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Chicago Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer

If you think you have a case or should file a lawsuit after a commercial vehicle accident – or even if you have been in an accident involving a commercial vehicle or government vehicle and aren’t sure about dealing with your insurance company and the post-accident follow-up claims – you should contact a lawyer with a background in commercial vehicle accidents or government vehicle injury cases to help you navigate the complexities of your particular situation.

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Chicago Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys

When you drive in the Chicago area, you run the risk of vehicle accidents and serious injuries. If a commercial vehicle crashes into your car, the potential for injuries increases significantly. Commercial drivers become distracted while delivering goods, making frequent stops, and trying to meet delivery deadlines. Commercial vans, trucks, and buses weigh far more than private passenger vehicles, so a single crash often causes catastrophic injuries with lifelong consequences.

When a commercial vehicle driver injures you or your loved one in an accident, you need an advocate who protects your legal rights. When you contact our commercial vehicle accident attorneys, we work to recover damages on your behalf. Contact us at Zayed Law Offices today.

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We Make Responsible Parties Pay For the Damages They Cause

At Zayed Law Offices, we believe that an injured victim should never have to deal with a corporation or government entity on their own. Our commercial vehicle accident lawyers have always provided the vigorous, compassionate legal representation our injured clients deserved.

Commercial accidents usually involve more complicated issues and injuries than private passenger vehicle crashes. Our attorneys have dealt with complex commercial cases by identifying the issues early on in our investigations. We have placed the appropriate parties on notice and taken steps to make them pay.

Why Do You Need A Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer?

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When you establish a working relationship with a commercial vehicle accident attorney, they perform many tasks on your behalf. They focus on complex liability and damage issues while you concentrate on healing.

Investigate Your Accident

When accidents occur, critical evidence fades with time. Law firms immediately investigate your accident and confirm the facts while they are still available. They talk to witnesses, photograph the accident scene, obtain each driver’s version, and more. The information they compile helps them evaluate liability issues and damages.

Determine Responsible Parties

Commercial vehicle accident attorneys understand the accident issues. When a commercial vehicle crashes into you, it often triggers complex liability, ownership, and contractual issues.

Even though the driver commits a negligent act, circumstances often shift their liability to multiple parties.

  • When commercial drivers crash while acting within the scope of their job, their employer often shares or assumes liability.
  • When a driver has a bad driving record, the employer is sometimes liable due to negligent entrustment issues.
  • In some cases, a separate entity owns the vehicle and shares liability with other parties.
  • When a subcontractor or shipper loads a truck before delivery, they share responsibility for load-related crashes.
  • Some independent commercial drivers contractually assume liability for their actions. 
  • If a commercial truck crashes due to improper maintenance or repairs, the repair shop or contractor sometimes shares liability.
  • Varying statutes and negligence standards control claims against a state or local government’s employee or subcontractor. 

Evaluate Your Injuries

Commercial vehicle accident lawyers monitor your treatment and recovery. They obtain medical bills, wage loss documentation, and rehabilitation information. They request narrative medical reports supporting your injury claim, explaining your prognosis, and documenting any impairments.

Settle Your Injury Claim

Attorneys work to negotiate the best possible settlement based on your injuries. Seasoned commercial accident injury attorneys understand cases with serious injuries and complex liability issues. They know claim values and realize that claim representatives do not always offer adequate compensation.

File a Lawsuit on Your Behalf

Attorneys begin preparing your case early on, so they are ready to deal with whatever comes next. When appropriate, they file a lawsuit on your behalf and let a judge and jury decide your case.

When Should You Hire a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer?

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Even when you are uncertain about making a claim or filing a lawsuit, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. During an initial consultation, you learn about your legal rights and options. When a law firm represents you, they immediately investigate your accident and preserve vital evidence before it fades away. Attorneys also intervene with insurance representatives on your behalf.

Do You Have to File A Lawsuit To Recover Damages?

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When a responsible party or their insurers cooperate, attorneys often resolve injury claims without filing a lawsuit. Whether you see settlement or a lawsuit as your ultimate goal, attorneys start preparing your case early on. When you reach maximum healing, early case preparation supports their negotiation or litigation efforts.

Attorneys have options for avoiding litigation. They negotiate injury cases with liability insurers, self-insured companies, and their claim or legal representatives. Adverse parties also resolve cases during Alternative Dispute Resolution processes such as mediation, arbitration, and court-mandated settlement conferences.

What Type of Damages Can You Recover For a Commercial Accident Injury?

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In Illinois, claim settlements and judgments sometimes include economic, general, and in some cases, punitive damages.

  • Economic damages:  Settlement funds reimburse you for incurred treatment and recovery expenses. These include medical bills, hospital costs, doctor’s fees, income losses, mobility devices and structures, replacement services, and other costs. 
  • General damages:  Settlements include payments for emotional, psychological, and social injuries. These often cover damages due to pain and suffering, distress, anxiety, diminished spousal and family relationships, lifestyle modifications, lost bodily functions, permanent scars, and other subjective losses.
  • Punitive damages: Illinois courts sometimes award punitive damages as a punishment for extreme acts. An injured plaintiff must prove that a defendant’s willful and wanton behavior caused their injuries.

How Much Time Do You Have to Make a Claim?

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Illinois Compiled Statutes 735 ILCS 5/13-202 assigns a two-year statute of limitations for injuries sustained in an auto accident. This means that, in most instances, you have two years to settle your injury claim or file a lawsuit for damages. The countdown begins when you sustain your injuries. If you do not resolve your case or file a suit by the two-year deadline, you lose your right to make a claim.

You have a shorter timeframe to file against a driver employed by or working for the state or a local public entity. A one-year deadline applies to claims against the state of Illinois. It also applies to a county, township, municipality, municipal corporation, school district, and a long list of additional entities.

Who Decides Which Driver Is At Fault For a Commercial Vehicle Accident

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When police officers investigate an accident, they do not decide who is at fault. They provide facts based on their site investigation. Other parties make decisions based on the facts, driver actions, and documents.

Some relevant driver actions include:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Shifting loads
  • Sudden lane changes or stops
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper vehicle maintenance

Depending on the circumstances, multiple entities may conduct independent investigations to decide who they believe caused the accident. Unfortunately, they do not always agree.

Insurance Companies

Liability insurance claim representatives investigate accidents on behalf of their insureds. Their policy is a contract that gives them a duty to handle cases and a right to resolve them in a way they think is best. Insurers determine fault and handle commercial claims accordingly.

Self-Insured Entities

Large corporate entities often self-insure liability claims and pay them out of their funds. They either establish a claim unit or subcontract the work to independent claims investigators or insurance companies. No matter who is handling their claims, a self-insured company usually controls or influences settlement and defense decisions.

Insured Companies With Self-Insured Retention Limits

Commercial insureds with large self-insured retention limits have liability insurance policies that work like self-insured arrangements. Instead of paying 100 percent of all claims, they self-insure a substantial portion. Insurance companies make decisions about settling or defending SIR claims. If they pay a settlement, the insured reimburses them. Commercial insureds with large SIR limits often influence how an insurer resolves claims on their behalf.

Public Entities

The State Lawsuit Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 5/0.01, grants Illinois and state agencies immunity against most claims for damages. The Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/1-101, gives counties, cities, school districts, and other public entities similar immunity. In some situations, you still have a recovery right for accident-related damages. Public entity and state claims have a one-year statute of limitations.

Each has a specific decision-making process.

  • When an Illinois or state agency employee causes an accident, you must file a liability claim with the Court of Claims. A panel of six judges decides whether to pay your damages. 
  • If a local public entity’s employee or subcontractor injures you in a commercial accident, you must file a suit in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. The courts ultimately decide your case. Public entities would owe damages only if the employee caused injury while doing their job. Also, certain liability rules come into play when the damages are due to an employee’s willful and wanton misconduct or gross negligence.

Civil Courts

Attorneys usually file a lawsuit when the involved parties cannot reach a settlement agreement. Your attorney files a complaint against the negligent parties. The attorneys conduct discovery, which is a formal review of the evidence. Eventually, they schedule a trial and present evidence in civil court.

Your attorney helps you decide which type of trial is best for your case:

  • Bench trial: A judge hears the evidence and makes a decision.
  • Jury trial: A judge presides over the trial but a jury decides it.

Even after a case enters litigation, attorneys continue their resolution attempts. They participate in arbitration, mediation, settlement conferences, and other ADR platforms.

Should You Talk to Insurance Claim Representatives After an Accident?

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Before you consider talking to any insurance company or claim representative, consult with an attorney and discuss your legal rights. After an accident, your insurer and the commercial driver’s liability insurer want your accident version. Never communicate with the other driver’s employer, representative, or insurer. Your auto policy requires your cooperation, but you should talk to an attorney before making contact.

Even if you have sustained injuries in a prior accident, you would not likely know or recognize all liability issues. Insurance investigators understand this. When they record your statement, they ask simple questions that help them assess complex liability issues you might not recognize. Your responses often determine whether they pay or deny your claim.

What Happens If the Responsible Driver Does Not Have Insurance?

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Your Uninsured Motorist coverage compensates you for your injuries if a responsible driver does not have liability insurance. As an Illinois insured, your auto policy must provide UM coverage of at least $25,000 per person, and $50,000 per accident. The limits match the state’s minimum liability coverage requirement.

Your UM coverage pays your bodily injury claim when the other driver’s liability insurance would not pay.

The coverage usually applies when the other driver causes your injuries under one or more of these circumstances.

  • The negligent driver leaves the accident scene unidentified. 
  • The negligent driver or vehicle owner has no liability insurance.
  • The other driver’s insurer declined coverage.
  • The responsible party’s insurance company is insolvent.
  • Underinsured Motorist coverage applies when the other driver does not have enough coverage to compensate you for all of your damages.

Your insurer handles your uninsured motorist claim the way the other driver’s liability would have handled it. They pay based on liability and negotiate a settlement with you or your legal representative.

What Steps Should You Take After You Sustain Injuries in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?

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Immediately after an accident, dial 911 for a law enforcement officer and an emergency medical team.

While you are waiting for assistance, protect your legal rights and preserve the evidence at the scene.

  • Never admit fault or apologize to anyone for what happened. Insurance companies and courts often use simple post-accident statements against you.
  • Use your smartphone camera to document the scene. 
  • Take photos of the other driver’s license and insurance information.
  • Photograph both vehicles: impact points, stopping locations, license plates, etc.
  • Capture a photo of the overall accident scene: street, traffic control devices, pavement, accident debris, etc.
  • Talk to witnesses and get their contact information. Witnesses do not always wait for the police to arrive.
  • If your injuries prevent you from performing these activities, ask a bystander for help.

Do You Need A Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney?

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When a commercial vehicle causes an accident, you encounter more complicated circumstances than private passenger vehicle crashes. You need a commercial vehicle accident attorney who protects your legal interests and pursues the compensation you deserve.

Since 2009, Zayed Law Offices has represented many seriously injured clients. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries. During your free consultation, we discuss your case and determine if we can help you. Contact Zayed Law Offices today at (312) 726-1616 to get started.

If you have been involved in a car accident involving a personal injury, you can facilitate the resolution of your case by seeking the following information:

 

  • Full name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information of all parties to the car accident
  • Observations pertaining to the accident such as whether a driver seemed under the influence of alcohol or if a brake light was out
  • The full names, addresses, and telephone numbers for all passengers and pedestrians and potential witnesses
  • Location, details, time and date of the car accident

In our legal system, victims of car accidents and car crashes are entitled to:

  • Medical expenses
  • Wage loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future medical expenses
  • Future impairment of earning capacity
  • Future pain and suffering

 

A Chicago car accident attorney will be able to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to recover.

After a car accident, you should always see a doctor. It is very common to walk away from a car crash feeling fine only to realize that you have suffered injuries days or months later. Even if you think you are alright, it is essential that you see a medical professional in the event of an Illinois car accident.

 

It is very common for individuals to “tough out” their injuries in the aftermath of a car accident. Postponing medical treatment can amplify injuries stemming from a serious injury, and a delay in treatment after a car accident can also jeopardize the strength of your personal injury claim.

In the event of a car accident, retaining the help of an Illinois car accident lawyer is an integral part of the recovery process. Attorneys serve as an advocate for your cause and your claim. You can count on an experienced personal injury attorney to look out for your interests at a time when it can be hard to find anyone on your side. However, you can trust an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney to guide you through this difficult time in your life.

If you are involved in a car accident, Zayed Law Offices can help you through every stage of the car accident personal injury process. You can strengthen your car accident case if you:

 

  • Call medical services to the scene if necessary
  • Call police
  • Get the information of the other driver involved in the car wreck
  • Notify your insurance carrier
  • Make notes on the details of the accident
  • Take photographs of the accident
  • Get the information of any possible witnesses
  • Stay at the scene of the car accident

Illinois requires that all drivers carry minimum levels of auto insurance. In the event that a motorist does not meet his obligation to carry mandatory car insurance, you can find yourself without financial recourse to redress your injuries. An experienced Chicago personal injury attorney will be able to take action to obtain compensation.

If you have been injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, a Chicago car, truck and motorcycle accident attorney at Zayed Law Offices can help you recover for your losses.

 

What should I do if I am contacted by the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident?

 

You should not talk to the insurance company of the person who caused the car accident. Claims adjusters working for insurance companies are experts at mitigating losses and hurting the valid claims of victims. You should retain an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you and counsel you through the personal injury process. Retaining the services of an Illinois car accident attorney will increase your recovery in the event of an injury from a car crash.

You should not talk to the insurance company of the person who caused the car accident. Claims adjusters working for insurance companies are experts at mitigating losses and hurting the valid claims of victims. You should retain an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you and counsel you through the personal injury process. Retaining the services of an Illinois car accident attorney will increase your recovery in the event of an injury from a car crash.

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JOLIET, IL 60435

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At Zayed Law Offices, we are proud advocates on behalf of our clients’ interest. Our clients are usually going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives when they come to us for representation. Nothing pleases our team more than when our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their case.