Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

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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