The weight and size of commercial trucks means that when they encounter a car, the driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle are at a severe disadvantage. Catastrophic injuries are common in these accidents, as our Chicago truck accident lawyers understand. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has promulgated numerous regulations that trucking companies and their drivers must follow. These include rules about hours of service, securing cargo, truck maintenance, and qualifications of drivers. Unfortunately, in spite of the risk, many drivers fail to obey the rules, and their employers may look the other way. If you are injured or a loved one has been killed in a transportation accident in the Chicago area, the attorneys at Moll Law Group may be able to help you pursue compensation.Holding a Truck Driver or Company Accountable for an Accident
In order to hold a truck driver responsible for a collision, you likely will need to prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. This means you will need to show the defendant’s duty of care, the defendant’s breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. In some cases, an FMCSA regulation or another safety law defines the applicable duty. For example, truck drivers are only allowed to work for limited hours to ensure that they get sufficient rest, and they must keep a logbook of their hours to be reviewed by their employers. If a truck driver fails to abide by the regulations and falsifies a logbook, and because of this violation causes an accident, the doctrine of negligence per se (negligence as a matter of law) may apply.
An individual truck driver's insurance policy does not always cover the full range of damages arising out of catastrophic injuries. However, the accident may not be solely due to the driver's negligence but may also be the result of the trucking company's negligence. Trucking companies typically have greater insurance coverage than a single driver does. All trucking companies have a duty to take affirmative steps to make sure that the people they hire are competent to drive and to adequately supervise their employees. An employer that fails to abide by its duties may be held directly liable for negligent hiring or negligent supervision. A trucking company may also be indirectly liable for an employee's negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior. A truck accident lawyer at our Chicago firm can help you try to hold a company liable.
Some truck accidents are the result of a defect within the truck. For example, a truck with defective brakes may jackknife, meaning that the cab moves forward as the trailer swings to the side at a 90-degree angle. The trailer may crash into multiple cars on the road. Jackknife accidents can result in injuries to numerous drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles, all of whom may have their own separate claims. If you are injured in an accident arising out of a defective part in a truck, you may be able to bring a product liability claim against the truck manufacturer or parts manufacturer. In a strict liability case, you need to prove that a design or manufacturing defect caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.Discuss Your Truck Accident Claim with a Chicago Attorney
If you have been struck by a careless truck driver in the Chicago area, the injury lawyers at Moll Law Group may be able to help you seek damages from all responsible parties. Our attorneys represent clients in Naperville, Schaumburg, Wheaton, and communities throughout Cook County. Billions of dollars have been recovered in cases in which we were involved. Call us at 312-462-1700 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a Chicago truck accident attorney.