Posted On: March 31, 2011

Did a Weak Rear Guard Play a Role in Your Loved One’s Chicago Tractor-Trailer Crash Death?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is reporting that the rear guards used on big rigs may not be strong enough to prevent a smaller vehicle from rolling under the large truck during a traffic crash. This is disturbing news, seeing as underride truck crashes cause serious injuries and deaths each year. Our Chicago semi-truck accident law firm is all too familiar with the devastating injuries that can result when one has been involved in this type of rear-end truck collision.

The IIHS says that its own vehicle testing showed that current rear guards could fail even when the truck crash is one occurring at a low speed. The Institute is hoping to remedy this problem and has petitioned the government to mandate stronger underrides that can stay in place during a rear-end truck accident. The IIHS also wants this sturdier protection to become a requirement for more trailers and big rigs.

Seeing as, per the IIHS’s analysis of Large Truck Crash Causation Study truck crash cases, underride was a common result in the 115 truck crashes involving a passenger auto hitting a semi-trailer or large truck, the sooner that tougher rear guards are mandated, the better. Also, out of 28 incidents involving someone in a passenger vehicle dying, serious underride damage was a factor in 23 of these accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that about 423 people are killed annually in accidents involving passenger vehicles rear-ending a large truck. Over 5,000 other passenger vehicle occupants end up injured.

If you were injured in any type of large truck crash, do not hesitate to contact our Chicago 18-wheeler truck accident law firm right away. There may be parties who should be held liable for your injuries. Possible liable parties could include the truck driver, the driver of the passenger vehicle that you were a passenger in, a truck manufacturer, or the trucking company.

Underride guards on big rigs often fail in crashes; Institute petitions government for new standard, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, March 1, 2011

Read the IIHS's petition (PDF)

Related Web Resources:

Large Truck Causation Study, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Underride Network

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Posted On: March 24, 2011

Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit Filed in Pedestrian Death

Marilyn Headley is suing truck driver Kevin J. Cobb and Beelman Truck Co. Inc. for wrongful death. Her Illinois truck crash complaint is on behalf of Robert W. Schaefer’s estate.

Schaefer died last year after he was struck by a tractor-trailer driven by Cobb while walking across a Granite City intersection. The intersection was unmarked.

Headly contends that the defendants were negligent. She is seeking over $100,000.

Illinois Wrongful Death
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of injury to file your Chicago wrongful death claim. This may seem like a lot time from now, but in fact, there is a lot that your attorney will need to do to successfully pursue your Chicago semi-truck crash lawsuit and the sooner he/she gets started, the better. Your Illinois injury attorney may have to consult with accident and medical professionals to build your case and determine the full scope of your injuries and the damages you should receive.

Trucking companies can be especially tough when it comes to denying or diminishing liability. What cannot be diminished is the unquantifiable loss of someone’s life—especially when so unexpectedly and in such a traumatic manner in a Chicago tractor-trailer collision.

Pedestrians hit by a large truck will likely sustained serious, if not fatal injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, crush injuries, organ damage, and head injuries. Truckers owe a duty of care to ensure that they aren’t involved in any type of crash, especially as it is the other parties that are most likely to get hurt.

Beelman Truck sued over pedestrian fatality in unmarked crosswalk, The Record, March 24, 2011

Related Web Resources:
The Large Truck Causation Study

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

More Blog Posts:
Father and Son Injured in Illinois Truck Crash File $6M Federal Lawsuit, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2011

Chicago Family Sues Fedex Over Semi-Truck Crash that Claimed Three Lives, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, March 9, 2011

$5M Illinois Semi-Truck Settlement Reached Between Hospital Corporation and Attorney’s Estate, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, February 28, 2011

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Posted On: March 17, 2011

Father and Son Injured in Illinois Truck Crash File $6M Federal Lawsuit

Brian Benning and his son Brett suffered serious injuries on February 1 when they were injured in an Illinois tractor-trailer crash. Their family is suing the Schneider National Carriers trucking company and trucker Jason T. Lawler for $6 million.

In their Illinois personal injury case, the Bennings are accusing Lawler of truck driver negligence. Their complaint contends that the trucker failed to keep control of his large truck, which allowed his semi-trailer to jackknife before crossing the center line on Illinois 75. The family believes that Lawler was going too fast on a snowy day.

Brian, who sustained a traumatic brain injury and other “particularly devastating” injuries, was finally released earlier this month from the ICU. He is now in rehabilitation. Having undergone a number surgeries, Brian's recovery is expected to be long. Brett, whose injuries weren’t as serious, is no longer at the hospital.

The family wants compensation for medical bills, physical pain, mental anguish, and lost wages.

Truck Jacknife Accidents
Common causes of Chicago truck jackknife crashes include:

• Sudden application of the brakes
• Accelerating on a surfaces that has low friction
• Downshifting
• Rushing into a curve
• Loss of control on a slippery road
• Swerving and braking at the same time

Main kinds of Illinois truck jacknife crashes:
Tandem Trailer Jacknife: Involves a truck cab pulling two trailers.

Classic Truck Jacknife: Usually involves the trailer swinging out and the truck cab swinging into it.

Dakota Basketball Coach and Son Injured In Car Accident, WIFR, February 1, 2011

Benning family files $6M lawsuit, Journal Standard, March 11, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Truck Safety Coalition

More Blog Posts:
Illinois Garbage Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Damages for Injured Cop, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, February 16, 2011

69-Year-Old Olney Woman Killed in Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, February 10, 2011

18-Wheeler Truck Crash Kills Teen Riding in Stolen SUV, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer, May 12, 2010

Continue reading " Father and Son Injured in Illinois Truck Crash File $6M Federal Lawsuit " »

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Posted On: March 9, 2011

Chicago Family Sues Fedex Over Semi-Truck Crash that Claimed Three Lives

The Chicago family of Victor Chacon, 26, Brianna Chacon, 10, and Tatyana Alvarez, 11 are suing FedEx and truck driver George Grimes Jr. over the deadly semi-truck accident that resulted in their wrongful deaths. The three victims died late last month when they were ejected from their vehicle on U.S. Interstate 65. Four other family members, Victor Chacon, 49, Melissa Gonzalez, Yaznylie Chacon, 2, and Victor Chacon, 5, were sent to the hospital for their injuries.

The family was driving back from Florida where the younger adult Victor had just gotten married to Melissa’s best friend when then the catastrophic truck accident happened. According to police, at around 3:30am on February 23, the FedEx semi rear-ended the Nissan Pathfinder SUV that was transporting the Chicago family. Per relatives, the elder Victor Chacon, who is married to Melissa and is the father of the three girls and the two younger Victors, broke two bones in his spine. Yaznylie broke her legs and suffered head trauma. Victor, 5, sustained serious injuries.

With their large trucks, Fedex drivers must be careful not to become involved in a collision. Yet, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over the years, there have been hundreds of truck crashes involving a FedEx truck. Often, it is the people involved that weren’t in the truck who end up getting hurt. FedEx companies that use large truck include, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground Package System Inc., FedEx Freight, Inc., FedEx Ground Package System Ltd, Fedex Supply Chain Systems, Inc., and FedEx National Ltl., Inc.

Regardless of who owns the large truck that you or a loved one was involved in a traffic crash with, it is important that you explore your legal options. Suing for Chicago truck accident damages is not the same as filing a car accident claim. Getting legal help increases your chances of obtaining the maximum recovery possible.

Crash kills 2 kids, man returning from Fla. wedding, Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2011

Crash Kills New Groom, 2 Children, NBC Chicago, February 24, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues New Ejection Mitigation Rule, NHTSA, January 13, 2011

More Blog Posts:

$6.5 Million Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Settlement Goes to Family of Woman Killed on Halloween 2008, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, November 16, 2010

$1.5 Million Illinois Semi-Truck Accident Settlement Reached Over Tow Truck Driver’s Wrongful Death, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, September 7, 2010

$5 Million Truck Accident Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against PG & E, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, July 9, 2010

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