Truck accidents are dangerous and lead to some of the most serious accidents. At Therman Law Offices, we have guided numerous truck accident victims through the legal process, including families mourning the loss of a loved one in a fatal collision. There is no amount of compensation that can truly restore your family member to you, but it does help offset the financial burden associated with a sudden and unexpected loss.
In a recent opinion, an Illinois court discussed a situation in which a truck driver caused a multi-car accident. The owner of the semi-tractor was driving down Interstate 55 with a load of produce. She suddenly noticed that the vehicles ahead of her were not moving, and she was unable to stop the truck in time. As a result, the truck ran over multiple vehicles. Two individuals died in the accident, while a third sustained serious injuries.
All three injured parties sued the many defendants involved. First, they sued a logistics company that agreed to let the driver deliver the produce as well as a federally licensed motor carrier that had authorized the driver to book and deliver loads on her own, using its carrier authority. The driver admitted that she operated the truck negligently, and so did the motor carrier. The logistics company denied liability and sought contribution from the other two defendants in the event a judgment was entered against it. At trial, the issues primarily focused on whether there was enough evidence to show that the driver was acting as an agent of the logistics company at the time of the Illinois truck accident. Under Illinois law, the doctrine of vicarious liability allows an accident victim to hold an employer liable for the tortious acts that its employees commit in the course and scope of employment.