Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can happen on the road, causing serious personal injuries and other damages. But they can also cause injuries when the operator or other professional attempts to use the truck. The vehicle does not always have to be in motion for there to be a risk of injury or some negligent conduct. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago truck accident lawyers are ready to help you seek the compensation that you deserve after an unnecessary and painful truck accident.

A recent case from the Illinois Court of Appeal discusses a situation involving a dump truck. The victim worked for a trucking company as a driver. While he was working on a dump truck leased from another company that was loaded with mulch for a delivery. He climbed on top of the vehicle and lowered himself into the trailer so that he could rake the mulch and level it inside the trailer. At the time he climbed down, he noticed that surfaces of the trailer were wet. When he finished raking and leveling, he attempted to exit the trailer by using the ladder on the side of the trailer when he fell. He landed on his feet and experienced a sharp pain in his back. He informed his employer, completed the delivery, returned to the truck yard, and prepared the next day’s delivery. He used the stairs one more time without incident.

The worker and his wife filed a lawsuit against multiple parties including the trucking company and seller of the truck alleging that the defendants were strictly liable for his injuries and negligent in failing to provide safe access to and from the trailer. They also alleged that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings and safety measures and failed to perform sufficient product testing to ensure the trailer’s safety.

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When multiple parties are involved in a car accident, the determination of who is liable and to what extent can cause serious headaches. Illinois has specific laws that govern issues involving joint tortfeasor liability that determine when co-defendants are liable for the conduct of other co-defendants. As dedicated Chicago personal injury lawyers, the seasoned trial lawyers of Therman Law Offices will ensure that you receive the full amount of competition you deserve from each party who caused your harm.

A recent case interpreted specific provisions of the Illinois Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act. The two defendants in the case were vicariously liable for injuries that the plaintiff sustained in a multi-vehicle accident. The first defendant was a logistics company and a freight broker that negotiated contracts with licensed motor carriers to transport goods. The defendant entered into an agreement with a grocery store to arrange for the shipment of produce. The federally licensed motor carrier contacted to make the transport was the second defendant in the action. During transport of a shipment of potatoes on Interstate 55, the driver noticed vehicles stopped ahead but she was not able to stop the tractor-trailer in time resulting in a multi-vehicle crash resulting in two fatalities and one seriously injured party.

The driver admitted negligence in the resulting legal action that the survivors’ and victim brought against the parties. The trucking company admitted negligence along with the driver while the logistics company denied liability. It claimed that it could not be held vicariously liable for the driver’s actions under the respondeat superior doctrine because there was not enough evidence to prove that the driver was acting as the agent of the logistics company. Under this doctrine, an employer is vicariously liable for the tortious acts that his or her employee or agent commits during the course and scope of employment.

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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.

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Car accidents and truck accidents are always devastating for the victims, even when the injuries and property damage are minor. When a driver’s negligence results in a fatality, however, the outcome is a nightmare. At Therman Law Offices, our team of Chicago fatal truck accident lawyers has handled numerous claims on behalf of grieving survivors. We know exactly what you are going through during this time and will fight to ensure that you bring a careless driver to justice. Recently, an Illinois trial court considered a lawsuit involving a fatal truck accident.

The victim, age 15, was walking home from school with his older brother prior to the accident. As he and his brother entered a crosswalk, a truck driver initiated a right-hand turn into the intersection. The truck struck the victim, and its rear wheels ran over the victim, causing her to die at the scene.

The victim’s surviving family members filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company that employed the driver, alleging that the driver was negligent in failing to yield the right of way to the victim and her sibling as they crossed the street. The plaintiffs’ complaint stated that the crosswalk signal was green for the pedestrians and that the victim and her sibling had proceeded well into the crosswalk at the time the truck struck the victim. The parties agreed that the driver was acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash. A surveillance video from one of the corners where the accident took place was offered into evidence. Although the video had poor quality, the plaintiffs alleged that it showed that the victim and her sibling had been walking across the crosswalk for at least 30 seconds before the truck arrived at the intersection.

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Trucks are involved in an alarming number of accidents. Due to their massive size and weight, the collisions that they cause can lead to devastating injuries for the other motorists and pedestrians involved. A recent study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, along with the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, concluded that truck drivers are twice as likely to suffer from obesity as adults in other industries and occupations. The study also showed that truck operators have a higher likelihood of being avid smokers and tend to suffer from more chronic illnesses.

To address the issues associated with these health conditions, Crete Carrier Corporation adopted a policy requiring truck operators with a body mass index of 35 or higher to undergo frequent medical examinations to ensure that they do not suffer from sleep apnea. This condition is a potentially dangerous disorder in which the individual may stop breathing suddenly while sleeping. These pauses in breathing may result in a number of side effects, including restlessness, exhaustion, and an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, heart failure, or high blood pressure. If a driver was diagnosed as having sleep apnea, he or she was ordered to undergo a medical treatment plan.

One of Crete’s drivers refused to undergo the required medical examination, stating that it was a violation of the American Disabilities Act because it required individuals with an actual or perceived illness to submit to extra requirements. According to the driver, the company stopped assigning work to him, resulting in financial losses. The driver then initiated a discrimination lawsuit against the company. Crete moved for summary judgment, and the lower court granted the motion, thereby dismissing the lawsuit. The driver appealed.

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