Illinois Truck Accident Law

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

Driving on a Chicago interstate can transform from a mundane activity to a stressful event in a matter of minutes, especially if the ride results in a truck accident. Given the frequency in which these accidents occur in Illinois, it's important to understand the specifics of Illinois truck accident law and how you may be able to receive compensation if you receive injuries resulting from a truck accident.

Duty to Give Information and Render Aid

Illinois, like many states, requires that those involved in vehicle accidents take specific steps while at the scene of the accident. First, you must stop and render aid to anyone who is injured or needs medical assistance. Next, you must provide contact information and vehicle information. If an individual fails to do this, it constitutes a Class A misdemeanor.

Types of Accidents

There are numerous types of accident that can occur that involve trucks. Here are some common examples:

  • Rear end accidents
  • Intersection crashes
  • Left-hand-turn crashes
  • Head-on impacts

Illinois Truck Accident Law Overview

The laws addressing vehicle accidents can be complex. To make it easier to navigate, the chart below provides a short overview of Illinois truck accident law written in plain language.

Statutes

Illinois Statutes Chapter 625 Vehicles:

  • Section 5/11-312 (unlawful use or damage to highways, appurtenances and structures)
  • Section 5/11-401 (motor vehicle accidents involving death or personal injuries
  • Section 5/11-402 (motor vehicle accident involving damage to vehicle)
  • Section 5/11-403 (duty to give information and render aid)
  • Section 5/11-406 (duty to report accident)
  • Section 5/11-407 (immediate notice of accident)
  • Section 5/11-501 (driving while under the influence)
  • Section 5/11-601 (general speed restrictions)

 

Causes of Action and Damages

 

For a civil lawsuit, many of the truck accident claims are based on a theory of negligence.

Examples of Driver Negligence:

  • Driver fatigue/falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Poor decision-making
  • Unfamiliarity with the area
  • Drunk driving and drugged driving

Other Indirect Causes:

  • Faulty truck design
  • Improper truck maintenance

Possible Defendants:

  • Truck driver
  • Employer of the driver
  • Owner of the truck
  • Leasing company
  • Owner of the truck trailer
  • Manufacturer of the truck
  • Truck maintenance company

Damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Missed wages from work
  • Decrease in future ability to earn
  • Decreased quality of life

If a family member was killed in the accident, an individual can get survivor loss benefit damages, including:

  • Hospital costs
  • Property damages
  • Loss of potential future earnings
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Non-tangible damages: pain and suffering, emotional anxiety, and grief.

Regulations and Violations

Truck drivers are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Additionally, Illinois has enacted trucking regulations that mirror national guidelines concerning braking requirements, inspection and maintenance of vehicles, and driver drug testing.

Part of making a case will involve investigating whether the truck driver violated any of these regulations:

  • The number of hours the driver could work within a specific time frame
  • The driver's alcohol and drug use history
  • The trucker's previous driving history
  • The truck and trailers maintenance schedule
  • The level of training the driver received to ensure that they know how to operate the vehicle safely

Statute of Limitations

Personal Injury: 2 years

Property Damage: 5 years

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Illinois Truck Accident Law: Related Resources

Discuss Illinois Truck Accident Law with an Attorney

If you were involved in an accident and need help understanding how Illinois truck accident laws affect your case, you should get legal help. An attorney can determine the strength of your case and help with settlement offers so that you can get a fair amount. Contact an Illinois personal injury attorney today for more information.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.