This is the next post in a series of articles discussing truck accident cases in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post provided an overview of topics to be discussed throughout this series. It also stressed the need to contact a personal injury attorney if you or a loved one have been injured. Accidents involving large commercial vehicles, such as semis, delivery vans, buses, etc. can become complicated. By immediately retaining a lawyer, you help to ensure that your rights are fully protected. This article will address the importance of identifying all potential defendants in truck accident litigation. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
Peoria trucking accident cases may involve multiple defendants
Victims who have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck often believe that the driver of the vehicle will be the only person held responsible for the accident. While the driver may in fact, be a defendant in the case, there may be other potentially liable parties. When the driver was employed by someone, the employer is generally held responsible for the acts of their employees. This means that if the driver of a commercial semi truck causes an accident, through their own negligence, then their employer is generally held liable for that negligence and may be sued by the victim. In addition, employers who are negligent on their own accord may be considered responsible for an accident. For instance, if the employer hired a driver with a poor driving record and multiple DUIs or hired an inexperienced driver and failed to train them properly, the employer may be held liable for an accident. In addition to the driver’s employer, other potential defendants may include truck leasing companies who fail to maintain safe equipment or manufacturers whose product was faulty and caused an accident.
Consider the following example. Suppose Joe drives a semi truck for a national food service company. The company does not own their fleet of semi trucks. They lease them from another company who is responsible for providing safe trucks to the food service company. When Joe was hired, he had no experience as a truck driver, but was promised training by his employer. They were extremely shorthanded and rushed through his training so that he could start quickly. The driver then causes an accident when he runs a red light and hits a car. Joe reports that the brakes on the truck were not working properly and that he had reported this issue to his employer several times prior to the crash. Under this scenario, the victim may be able to bring an action against the driver for negligence. They may also be able to bring an action against the food service company, holding them responsible for the driver’s negligence as well as their potential failure to appropriately train the driver or address the reported safety issues. Finally, the victim may be able to sue the leasing company regarding the truck’s condition or known safety flaws. It is important to understand, however, that the liability of the various potential defendants will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
Naming all potential defendants can help ensure a full recovery of damages in Illinois truck accident cases
If you or a loved one have been injured then it is imperative that all possible defendants be identified and named as a party in the case. Doing so can help ensure that victims receive compensation for their damages. Unfortunately, depending upon the severity of the injuries sustained or if the victim has passed away as the result of the accident, damages incurred by the victim and the family may be significant. Failing to identify the potentially responsible parties can result in less than adequate compensation. It is crucial that you retain an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters and who will name all possible defendants. If you need assistance, contact my Peoria office today. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.