Commercial trucks are generally larger than the average passenger vehicle and may be carrying hundreds of pounds in cargo, resulting in serious accidents. If you were a driver or passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a commercial truck, you may be dealing with severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal disc herniation and fractured limbs.
Filing a lawsuit against parties responsible for the truck accident is the best way to recover damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. There are several parties that may be held liable for the accident. Here are a few of the most common defendants in an Illinois truck accident claim.
The truck driver operating the truck involved in the accident is often the most obvious defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. A truck driver may be liable for negligence or failing to operate the truck in an unsafe manner. Negligent truck driving may include:
- Driving at an excessive rate of speed.
- Failing to maintain distance between truck and other vehicles.
- Violating federal hours-of-service regulations, resulting in driver fatigue.
- Sudden braking, resulting in jackknife.
- Impaired driving.
Trucking companies can be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employed truck drivers if the driver was operating the truck within the course and scope of their employment. Trucking companies may also be liable for:
- Negligent hiring of an unqualified truck driver.
- Negligent supervising of truck driver.
- Negligent entrustment of truck to unqualified truck driver.
- Failure to provide adequate training to truck driver.
- Failure to conduct proper inspections and perform regular maintenance on the truck.
The manufacturer of the truck involved in the accident may be liable for the crash if the equipment in the vehicle malfunctioned and that malfunction contributed to the accident.
There are strict rules and regulations cargo loaders must follow when loading a commercial truck. Therefore, cargo loaders may also be liable for rollover accidents are caused by overloading the truck or failing to properly balance the weight of the cargo.