Distracted driving is a real problem on Illinois highways. Contemporary commercial trucks are all loaded with electronic equipment that helps the company maintain monitoring of their drivers, and there are even specific laws that exempt them when using onboard communication equipment when driving in some states. However, Illinois is not one of those states. Trucking companies cannot require any drivers to use onboard electronic equipment while driving within the state, and violations can carry fines of up to $11,000. And it can get even worse when there is evidence of electronic equipment usage in a truck accident.
Comparative fault in Illinois
All states use some form of comparative negligence law when adjudicating highway accidents, and especially truck accidents. Trucking companies and owner-operators are required to carry much more liability insurance protection than standard drivers. And, just because a truck is involved in a collision does not mean the driver is automatically at fault for the accident. The amount of property damage or personal injury does not matter. This also includes fatal accidents, which are very common when big rigs are involved. Any driver who is 50% or greater at fault for causing an accident producing their own injuries cannot recover any financial compensation at all. The fact that a truck driver was violating the distracted driving laws in Illinois can be the difference in compensation awards when an experienced Illinois truck accident lawyer can prove this evidence in court.
How distracted driver can impact a case
Details matter significantly when a truck accident is being evaluated for liability. The actions of all drivers are assessed for comparative fault percentage, and 50-50 shared fault crashes are problematic in two-vehicle situations. Multiple vehicle accidents can result in all parties being assessed under the 50% threshold, but evidence of distracted driving uncovered in an investigation by the plaintiff attorney can result in a truck driver being assessed a larger share of fault in the final ruling.
Personal injury attorneys in Illinois can conduct full investigations into the accident where injured plaintiffs cannot, including questioning the driver and local enforcement officials reconstructing the incident. Always retain an experienced truck accident attorney who understand how to craft a case for maximum damages.