When a person is struck by a large commercial vehicle, there may be much more at stake than if a person is in an accident with another passenger vehicle. In terms of damage, a tractor trailer is much more powerful and heavy than a regular vehicle and can cause catastrophic levels of damage in a crash. Property damage, serious injuries and fatalities are often the consequence of a serious truck accident.
Another way in which an accident with a truck can be more devastating than one with a car is the number of parties that may be held accountable for a crash. Typically, the negligent driver of a car is the only person cited for an accident. However, when it comes to trucking accidents, the truck driver, the truck owner and even third parties can all be held accountable if negligence or recklessness contributes to an accident.
It can be very important to hold multiple parties accountable for an accident. The reason for this was highlighted in a recent ruling by a Cook County jury after a tragic accident took the life of an Illinois woman in 2010.
According to reports, the woman had pulled onto the side of a road because of a flat tire. A massive truck was traveling further behind her and instead of moving over or slowing down to avoid the stopped car, the truck hit the woman and killed her. The woman's family filed a lawsuit not just against the driver who hit her, but also against Transfreight and Kiswani Trucking Inc.
A jury recently found all three parties liable for the family's shocking loss and awarded them $8 million for the accident. That number could have been much smaller if only one of the parties had been held responsible. While people know that money cannot bring back a loved one, it can help them cope after an unexpected loss. Compensation for a senseless accident can be crucial in holding negligent parties accountable for their actions and will hopefully serve as a way to prevent another similar accident from occurring.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Jury awards $8 million to family of woman struck, killed on I-294 in 2010," Deanese Williams-Harris, March 26, 2013