Chicago Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
In only a moment, one tortfeasor (negligent driver) can permanently alter many lives. These vehicle collision victims have immediate concerns, such as medical care and alternative transportation. Serious injuries usually have long-term physical and emotional effects, as well. All this time, the insurance company calls constantly seeking a settlement. The added stress makes it even more difficult to fully recover from serious injury.
Michael Friedman is more than an aggressive and experienced advocate. He is also a compassionate counselor who understands your pain and suffering. Even better, he has a plan to help you get better. As the entire legal team works together to execute this plan, the lines of communication between attorney and client are always open. So, you are never in the dark.
Establishing Liability in Illinois Truck Wrecks
Much like criminal records in criminal cases, driving records are inadmissible in civil cases to show that a person was a “bad driver.” However, they may be admissible to show that a driver was negligent on a particular occasion.
When it comes to large truck operators, obtaining driving records is sometimes a problem. Even if the wreck occurred in Illinois, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) often has licenses in several different states. It is difficult to cull through all these records and present their contents in a compelling way. Furthermore, some truck drivers are not entirely forthcoming about their license status in different states.
Fortunately, government bureaucrats now do much of this legwork. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently began using Behavior Analysis & Safety Improvement Categories to measure driver safety. To compile the BASIC score, the FMCSA looks at data from across state lines, including:
- Crash history,
- Unsafe driving incidents,
- HOS (hours of service) noncompliance,
- Vehicle maintenance records,
- Alcohol/substance use,
- Driver medical fitness, and
- Hazardous substance transportation requirements.
The FMCSA synthesizes this information as well. Typically, this synthesis is a score between 1 and 100. Therefore, it is very easy for Cook County jurors to understand the issues involved.
Third Party Liability in Chicago Truck Crashes
Many Illinois large truck crashes cause catastrophic injuries, such as wrongful death. Third party liability gives victims additional sources of recovery, so they may obtain fair compensation for their injuries.
Respondeat superior (“let the master answer”) is one of the most common vicarious liability theories in Illinois. Employers are responsible for the negligent acts of their employees if:
- Employee: The tortfeasor must be an employee. That word is very broadly defined as anyone who performs any service for the employer. So, in this context, an “employee” could be a regular employee, owner-operator, independent contractor, or even an unpaid volunteer.
- Course of Employment: Similarly, any action which benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. Such actions could include driving an empty truck back to the warehouse.
Other employer liability theories in Chicago include negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, and negligent supervision.
Damages in Illinois truck wrecks usually include compensation for both economic losses, such as medical bills and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. If there are multiple responsible parties, judges usually apportion damages among them based on their percentage of fault.
Contact an Aggressive Attorney
Large trucks often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Chicago, contact Michael T. Friedman & Associates, P.C. Home and hospital visits are available.