Anyone who has ever passed by a tractor-trailer on the interstate knows how large and unwieldy these commercial vehicles can be, as well as how little room truck drivers have for error. Unfortunately, when truck drivers and companies make mistakes that result in collisions, the consequences are usually catastrophic for any commuter cars caught up in the wreck.
If you were recently hurt in an auto accident caused by a negligent truck driver, you may have options for filing a civil suit with the help of a practiced attorney. With professional guidance and support from an Elgin truck accident lawyer, you could pursue compensation not only for your financial losses stemming from a truck crash but for emotional and psychological harm as well.
Who Could Be Held Liable for a Truck Wreck?
Liability in truck accident claims can be a bit more complicated than car collision cases. Typically, the at-fault party in an auto accident claim are directly involved in the accident. This can be the case for truck wrecks as well if the driver was intoxicated, fatigued, violating traffic laws, or acting recklessly or carelessly in some other way.
However, individual truck drivers are not always the only party liable for an accident. Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, for example, an employer can sometimes be held liable for the negligent actions of their employee. It may be possible to file suit against a careless trucker’s employer rather than the driver themselves.
A trucking company may be primarily at fault for a wreck if, for instance, they forced their drivers to disobey Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines on daily and weekly drive time, leaving them dangerously fatigued and prone to causing a wreck. If the circumstances warrant it, a local truck accident attorney could even help an injured party file suit against a manufacturer, mechanic, or supplier whose negligence caused the vehicle to malfunction in a way that directly led to the crash.
Effectively Pursuing Compensation for Damages in Elgin
Regardless of the party who ultimately bears the blame for a truck wreck, civil plaintiffs filing suit can seek both economic and non-economic damages. Recoverable economic damages usually center around medical bills, lost wages, and expenses associated with repairing or replacing damaged personal property, while non-economic damages cover subjective forms of harm like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
However, plaintiffs can also be found partially liable for their injuries if a court decides they acted negligently before, during, or after their accident. Under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/2-1116, a court has the ability to reduce a plaintiff’s compensation by the percentage of fault they bear, or, if they share more than 50 percent of the total blame, bar them from recovery altogether. Contesting these kinds of allegations is one of many areas where the help of a local truck wreck representative can be especially critical.
Speak with an Elgin Truck Accident Attorney
As crucial as the supply chains and distribution networks across the state of Illinois may be, commercial trucks can also be incredibly dangerous if not operated with care and within the boundaries set by state and federal laws. Fortunately, anyone who is injured in a wreck caused by a negligent truck driver or company can file a civil lawsuit and pursue significant compensation for their resulting damages.
A conversation with an Elgin truck accident lawyer could help you determine your legal options and ensure you know how to pursue the financial restitution you deserve. To schedule an initial meeting with a seasoned legal representative at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., call today.