Distracted driving occurs when a person is driving a motor vehicle while, at the same time, engaged in an activity that could take the his or her eyes off of the road. Distracted driving, or inattentive driving, is a very common cause of accidents. This is especially true nowadays with drivers looking down at their cell phones. Tractor-trailer drivers can occasionally get distracted, or become inattentive, too. This has the potential of resulting in serious and even fatal accidents.
About one week ago, in mid October 2016, a male tractor-trailer driver was headed north on Interstate 55 near Springfield, Illinois. Illinois State Police reported that an incident earlier that day caused traffic to slow. The tractor-trailer driver was inattentive and did not notice that the traffic ahead of him was traveling slowly. He realized this seconds before impact and attempted to jerk her truck to the side to avoid a collision; he did not prevail in his attempt. His tractor-trailer hit another tractor-trailer and then rolled onto its side in a ditch.
If you are injured from a tractor-trailer-related accident, it is important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Distraction/Inattention is a Common Cause of Truck-Related Accidents
According to Distraction.gov, in 2014 alone, there were 3,179 fatalities and 431,000 injuries that involved distracted drivers. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver-related factors, such as being distracted or inattentive, were involved with nearly 55 percent of all the tractor-trailer drivers in fatal crashes involving one vehicle and 27 percent of all the tractor-trailer drivers in multi-vehicle fatal crashes. Per the FMCSA, the second most common driver-related factor to lead to an accident is distracted, or inattentive, driving.
If you are involved in a tractor-trailer-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation. This is especially true if you can show that the tractor-trailer driver was at distracted, or inattentive, at the time of the accident. Your compensation may include, but is certainly not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress and loss pain and suffering.
Nevertheless, you will need to first show that the tractor-trailer driver was at least negligent in causing the accident. According to Illinois’ statute 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, you, as the plaintiff, must show that the tractor-trailer driver, the defendant, owed you a specific duty of care. Drivers on the roadway owe nearby drivers the duty of safe/reasonable driving. Second, you must show that the defendant breached said duty of care. If the truck driver was looking at his phone, for example, this would be a breach of his duty to drive safely.
Third, the defendant’s breach must have actually caused your injury. Fourth, it must have been foreseeable that your injury could have resulted from the defendant’s breach. Fifth, finally, you must show the court that you did suffer damages from defendant’s conduct. An attorney can help you through this complex process and ensure a timely filing pursuant to our statute of limitations rules.
If you were involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer and now suffer injuries, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti have the experience needed to aggressively take on your case. Call us today at (312) 332-2872 or toll free (877) 374-1417 to schedule a FREE consultation.