Recently, a Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm read a news report detailing a settlement that has been reached as result of litigation stemming from a fatal 2008 semi truck accident. According to the news report, posted on MailTribune.com, the accident in question transpired on September 25, 2008, when the driver of a semi tractor-trailer fell asleep behind the wheel. Shortly after falling asleep, the driver’s truck clipped the mirror of another tractor-trailer – causing the driver to pull hard right.
Ultimately the semi truck driver collided into an additional tractor-trailer which was stopped on the wide shoulder of the roadway. Court documents reveal that the disabled semi truck’s driver was inspecting his vehicle on the shoulder of the roadway at the time of the accident and was unfortunately killed instantly upon collision.
Our Chicago trucking accident attorney learned that further investigation into the accident revealed that the driver of the semi truck who caused the accident admitted to using methamphetamine one or two days prior to the accident. The driver was charged and ultimately pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of methamphetamine. He is currently serving a 40-month prison sentence that will include an additional three years of probation. The truck driver was also required to pay $7,903.80 in restitution.
Later in civil court it was alleged that the freight broker who hired the defendant truck driver’s trucking carrier did not perform due diligence before entering a business arrangement with the defendant’s trucking company. It was revealed that the trucking carrier did not drug test its employees – a severe violation of state and federal trucking regulations. Additionally, it was found that the trucking carrier did not have valid insurance at the time of the collision. As a result, a jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded the family of the accident victim $5.2 million – which with be paid out to the deceased trucker’s four children.
Any Chicago truck accident attorney will tell you that large commercial vehicle drivers, as well as, their trucking carriers are held to an advanced standard of care when operating their vehicles and traveling on our nation’s roadways. This means that they are required by law to exercise the utmost safety during vehicle operation. In the event that a commercial vehicle driver deviates from this standard of care and an accident ensues – resulting in personal injury or premature death – victims of these devastating accidents may be able to seek legal relief for damages sustained.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in an Illinois trucking accident, please contact our experienced accident attorneys to see what legal rights may be available to you.