Who's at Fault?

Holding Negligent Parties Responsible

When you are seriously injured in a trucking accident, you just want to move on with your life. A trucking accident can be caused in a variety of ways, and because your case depends on finding the party that caused the accident, it is important to prove who was at fault.

To find out who is responsible, it is important to name all parties early on. As with any type of personal injury case, evidence disappears, trucks are repaired, witnesses vanish and injuries are forgotten. As soon as possible after your accident, contact us. We will begin to investigate your claim immediately and obtain protective court orders if necessary.

Contact Klest Injury Law Firm to learn how we can help you determine who is liable for the injuries you suffered in a truck accident. Located in Chicago, our firm represents people throughout the Chicagoland area and Illinois, as well as nationwide.

Truck Driver Negligence

Truck drivers are responsible for the safe handling of massive machines that occupy the same roads as passenger vehicles. Truckers have a duty to ensure that the truck is maintained properly, they are not too tired or otherwise impaired to drive and the weather is suitable for driving. This requires an experienced and properly trained driver who respects the rules of the road.

It is frightening to think that an unqualified driver is behind the wheel of a semi truck. A driver has a responsibility to ensure that you and your family are not placed in danger by his or her negligence. Trucking companies also have a duty to hire qualified drivers. These two responsibilities go hand in hand to protect you and other drivers.

Types Of Truck Driver Negligence

Truck driver negligence can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Common types of negligence encountered on the road include:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Failing to use a turn signal
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Failing to properly inspect trucks before, during and after a route
  • Driving with an overweight load, improperly balanced load or improperly secured load
  • Continuing to drive despite adverse road conditions
  • Violating the federal law on sleep and rest time
  • Driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of a drug

Truckers are often pushed by trucking companies to take on more trips. This push to stay competitive in the trucking industry places your family in danger as truck drivers then have to choose between losing their job and compromising on safety. All too often, a driver chooses to ignore safety and causes a serious accident.

Trucking Company Negligence

Trucking companies owe a duty to other drivers to ensure that the trucks they own are safe and the drivers they employ are competent. Failing to train drivers adequately and to ensure that trucks are maintained properly jeopardizes the safety of your family. Trucking company negligence can contribute to truck crashes.

Like truck drivers, trucking companies are heavily regulated by federal and state laws. To protect innocent drivers on the road, the government imposes strict standards on trucking companies regarding maintenance, driver training, truck inspection and employment. Trucking company negligence includes:

  • Scheduling drivers on trips that exceed federal regulations relating to travel and sleep time
  • Failing to ensure that trucks are properly loaded, balanced and secured
  • Hiring unqualified drivers who lack proper training
  • Requiring drivers to operate rigs that are improperly maintained, inspected and repaired
  • Failing to discipline drivers for safety violations
  • Neglecting to provide safety devices on trucks such as rear underride protection

The injuries you suffer because of trucking company negligence may require ongoing medical care and physical rehabilitation. To get enough money to compensate you for all of your losses, you will likely need to name all possible parties in your lawsuit, including the trucking company. These companies have armies of lawyers protecting their interests, and they will send them into action as soon as possible. To counter this, you need to get our experienced attorneys on your side so that we can immediately launch an investigation of our own.

Improper Truck Maintenance

Semi trucks travel tens of thousands of miles every year. With the amount of time trucks spend on the road, things naturally go wrong. Simple wear and tear can compromise a truck's safety. Mechanical failure and defective parts greatly increase the likelihood that a truck will injure you in an accident.

Given the serious risks to you and your family, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes stringent truck maintenance guidelines on truck drivers and trucking companies.

Types Of Truck Maintenance Issues

Under federal law, truck drivers and their employers need to make sure trucks are operating properly. Depending on who owns the truck, it can be the duty of both the trucking company and the truck driver to ensure that a truck is maintained properly. A violation of truck inspection requirements can lead to serious injuries caused by improperly maintained:

  • Lights and reflectors
  • Truck brakes and parking brakes
  • Brake couplings
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Tires
  • Windshield wipers and defrosters
  • Truck coupling devices
  • Mirrors
  • Rear or side underride protection

Trucking companies may also employ third parties to maintain and repair their trucks. These businesses may also be liable for injuries caused by improper maintenance. You must name them as defendants to hold them responsible, so having an attorney who can help you identify all possible parties to a claim is vital.

Defective Truck Design And Truck Parts

Not only do truck drivers and trucking companies have a duty to ensure that you are not hurt by a dangerous truck, but designers and manufacturers must also protect against semi-truck defects. Given the fact that trucks travel tens of thousands of miles every year, truck accidents are inevitable; when a truck is designed or manufactured defectively, the risk to you and your family increases.

Common design and manufacturing defects in trucks can impact many parts, including tires, mirrors, brake systems, underride protection and more.

Proving A Semi-Truck Defect Case

Cases involving defective truck parts are often called product liability claims. In a product liability claim involving a semi-truck defect, you must prove that you were injured by a defective product put on the market by a business, and to obtain the fullest recovery possible, you must name all possible defendants in your case. This means you must locate and name the designer, manufacturer, distributor, salesperson and any business that engaged in the sale, manufacture or design of a truck. This can be nearly impossible to do on your own, which is why it is important to turn to our seasoned trucking accident lawyers as soon as you can.

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