of the trucking company. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, call our Chicago law office today at (312) 300-2515.

Whenever you’re involved in any type of accident and you sustain severe injuries, it’s a stressful and confusing time. When the other vehicle is a big truck, it’s even worse. The damages from truck accidents can be catastrophic. It can cause debilitating and lifelong injuries, inability to work, and irreparable damage to the quality of your life and relationships. Also, you may have to appear in court for a truck accident depending on a number of factors.

When this happens, you deserve financial compensation to cover your damages, especially if the accident was the other driver’s fault. You deserve to have your medical bills covered, your lost wages reimbursed, and to receive compensation for your pain and suffering and lost comfort.

Chicago truck accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

However, the question most truck accident victims ask is if they have to suffer through a long and grueling trial. In this article, we’ll discuss if most truck accident claims go to trial or settle, and how a truck accident attorney can make a substantial difference in the compensation you’re able to recover.

What Happens After a Truck Accident in Illinois?

After being involved in a truck accident, many scenarios can play out. Typically, if you or the party involved in the accident contacts the police, the police will come to the crash scene and speak with the parties involved in the crash and complete an accident report. If they’re any injuries or fatalities involved, paramedics will treat the injured parties and fill out medical records.

In personal injury lawsuits involving truck accidents, drivers can agree to have their insurance companies pay for medical bills and associated damages. The injured party can receive compensation from the truck driver’s insurance company or their own insurer, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Sometimes, the injured party may want to pursue the case further and take the personal injury claim to trial.

dump truck accident

When Do I Have To Go To Court for a Truck Accident?

The odds of going to court following a truck accident are higher when more is at stake. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a truck is a big and heavy vehicle that is likely to cause severe injuries or fatalities to passenger car occupants. Once injuries and fatalities occur in a truck crash, many expenses start accruing. Also, future medical expenses are a possibility, including lost wages and rehabilitation costs. To protect your interests and rights, after a truck accident, it’s advisable to file a personal injury claim.

Further, the truck driver or the insurance company might claim you bear some fault or most of the liability for the truck accident, even though your negligence didn’t cause the accident. You must go to court to dispute this argument if you can’t settle the issue beforehand. Documented evidence, such as police reports, video surveillance, and medical records can help you reconstruct what happened and who was at fault.

Also, if the truck involved in the accident is a commercial truck, the trucking company may want a mechanic or garage to document the damages and faulty mechanical safety features of the involved vehicles for their records. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that the most common cause of large truck accidents is brake problems. However, brake problems may shift liability for an accident elsewhere.

You’re more likely to go to court after a truck accident if a dispute is preventing a resolution. Often, the at-fault party and their insurance company can’t agree to a fair settlement offer, it might need to be decided in court. Insurance companies know all about calculated risks, and going to court isn’t in their best interest because the outcome lies in the hands of a judge or an unpredictable jury.

Insurance company representatives and your truck accident attorney will work hard together for a settlement that’s acceptable to all involved parties. However, you must ensure the settlement you accept covers all your expenses, both short-term and long-term.

Do Most Truck Accidents Cases Go to Court?

No, most crashes that involve vehicles settle out of court. That’s because it’s not always in the best interest of everyone involved in a truck accident case to go to trial. Court trials are quite expensive, and the longer the trial drags on, the more it costs. This can reduce your truck accident settlement because you must pay attorney fees and court costs, however, this often falls upon the loser of the case.

Further, a court case, mostly, is an “all or nothing” affair. This means you’ll pursue your compensation and there won’t be negotiations with the judge on how much you want; courts will simply rule on how much they think you’re eligible to receive, or they’ll rule that you’re not eligible to receive any compensation at all. Insurers and trucking companies don’t want to risk being liable for high payouts, and you don't want to walk away with nothing at all.

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help My Case?

A truck accident lawyer can help you determine who is liable for your personal injuries, losses, and suffering. Often, multiple parties are liable for damages, including the truck driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, the owner of the truck or trailer, the shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo. Your lawyer can seek to prove truck driver negligence, especially if the driver was reckless or ignored safety regulations.

Your truck accident attorney can help you coordinate a truck accident investigation after the crash. Apart from investigating the crash scene and collecting witness statements, your attorney will look at the following for evidence:

truck accident trial lawyer

Further, a truck accident attorney will make sure you’re aware of deadlines and federal regulations that may affect your case. An experienced auto accident lawyer understands the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies, trucking companies, and cargo companies. Also, a personal injury lawyer will look at the facts of your claim and determine the damages you’re entitled to. Also, they’ll help you calculate the total damages you should seek to cover your immediate and future expenses. Your personal injury attorney will negotiate with insurance companies and the responsible parties to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact Our Experienced Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!

If you’re involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler and are seeking financial compensation, don’t sign anything, don’t admit liability, and don’t go it alone. Seek the legal services of an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer. The right truck accident attorney will stand up against the insurance companies and trucking companies and help you receive fair compensation.

The experienced truck accident lawyers at Ktenas Injury Lawyers will give you the best shot at fair compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.

If you’re in Illinois and need help with a truck accident claim, Ktenas Injury Lawyers can help. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.

Truck accidents can have many outcomes, including severe injuries and death. Victims of truck accident injuries are often confused and devastated. You may have lots of questions like 'What damages can I collect for a truck accident?' or 'Do I need an accident lawyer?' After sustaining injuries in a truck accident, to recover the money to deal with medical expenses, income loss, and physical rehabilitation, you require an experienced and dedicated truck accident lawyer to help you recover fair compensation.

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases, caused by truck accidents. We understand the complex state and federal regulations under which large trucks must operate. Contact us today at (312) 300-2515 or chat with us online for a free consultation.

Who Is at Fault in a Truck Accident?

To recover damages in an Illinois truck accident, you must show that some other party caused the accident in which you sustained injuries i.e., some other party was negligent.

Sometimes, proving who’s at fault in an accident is fairly easy. Here are some scenarios where liability is fairly easy to prove:

Other times, it’s hard to prove liability. Your truck accident lawyer or your insurance company will need to investigate the accident and gather solid evidence to prove that someone else was at fault. To do this, your Chicago personal injury attorney will:

Chicago truck accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

Also, your accident lawyer will investigate all the possible at-fault parties. Apart from the driver, other parties that might be at fault for a truck accident include:

Respondeat Superior

In Illinois, the respondeat superior, a legal theory, can hold a company responsible for a truck accident caused by its truck driver employee. According to this legal theory, the employer is responsible for the actions of its employee, so long as the actions were:

Shared Liability Laws

Sometimes, both the truck driver or any other party associated with the truck, and the motorist involved in the accident are liable. What happens then?

Illinois follows the modified comparative fault theory, which states that the number of damages a plaintiff can recover is reduced by a percentage that reflects their degree of fault. However, if the plaintiff’s degree of fault is over 50%, then they can’t recover any damages.

What Damages Are Victims of Truck Accidents Entitled to?

Commercial truck drivers must carry general liability insurance, which covers all bodily injuries, personal injury, and property damage in an accident where the truck driver is at fault. General liability insurance also covers damages in accidents caused by the negligence of the trucking company or the truck’s manufacturer. This makes sure victims of truck accidents can recover the maximum amount for their damages including non-economic and economic damages. In some cases, punitive damages may be recovered as well.

With a solid truck accident claim, you can recover the following types of compensation, but the amount varies from case to case:

Although many truck accident victims can expect to receive some portion of the above damages, the amount that your truck accident claim is worth depends on many factors. Common factors include how long you took to file your lawsuit, whether the other party is solely at fault, the total cost of medical expenses, the severity of your injuries, and whether a truck accident lawyer in Illinois is representing your case.

what damages can i collect for a truck accident

Truck Accident Statistics in Illinois and Nationally

The Federal Highway Administration reports that in 2018, 4,136 people died in large truck accidents. The number of people who died in truck accidents was 31% higher in 2018 than in 2009.

In Illinois, there were 13,071 accidents involving large trucks in 2018. Sadly, nearly 10% of those accidents led to fatalities and 2,235 people suffered bodily injuries. Illinois is one of the top 10 states in the average of fatal truck accidents each year.

According to a report by the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2018:

How Long Does a Truck Accident Claim Take to Settle?

It’s impossible to predict exactly how long it will take to settle a truck accident claim. These types of claims take longer than other accident claims. Because semi-trailers, tractor-trailers, and other trucks are very large and are often commercial vehicles, settling truck accident claims involving these vehicles is more complicated than usual.

Often, an insurance company may offer a settlement shortly after a truck accident, but it’s not in your best interests to accept that first offer because you may deserve more compensation than the initial offer. It’s worth it to wait for a full investigation and medical examination before you negotiate for compensation for your truck accident claim.

Settling a claim following a truck accident takes longer because of many reasons, including that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) needs a thorough investigation for major truck accidents. Other factors that may delay a truck accident settlement include:

Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney at Ktenas Injury Lawyers Today!

Hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you through the complicated process of truck accident investigation and settlement negotiation. An attorney can gather evidence, determine recoverable damages, and communicate with all involved parties so you can focus on recovering after the accident.

Although we can’t tell you exactly how long it will take to settle your truck accident claim, you don’t have to go through this complex process alone. The team of experienced and dedicated accident lawyers at Ktenas Injury Lawyers can help you identify the recoverable damages you may be entitled to and negotiate with insurers on your behalf to help you get fair compensation.

Call us today at (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online for a free consultation with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will pay us only if we win you money. Don’t wait! Call us today!

Truck accidents can be particularly devastating because of the hefty size and weight of the vehicle. Unfortunately, in Illinois, truck accidents are a common occurrence. If you have been involved in an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, or tractor-trailer accident, you may be wondering what to do or worried about who can be sued in a truck accident.

Chicago truck accident lawyer Chris Ktenas

Truck accidents can be pretty complicated and involve multiple factors including the truck driver, the owner of the truck, logistic companies, truck manufacturing companies, and even more. If you are wondering who you can sue for your truck accident, our truck accident attorneys in Chicago may help you.

Illinois Truck Accident Statistics

What’s most unfortunate is that all these numbers show an increase from the corresponding 2017 data.

Who To Blame for Your Truck Accident in Illinois

Since the trucking industry involves many moving parts, determining who is at fault can be tricky. Here are some of the parties that may potentially be responsible and sued in a truck accident:

Truck Driver

The first person who comes to mind when determining liability is the truck driver. In most cases, if the accident is caused by the negligent action of the driver, they will be sued. 

The theory of negligence states that a person owes a reasonable duty of care and violates that duty which causes harm to another person. Hence, a truck driver’s negligence occurs when they fail to use the level of care that is expected of a prudent driver, and their negligence causes property damage, injury, or worse to others.

Examples of negligent behavior are if the driver is:

The Trucking Company

The trucking company that employs the truck driver is usually held responsible for a truck accident, through vicarious liability. Therefore, in most cases, a truck driver cannot be sued in a truck accident case.

Vicarious liability is also known as the “respondeat superior” and makes the employer liable for negligence if it takes place within the scope and course of the employment. This means that the driver must be driving the truck as part of the task assigned by the company when the accident took place.

This is because trucking companies have to adhere to strict federal regulations when it comes to the safety of their employees and other people occupying the road. These regulations are commonly known as “Hours of Service Rules” and dictate how many hours a truck driver can and how many times they need to take a break or rest so that fatigue-related incidents can be minimized.

Hours of Service Rules: Typically cargo-carrying drivers have an 11-hour drive limit after 10 uninterrupted hours off-duty. Additionally, they also should not drive for more than 14 hours after they start work following the 10-hour off-duty period. Overall, a truck driver may not drive more than 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days. They can restart their shift after a 34-hour off-duty.

Trucking companies need to follow these federal guidelines and regulate how long their drivers are working as well as how much load they are carrying. They are also responsible for providing proper training to their drivers on the road.

Trucking companies also carry higher insurance policies than other drivers. Although this means they have more coverage for serious damage, it also serves as a deterrent for accidents because the agency will make efforts to avoid paying too much in case of an accident.

Keep in mind, though, that just because a trucking company is also liable, does not remove the liability from the truck driver if they have been negligent.

18-wheeler on its side after an accident, sued in a truck accident

Owner of the Truck

Trucking accidents are not always the fault of a trucking company. The owner of non-commercial trucks may also be held responsible if their truck is not kept in safe driving conditions or if they allowed other people to drive their vehicles.

For example, in Illinois, parents of children who drive trucks may be held liable under the “agency theory” if the child was running an errand for their parent at the time of the accident. However, parents may not be held liable if the accident was caused by a child who was driving the vehicle for his own purpose, even if the parents let them use the truck.

The determination of what constitutes a family errand is considered by a jury during the trial.

Truck/Parts Manufacturer

If the truck accident was caused by a defect in the truck’s components, the truck manufacturer or designer company may be sued. Examples of truck manufacturing-related accidents include jammed brakes, tire blowouts, defective gas pedals, or faulty suspension systems.

In this case, the manufacturer of the truck or the manufacturer of the components of the truck may be held liable through a product liability claim. Product liability is a field of law that holds manufacturers, designers, and sellers responsible for selling defective products that lead to harm to customers.

Product liability claims can also help compensate the victims but also create awareness among the public about certain manufacturers’ vehicles.

At Ktenas Injury Lawyers, we will need to investigate these companies to find out whether they were negligent in creating the product that led to the accident.


A semi-truck can travel thousands of miles every month so you can guess it requires a lot of maintenance. Since a single truck accident can cause so much devastation, it is critical to ensure that all trucks remain in safe driving conditions. In most cases, trucking companies and non-commercial truck drivers outsource their truck maintenance to mechanics who specialize in maintaining large vehicles. However, sometimes these companies fail to do a proper job of servicing and maintaining the vehicle. 

As a result, it can cause catastrophic accidents on the road.

When these maintenance companies are responsible for faulty maintenance that causes harm, they can be held accountable for negligence. So, if you are involved in a truck accident, you may be able to file a claim against the mechanics directly for property damage and injury suffered.

Cargo Company

Sometimes, trucking accidents may not have anything to do with the truck or the trucking company but may be the fault of cargo companies that load property carelessly into a vehicle.

Improper loading of cargo may result in the cargo shifting around the truck or falling off the truck. These objects can jackknife and hit oncoming traffic or lie on the road, creating a road hazard and causing serious injuries and even death.

If this happens, then the cargo company will be legally liable for the truck accident.

Professional shippers need to let truck drivers and trucking companies know about the dangers of transporting certain objects. If they do not do this and an accident happens, they can be sued.

18-wheeler turned over on its side, sued in a truck accident

Government Body

In some events, a truck accident may not be caused by anything associated with the trucking company at all. It could be a fault of a government body too. Examples of factors that can lead to truck accidents are broken roads, missing signs, and any other road hazards which should have been taken care of by the government entity responsible for their repair and maintenance.

If you believe that a government body’s negligence caused your accident, then you need to understand that there are a few key differences between a regular personal injury claim and a government claim.

The major difference is that the statute of limitations — the time limit for a plaintiff to file their claim — is halved. Under Illinois law, a person has two years to file a personal injury claim. However, claims against the government may be filed in just one year, although this timeframe also varies case by case.

If you fail to file your claim in the allotted time, your case will be dismissed and you will lose any chance of getting compensation for your damages.

You should also keep in mind that a government entity has more resources at its disposal than an ordinary citizen. This is why it is so important that you reach out to a skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer who has experience in such cases and can investigate your claims to bring you fair compensation.

Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer in the Chicago Area

As you can see, truck accidents are subject to multiple moving parts and can be pretty complicated. It is in the victim’s best interest to reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer in Chicago.

Our lawyers can investigate your claims and counsel you on the best ways to proceed with your case. They will gather evidence to make your case strong, estimate how much compensation you are entitled to, and will fight on your behalf.

Our first priority will always be to prevent drawn-out legal proceedings and settle the case out of court; however, if the defendant is being unreasonable, we are not afraid to take your case to court.

We offer free consultations and can visit you at the hospital or in-home. To schedule an appointment with us, call us today at (312) 300-2515!