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Lake County Truck Crash Injury LawyerBeing involved in a commercial truck crash can lead to devastating injuries and fatalities. Unfortunately, the truck’s driver and trucking company often try to avoid responsibility by denying that they were at fault or minimizing the severity of the crash. For this reason, it is essential for victims of truck crashes to secure access to additional evidence that can prove their case – especially evidence like “black box” data.

You may know that airplanes contain a "black box" that records important data about the plane’s performance in an accident. Similarly, many commercial trucks contain their own black boxes called "event data recorders" that track data such as speed, braking distance, and acceleration. Obtaining access to this data can be extremely helpful for supporting your personal injury claim after a truck crash.

What Is an Event Data Recorder and Why it is Important?

An event data recorder is a device that stores information about the truck’s operation in the moments before and after a crash. It records information such as speed, engine RPM, brake application, acceleration, and fuel flow rate.


Waukegan Personal Injury LawyerIf you or a loved one were recently injured in a commercial truck crash, you may be wondering what happened and who is at fault. Many accidents are caused by truck driver negligence such as distracted driving or speeding. However, in some cases, the trucking company's failure to maintain a commercial truck can result in an accident. Inadequate truck maintenance can have devastating consequences. Individuals who suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a commercial truck crash caused by inadequate maintenance may be entitled to monetary damages for their losses.

Maintenance Requirements for Commercial Trucks

Trucking companies are required by law to meet certain standards when it comes to maintaining their commercial trucks. These standards include inspecting each vehicle before it sets out on the road, repairing any malfunctions or damage that might occur during its use, and regularly checking the tires, brakes, lights, reflectors, and other components of the truck. Additionally, drivers must take responsibility for complete pre-trip inspections prior to beginning any journey.

The Impact of Negligence on Safety

When trucking companies fail to adhere to maintenance requirements established by law or neglect their responsibility to check vehicles before they set out on the road, they put everyone on the highway at risk of an accident due to an unforeseen issue with the vehicle. The consequences of negligence can be serious—it is up to each driver and company owner to ensure that all trucks are safe for operation before hitting the highway.   


IL accident lawyerOne of the leading causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. A tired driver can be just as dangerous as a drunk driver. When a person becomes sleep-deprived and exhausted, they become prone to making mistakes that they would not normally make. Fatigued drivers may miss important road signs, forget to check their blind spots, or even drive more aggressively than usual due to irritability. Unfortunately, there is no roadside tiredness test. A drunk driver may not be able to walk a straight line, but a tired driver may be wide awake right after the crash. Of course, drug or alcohol use can contribute to a driver’s tiredness as well. If you suspect that driver fatigue was a factor in your truck accident, your attorney can try to seek out evidence of the driver’s tiredness.

What Evidence Can Be Used to Show Driver Fatigue?

While it can be very difficult to tell whether a truck driver was overly tired before a crash, certain types of evidence can be used to suggest that driver fatigue was a factor. Helpful evidence may include:

  • Hours of service logs - There are strict federal and state regulations that govern how long a commercial truck driver can keep going without a break, and how long that break must be. Drivers should be keeping a log, which should be corroborated automatically by software installed on the truck. If they broke federal or state law and have not been taking proper rest breaks, this can show that the driver was probably fatigued at the time of the crash.
  • Drug tests - After causing an accident, a truck driver should be tested for drugs and alcohol promptly. The presence of “downers” like alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opiates, can suggest that the driver may have been very sleepy when he caused the crash.
  • Witness testimony - If you were on a populated road, another driver or bystander may have seen signs that the driver was falling asleep. If the driver made a recent stop, someone may have observed them appearing fatigued. They may have purchased coffee or an energy drink, suggesting that they were struggling to stay alert.
  • Type of accident - When a driver falls asleep at the wheel, they often drift out of their lane. Sideswipe accidents or head-on collisions are common results.

Tired truck drivers cause far too many accidents. If you were injured by a fatigued driver, there may be evidence available showing that their fatigue contributed to or caused the crash.


IL accident lawyerAlmost everyone has had the experience of feeling drowsy while driving, especially given our busy lifestyles and tendencies to stay up late or forgo the sleep we need to stay fully rested. While drowsy driving may seem fairly innocent, it can have very serious consequences. This is especially true for drivers of commercial semi-trucks, who can easily lose control of their vehicle and cause an accident if they start to drift off to sleep even for a few seconds. If you have been injured in a truck accident, drowsy driving may have been a contributing factor, and you could be entitled to compensation from multiple liable parties.

What Causes Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy driving, otherwise known as driver fatigue, can happen for many different reasons. Lack of sleep is one of the most common, including in cases in which the driver generally does not get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each day, as well as cases in which the driver is on the road late into the night. Drowsiness is also a common side effect of many medications, and it can start to take hold when a driver has consumed alcohol or certain other drugs.

Among commercial truck drivers, however, one of the most prevalent causes of drowsy driving is the pressure to work long hours, most of them behind the wheel, in order to meet delivery schedules. In order to curb this problem, there are federal regulations in place that limit a driver’s hours of service.


IL accident lawyerIt is an unfortunate reality that many people choose to drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury or death. While this problem is more prevalent among drivers of passenger vehicles on their personal time, some commercial truck drivers also operate under the influence while they are on the job. Accidents involving drunk truck drivers can have especially dire consequences, as their large vehicles are capable of causing extensive damage. If you or a loved one was injured by an intoxicated truck driver, it is important to ensure that you are compensated fairly.

Gathering Evidence of a Truck Driver’s Negligence

Truck driver intoxication can happen due to alcohol consumption, the use of illegal drugs, or the abuse of prescription medication. In many cases, it is possible for accident victims to access evidence establishing these various forms of intoxication in order to bolster their claim for compensation. However, it is important to act quickly.

You should call the police immediately after a crash so that they can create an accident report. If law enforcement suspects that the truck driver is intoxicated, they may also ask the driver to submit to a preliminary breath test at the scene of the accident, which can detect the presence of alcohol in their bloodstream. An officer may also arrest a truck driver on DUI charges, after which the driver is required to submit to chemical testing which can detect other controlled substances. An experienced attorney can help you work with law enforcement to access police reports and test results to use as evidence to demonstrate negligence in your personal injury case.


Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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