An Illinois Truck Accident Claims a Fifth Victim

In July, a truck accident on I-55 instantly claimed the lives of four people ages 11 to 54. Earlier this month, a local news service published a story reporting that a fifth accident victim had died. The high fatality rate of the accident is consistent with national statistics, which reveal that more than 5,000 people die in truck accidents in the U.S. each year.

The ratio of the number of trucks to truck accident fatalities is significantly higher than the ratio of the number of cars to car accident fatalities, and this is true for several reasons. Substance abuse issues are common among long-haul truck drivers, who often need to drive hundreds of miles and stay awake for many hours each day. Also, trucking companies sometimes fail to provide the necessary vehicle maintenance needed to keep eighteen-wheelers safe. Eighteen-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and are highly dangerous when improperly maintained. In addition, truck drivers sometimes choose to, or are pressured to, drive more than the legally mandated number of hours allowed without a rest break. Trucking companies sometimes fail to effectively screen hired drivers, resulting in unqualified drivers, drivers without necessary licenses and drivers with criminal records and/or DUIs/DWIs. Another reason is that semi truck cargoes are sometimes improperly loaded, resulting in shifted cargoes that can cause trucks to go out of control.

The July accident on I-55 appears to be consistent with national data. Truck driver Francisco Espinal Quiroz was charged with a felony for falsifying his driving records and charged with a felony for failing to maintain record of duty status, as well as cited for failure to reduce his speed in order to prevent an accident. Additionally, prosecutors state that Quiroz had been on the road twelve hours at the time of the accident. Illinois law allows truck drivers to drive only eleven hours without rest.

When drivers and transport companies break laws and injuries result, injury victims and their families should work with experienced truck accident attorneys to prove negligence and recover needed and deserved compensation. The Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois, law firm of Ryan Ryan & Landa has handled numerous truck accident cases, including a case involving a fatigued truck driver that settled for $4.5 million. For qualified truck accident legal help in Illinois, contact our firm at (847)416-1989. 

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