Recently, our Illinois semi truck accident attorneys read a report on AZCentral.com detailing a multi-vehicle fatal semi truck collision. The initial accident occurred when the driver of a large commercial truck hauling a cargo of produce lost control of his vehicle and crossed the center median on an interstate highway – subsequently causing a collision with an oncoming minivan. A second collision resulted when another oncoming semi truck collided with the initial semi truck – which had overturned on the highway. In turn, the second accident caused another collision with an approaching passenger vehicle.
Upon the first collision, the minivan exploded into flames causing the death of all three vehicle occupants, in addition to, the death of the semi truck driver. Both the co-driver of the first semi truck and the driver of the second passenger vehicle were transported to a local hospital for their injuries. The driver of the second semi truck sustained severe injuries and is currently listed in critical condition. The multi-vehicle accident caused the highway to shut down for over seven hours.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently developed a system called Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System which compiles trucking companies’ safety data and related services for industry, as well as, public use. Through this concept, individuals are able to view the safety history for the companies of large commercial vehicles. This database details the amount of inspections the companies employees and vehicles has received, reported vehicle accidents for the past two years, in addition to, a safety rating.
According to the SAFER System, the trucking company of the driver who caused the initial collision maintains a satisfactory safety rating. A satisfactory safety rating means that records indicate no evidence of substantial non-compliance of safety requirements. In addition, the trucking company has had one reported fatal collision and one injury-resulting collision in the past two years. Although this company maintains relatively safe history, the error of one semi truck driver can cause substantial harm and devastating loss.
When driver error plays a role in a fatal collision, accident victims and their families may be able to seek legal relief for the damages incurred. Personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits may be filed when substantial harm or death has occurred as a direct result of another’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by driver negligence, please contact a Chicago accident attorney. Our experienced attorneys will provide a free consultation to help determine what legal rights may be available to you.