Who Can Be Sued After a Truck Accident?
Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks can have devastating consequences for everyone involved. If you have been injured in a truck accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our experienced Wheaton and Schaumburg truck accident attorneys can assess your situation and help you understand your legal rights. Having represented clients in complex truck accident cases for many years, you can rest assured that we can determine who can be sued after your truck accident and vigorously advocate for your rights.Potentially Liable Parties Following a Truck Accident
Unfortunately, truck accidents are common in every state, and Illinois is no exception. Data from the Illinois Department of Transportation reveal that about 4 percent of all auto accidents in Illinois involved trucks in 2014. To be exact, there were 11,585 semi-truck crashes in the state that year, including 86 fatal crashes and 1,902 injury crashes. In fact, truck accidents accounted for just over 10.2 percent of all fatal crashes in the state.
An important question that arises after a truck accident is who can be sued. The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of the crash. In most cases, when the accident is a result of a truck driver’s error or carelessness, the truck driver can be sued for negligence. Negligence is a legal theory that describes a situation in which one person owes a duty to use reasonable care to protect another person and fails in that duty, thereby causing harm. In other words, truck driver negligence occurs when a truck driver causes an accident and resulting bodily harm or property damage by failing to use reasonable care behind the wheel. For example, they may fall asleep from excessive fatigue, fail to check a blind spot, or get distracted behind the wheel. Reasonable care, in the context of truck accident cases, refers to the level of care that a prudent truck driver would have used in the same or similar circumstances.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, your attorney may also be able to sue a negligent truck driver’s employer for the driver’s negligence under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability is also sometimes known as “respondeat superior,” which translates to “let the master answer” in Latin. This doctrine makes the employer liable for the negligence of the employee if the negligence took place within the “course and scope” of employment, which means that the employee must have been engaged in business affairs at the time of the crash. It is important to note that suing the employer does not relieve the driver of his or her responsibility; it simply makes the employer liable as well.
When truck accidents result from defective vehicle design or manufacturing, such as many tire blowout accidents, victims may be able to recover compensation through a product liability claim. Product liability is an area of law that holds manufacturers and sellers liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. These claims not only help compensate the injured victim but also protect other consumers by alerting the public to the product’s dangers.
In many cases, truck drivers and trucking companies outsource vehicle maintenance to mechanics and other companies that specialize in the maintenance of large trucks. When these maintenance professionals fail to do their jobs properly, and faulty maintenance causes an accident, they may be liable for negligence. In other words, victims of truck accidents may be able to sue the mechanic or maintenance company directly for injuries suffered in a crash caused by shoddy maintenance work, which may result in inadequate braking ability or other hazards.Get Assistance from an Aggressive Trucking Accident Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
Truck accidents often leave victims with serious injuries and hefty medical expenses. At Therman Law Offices, we understand how stressful it can be to deal with a trucking accident, which is why our attorneys will aggressively try to get you the maximum possible settlement or award in your case. We proudly represent victims in cities such as Wheaton, Schaumburg, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, and Mount Prospect. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys and discuss who can be sued after your accident, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.