Illinois Auto Collision Injury Attorneys
Any car, motorcycle or other roadway accident is a shocking, totally unexpected event. When injuries or fatalities occur, it can be hard to know what to do beyond getting people the medical attention they need and notifying insurers. If your injuries are – or might be – significant, it is crucial to contact a Belleville car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
We Take Fast Action to Protect Important Evidence
When you contact our Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C. office, we will respond quickly and actively to investigate your car accident crash site and meet with you in a free consultation. Our results show how effective we are in uncovering evidence in your favor. Fast action is important because it helps ensure our access to evidence that may be critical, such as:
- All vehicles involved in the accident
- Positioning of vehicles and skid marks, often especially critical in a car/truck collision
- Any available witnesses to your car accident
- An accurate view of road conditions and other environmental factors that may have contributed to your auto collision injury
We Call on Top Experts to Prove Negligence and Show Consequences
Our attorneys and the experts we call on — including accident reconstructionists and engineers in many disciplines — travel throughout Illinois to investigate serious auto accidents. We have handled cases ranging from head-on collisions involving two passenger vehicles to 18-wheeler accidents, and personal injury and wrongful death litigation against a wide range of defendants.
When a semi, tractor-trailer or other big rig is involved in a crash, the injuries are often devastating. Truck accidents take many lives and leave victims dealing with an array of catastrophic consequences, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
The magnitude of such injuries and their long-term costs is one important reason to contact a Belleville car/truck collision lawyer with truck accident case experience if you or a family member becomes a victim. Another is the complexity involved in investigating these cases to determine causes and prove negligence.
Serious, Complex Accidents Require an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
At the law firm of Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., we have the experience to handle any car/truck collision or other semi wreck in Illinois. As shown by major successes in complex truck accident injury and wrongful death cases, attorney George R. Ripplinger knows what to look for and who to speak with, as well as how to quickly contact and secure expert investigators.
You should consult an attorney as soon as possible in any case of personal injury, but this step can be especially critical in a truck accident case. An intensive roadway cleanup effort can eliminate key evidence quickly, and your success in recovering compensation may hinge on our ability to document a variety of factors in the accident, such as:
- Whether precautions were taken to prevent an unbalanced load
- A variety of roadway conditions and potential vehicle or component defects
- Whether a driver and trucking company involved was negligent in following extensive regulations that cover background checks for commercial drivers, keeping logbooks, limiting hours of service and many other conditions
Looking at All Angles and Sources of Recovery for Illinois Truck Accidents
We will look beyond the truck driver’s possible negligence to identify all possible sources of recovery for you. To cite a few examples, we have obtained million-dollar-plus settlements for our clients in cases involving:
- A defective truck steering system, enabling a successful lawsuit against a trucking company responsible for maintaining vehicle safety
- Improper roadway paving that caused a truck to hydroplane into a fatal crash, enabling action against the responsible road construction company
Belleville Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
With the rise in the use of cellphones and text messaging, a previously unknown danger on the road became apparent. Drivers who are talking on their cellphones or who are text messaging while they drive pose the same level of risk to other drivers as drunk drivers.
Talking on the phone or texting while driving distracts drivers from the road. Without their full attention focused on the road, drivers are unable to react quickly enough to avoid hazards that they would otherwise have less difficulty avoiding.
The problem of distracted drivers is made worse by the fact that few drivers who engage in this risky behavior actually recognize the danger they are creating for others and therefore see no reason to cease talking on their cellphones or texting while they are driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and you know or believe that the other driver was using his or her cellphone and that the accident may have been caused by his or her carelessness, we can help you build an effective case.
Exceptional Representation Since 1970
At Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., we have been helping the victims of accidents recover the compensation they need and deserve since 1970. We know how challenging it can be to recover physically from an auto accident. You may need extensive rehabilitation. You will need access to the proper medical care and the financial resources to help you get through that time. We are dedicated to helping our clients effectively pursue the help they need.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Illinois?
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you need to take immediate action to ensure that your rights are fully protected. Beginning the gathering of evidence as soon as possible after an accident has occurred is the best guarantee that you will have what is needed to begin building a case that is capable of holding the responsible party accountable for their actions.
Securing skilled legal representation as soon as possible after an accident can also prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you. Following an accident, insurance companies will begin deploying their extensive resources to try and minimize any potential liability.
Do Not Talk to the Insurance Companies Without an Attorney
The higher the potential value of your claim against them, the greater the effort the insurance companies will put into making sure you receive little or no compensation. For example, you may receive a phone call from an insurance company, which is prefaced as merely information gathering. In reality, the person on the other end of the line is trained at getting you to say information that may be damaging to any claim you might make.
Our skilled attorneys can handle all interactions with the insurance companies for you and help make sure you do not lose your case before you get to the courthouse.
Belleville Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorneys
Even though drivers in Illinois are required to carry liability insurance, some drivers have no insurance or not enough to cover the costs of the damage that occur in an auto accident. This could leave those injured in auto accidents with no coverage for what may be costly medical care.
Fortunately, most insurance policies include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of a policy. These policies provide coverage for accidents where the party causing the accident does not have any or enough insurance to cover the damages they caused.
If you have been involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance or who has insufficient insurance, you can turn to your own insurance policy for the necessary coverage.
However, in many instances, insurance companies are reluctant to pay out the real levels of compensation that are needed. We can help you secure the full compensation to which you are entitled to under your insurance uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Belleville Bus Accident Attorneys
Most people understand the danger posed by semi tractor-trailers on the highway, but there is another class of vehicle that is almost as large and poses a similar threat: busses. Too often busses may be poorly maintained or poorly operated. When these vehicles are on the highway, they can present a real threat. Many of the busses on our highways include:
- Tour busses
- Charter busses
- City to city carriers
The injuries that such large vehicles are capable of creating can be very serious or fatal. Yet, too often the owners of these busses fail to perform adequate maintenance, leading to accidents with other vehicles, fires and other dangerous incidents.
Driver fatigue may also play a role in causing bus accidents as the drivers may be forced to drive for extended periods without rest or replacement.
Belleville Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Commercial vehicles are an ever present part of everyone’s daily driving experience. Their ubiquity can make it hard to take notice of them. It can also make it difficult to keep in mind the risk that they can pose. Commercial vehicles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Most are larger than private passenger vehicles. That added size can cause the injuries sustained in accident with one of these vehicles to be more serious than accidents involving smaller vehicles.
Some of the common types of commercial vehicles include:
- Cargo vans
- Moving vans
- Delivery trucks
- Construction vehicles
- Bucket trucks
Another important aspect of accidents involving commercial vehicles is the fact that there may be more than one responsible party. The driver of the vehicle may have caused the accident, but the company that owns the vehicle may be responsible for compensating for your injuries as well.
Correctly identifying and creating accountability on the part of the responsible parties requires experience. We will work to ensure that all possible sources of compensation are thoroughly examined and pursued.
Belleville Trucking Accidents Lawyers
It is difficult to overstate the risk created by tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles on the road. Weighing as much as 80,000 pounds and travelling at highway speeds, the physics of 18-wheelers can make them very difficult to effectively brake or steer, especially if emergency maneuvers are needed. If a semi loses control and causes or is involved in an accident, the level of injuries that are suffered by those in other vehicles is very often devastating or fatal.
Exceptional Representation Since 1970
At Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., we are committed to helping our clients protect their rights after being injured in an accident that involved a semi or other large commercial vehicle. The injuries that are associated with trucking accidents are very serious and will often require extensive medical care and possibly extended periods of recovery during which time you may be unable to work. We can help you secure the compensation you deserve following a trucking accident.
Attorney George Ripplinger Jr. has been providing the skilled representation that trucking accident victims need for more than 40 years.
Our firm offers its exceptional representation to those who have been injured in trucking or commercial vehicle accidents involving:
- Jackknife accidents
- Underride trucking accidents
- Override trucking accidents
- Truck driver fatigue
- Trucking accidents caused by bad weather
- Trucking accidents caused by speeding
- Trucking accidents caused by backing out
- Trucking accidents caused by inadequate maintenance
- Defective truck equipment
- Trucking accidents caused by improper loading
- Trucking accidents caused by tire blowout
- Trucking accidents caused by distracted drivers
- Overloaded trucks
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Types of trucking accident injuries
Truck Accidents Caused by Backing Out
Tractor Trailer Collision Attorneys
Many truck accidents are caused when truck drivers back out of a parking space, driveway or lot and fail to yield or see other vehicles or pedestrians. Injuries are often very serious, including head, brain trauma and spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries have devastating consequences and take years of rehabilitation and care. If you or a loved one was injured due to a truck backing-out accident, seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible.
The longer you wait, the less likely evidence can be preserved. This is critical because your attorney will want to have as much evidence as possible for your case in order to obtain all necessary experts. This includes accident reconstructionists and medical experts. At Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., our experienced attorneys have been helping truck accident victims since 1970. We truly understand the nature of truck accident cases, what experts to hire and how to argue your case effectively.
Rear-End Car Collisions and Backing-Out Accidents
When truck drivers are careless, fail to look out for oncoming traffic or have overloaded trucks, they can cause serious backing-out accidents. Furthermore, if truck drivers get distracted, such as texting or talking on their cell phone, this can cause rear-end collisions as well. The results of these types of truck accidents are serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck backing-out or rear-end collision, we can seek compensation for you including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional damages
- Rehabilitation therapy costs
- Pain and suffering
Our truck accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the details of your case and all possible sources of compensation. We prepare for every case as if we are going to trial, giving us a great advantage in negotiations and mediations. Preparation and experience are key in any personal injury case, and the lawyers at Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., work hard to provide such skilled legal representation.
Truck Accidents Caused By Bad Weather
Semi Truck Injury Attorneys
Truck drivers have to drive no matter what the weather. Rain, snow or sunshine, shipments have to made and on time. Unfortunately, truck accidents are often caused by bad and inclement weather. Large motor vehicles such as trucks, tractor-trailers, semis and 18-wheelers become more difficult to maneuver and stop when faced with bad weather. Serious and even fatal accidents are caused by this, leaving devastating consequences. If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to a bad weather-related truck accident, now is the time to act. Seek legal compensation and hire an experienced truck accident lawyer in Illinois who truly understands the issues at hand.
More Than Four Decades of Experience
The Belleville truck accident lawyers at the law firm of Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., have more than four decades of experience. When you are seeking compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity as well as any pain and suffering, you want one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys on your side. There is a lot at stake, including holding all negligent parties responsible.
The sooner you contact us, the more beneficial it is to our case. Evidence can quickly disappear and we want to be able to preserve as much as possible. Schedule a free initial consultation today so we can immediately start working on your case.
Illinois Truck Accidents Caused by Bad Weather
When pressure is placed on truck drivers to get somewhere on time, speeding only exacerbates any dangerous or bad weather conditions. Bad weather conditions often include:
- Heavy rain
- Freezing rain
- High winds
We also want to make sure that all possible defendants are held responsible for their actions. This could include the trucking company, logistics company, truck repair company or tire manufacturer. Part of seeking a full and fair recovery is being sure to sue all negligent parties, not just the obvious ones. We will do a thorough analysis of your case to determine all possible defendants.
Truck Accidents Caused By Inadequate Maintenance
Belleville Inadequate Truck Maintenance Accident Attorneys
With the large number of coal, mineral, grain and container trucks utilizing the highways in our area, it is critical that all of those vehicles have been properly maintained to minimize the risk posed to noncommercial traffic. Equipment failures that would cause little risk if they occurred on a smaller vehicle can create serious accidents that can have a disastrous impact on the lives of the victims.
Too often, the owners and operators of semis and other large commercial vehicles fail to take the steps necessary to ensure that their trucks are in top operating condition.
The situation may be complicated by a complex chain of responsibility that includes:
- Maintenance providers
- Manufacturers of defective equipment or truck parts
Our experienced attorneys can help untangle that web of potential liability and take all necessary steps to hold the appropriate parties responsible, including those who may be located overseas.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Semi Truck Accidents and Driver Fatigue in Illinois
The size and speed of semi trucks and tractor-trailers already put other drivers at risk of suffering serious injuries in car-truck accidents. When driver fatigue and drowsiness are present, they can lead to trucks driving over centerlines, running off roads and other reckless behavior that puts other cars in danger. Federal safety regulations are intended to curb these problems, but unfortunately, truck driver fatigue is still a factor in 20-40% of accidents, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
At the law firm of Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., our attorneys provide representation to clients injured in truck accidents in Illinois, as well as the family members of the victims of catastrophic and fatal truck accidents. In more than 30 years of experience, our firm has developed a strong track record and understands how to thoroughly investigate truck accidents to understand their causes and pursue monetary damages from those responsible.
Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue and sleep deprivation can impair the ability of car and truck drivers to properly operate their vehicles and can lead to serious accidents. Drivers who nod off at the wheel, close their eyes for brief moments, or simply lose the ability to make timely decisions can swerve or veer off the road causing head-on collisions or other accidents. Causes of driver fatigue are many but may include:
- Excessive daily, weekly and overtime work hours
- Unrealistic trucking company schedules and deadlines
- A driver’s multiple jobs or other off duty commitments
- Sleep deprivation
- Other personal problems that cause fatigue or limit sleep
Trucking companies and their drivers are required to keep accurate logs to detail the hours worked and the breaks that drivers take between shifts. When investigating a truck accident, we will examine these logs to see if fatigue could have been a factor. We will also look to see if the logs may have been falsified or doctored in order to prevent responsibility.
Trucking Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers
A truck driver who is not fully focused on the road is a serious risk to other motorists. Truck drivers have a responsibility to be exceptionally vigilant as they perform their jobs due to the danger posed by semi tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles. The risk is so great that both state and federal regulations govern the trucking industry. Part of remaining vigilant is staying focused on the road.
Today, few people can imagine not having immediate access to their cellphone, even when they drive. Studies show that drivers who are using their cellphones, either to talk or text, are creating a level of risk comparable to drunk driving.
When truck drivers put their attention on texting or talking on their cellphones, they willfully create risk for other drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, we will investigate for causes such as distracted driving and use the information we uncover to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries.
Trucking Accidents Caused By Improper Loading
The safe operation of a semi tractor-trailer is dependent on a large number of factors being successfully accounted for. Some of the factors that must be attended to include:
- Attentive and safe vehicle operation
- Adequate vehicle maintenance
- Attention to road conditions
- Taking required rest breaks
Failure of any one of these factors can have disastrous consequences for other motorists that are sharing the highway with a semi that presents this type of risk.
Was Your Truck Accident Caused by Improperly Loaded Cargo?
One factor that can be crucial, and may be overlooked, is the importance of properly loading cargo. When cargo is not loaded properly, it can cause the trailer to behave erratically and cause the driver to lose control. Even cargo that may have been properly loaded can pose a danger if it is not properly secured. Unsecured cargo can shift during transit and cause the same challenges to safe operation.
Trucking Accidents Caused By Speeding
Semi tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles pose significant risks to other motorists. This is the main reason that operating one of these large vehicles is so strictly regulated. Many factors that are part of the trucking industry are regulated at either the state or federal level, including:
- Driver training requirements
- Number of hours a trucker may drive at one time (mandated rest periods)
One simple factor still causes, or is a partial cause of, so many trucking accidents: speeding.
Too many truckers regularly ignore speed limits to devastating effect. Truck drivers may be under pressure from their employers, whoever they are carrying cargo for or their own desire to end a run more quickly. No matter the cause, speeding is a major factor in a large percentage of trucking accidents.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, you need to have an attorney on your side who is skilled in these types of cases. Trucking accidents can be factually very complex and can require extremely thorough investigations in order to overcome the vast legal resources that insurance companies will use to limit their liability.
Trucking Accidents Caused by Tire Blowout
Semi tractor-trailer drivers are required by regulation to conduct an inspection of their vehicle before making a run. Those inspections can be critical to preserving the safety of the other motorists who will be sharing the road with those trucks. A key component of that inspection is examining the tires.
Tire failure can lead to an immediate loss of control of for the operator of an 18-wheeler. When a tire blowout or tread separation occurs, tragic consequences can ensue.
Being injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle can change the course of your life. These types of accidents tend to cause catastrophic injuries that can have a lasting effect on the quality of your life.
Ascertaining whether or not a tire blowout could have been prevented and if so, which parties are responsible for failing to prevent the blowout can require the assistance of an attorney who has extensive experience in protecting the rights of trucking accident victims.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries in Illinois
All traffic accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or death. Trucking accidents, compared with accidents involving other types of vehicles, have a much greater likelihood of creating catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The range of injuries that can be suffered in an accident with a semi tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle include:
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Paralysis (paraplegia, quadriplegia)
Such major injuries require extensive and costly medical care and recovery periods. Further adding to the cost of these injuries is the fact that the victim will most likely be unable to work during their recovery period and may be unable to ever work in their previous profession again depending on the severity of their injuries.
Belleville Truck Underride Accident Lawyers
An underride truck accident occurs when a tractor-trailer stops or slows down substantially and the cars following it cannot or do not slow down enough in time, and they collide with the trailer. Given the height of the trailer, the front end of most vehicles passes underneath the trailer without hindrance. This leaves the cab still traveling at full speed when the bottom of the trailer impacts the windshield. The occupants face the full force of the impact to their chests and heads.The danger these types of accidents pose has long been recognized. Simple steps like requiring reflective tape and underride guards have been implemented to try and prevent these accidents and to minimize the damage they cause.Yet, underride accidents continue to occur. Underride guards have been shown to fail in preventing major injuries.If you or someone you love has been involved in an underride accident, the injuries suffered may be extremely serious. Having an experienced and skilled attorney by your side may be the only way to protect your rights.
Accidents Caused by Defective Truck Equipment in Illinois
Many truck accidents in Illinois are caused by truck equipment that is defective or is malfunctioning and has not been detected or properly repaired. Trucking companies have a responsibility to the public to provide proper inspections and maintenance of their semi trucks and trailers on a regular basis. When defective truck equipment causes serious accidents and injuries, these companies may be held accountable for the damage that results.At the Belleville personal injury law firm of Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., our attorneys understand how to investigate truck accidents in order to determine how they were caused and what actions or inaction may have led to those accidents. We look at maintenance logs kept by trucking companies and parts that are frequently faulty in order to examine every detail and piece of evidence that could provide important information.
Kinds of Defective Equipment in Truck Accidents
In truck accidents, there tend to be specific parts and areas of semi trucks that malfunction more often than others. Defective equipment that has been known to lead to truck accidents includes:
- Tire blowouts and tread separation
- Brake and brake pad failures
- Steering system problems
- Bad seals, hoses and belts
- Malfunctioning lights, including signal and head lights
Of course, any piece of equipment that is not properly installed or maintained can cause an accident. Due to their size and speed, semi trucks involved in these accidents have the ability to cause severe injuries to the drivers and passengers of other vehicles. Proper maintenance can save significant physical and financial damage, but when this maintenance has not occurred, it is important that accident victims are compensated for their losses.At Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., we will work hard to uncover the details of your case and to secure compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to your accident. We also work with the families members of catastrophic and fatal truck accidents.
Shifting Cargo and Overweight Truck Attorneys
When a truck or semi is overloaded with cargo or unsecured loads, serious accidents can happen as a result. Loose shipments and debris can fall onto other cars, motor vehicles and even pedestrians. There are regulations in place that trucking companies must follow in order to help prevent such accidents. When trucking companies fail to comply with these guidelines, they can be held negligent for any injuries caused.
Belleville Jackknife Truck Accident Attorneys
A jackknife accident occurs when a tractor-trailer loses control and the cab skids to the side. The cab will be at a 90-degree angle to the trailer. The entire truck may be blocking the road. The truck may flip on its side. In almost all of these types of accidents, drivers who were following the semi will be forced to try and avoid colliding with the vehicle and those who were near to the now out-of-control truck will be at serious risk of being struck.There are a number of reasons these types of accidents happen, including:
- Bad weather conditions (snow, rain)
- Driver error
- Faulty brakes
In personal injury, malpractice cases and in some business litigation, our fees are contingent upon our securing compensation for you. We only charge attorney’s fees once we have recovered compensation for our clients.