Truck accidents can be the most serious of all collisions on Illinois highways. They happen both along the interstate corridors and within significant urban areas like Chicago with several multiple-lane bypasses that are used to expedite traffic in and around the metropolitan areas. And when truck accidents happen, not only do they commonly result in serious injuries and fatalities, they can also be very complicated cases when they end up in court. Shipping companies understand well that they may be held liable as employers when all material case facts are disclosed in court, but they are also often quick to attempt shifting fault for an accident directly to other drivers or even their own driver in some instances when they can claim any degree of separation.
Unraveling truck accidents
The first thought most individuals have about a truck accident is that it is the big-rig operator’s fault. However, this is not always the case. All truck accidents are investigated generating an official accident report detailing as much as possible what transpired during the mishap. Local police jurisdictions often have limited manpower available for a full investigation, and many times it takes input from an experienced truck accident attorney that can conduct a comprehensive evaluation. This is typically what happens when an injured victim retains legal counsel.
The next issue aside from comparative fault is potential liability for the employing shipping company and the shipment contractor. Shipping companies and their insurers are notorious for trying to influence the final determination of fault in a truck accident, and shipment contractors could share in fault as well. It always takes solid representation from an aggressive law firm that has handled a significant number of truck accidents for an acceptable outcome.
To further complicate what will already be a convoluted legal matter, punitive damages may even be pursued in a lawsuit when evidence of gross negligence can be found. This possibility along with possible wrongful death claims for fatal victims will also lengthen the time it takes to fully adjudicate the accident for maximum damages for the claimants.