Articles Posted in Hit and Run

Isaac Espinoza was helping a friend with his broken down car on a stretch of highway I-81 just outside Chambersburg, Pennsylvania when he was hit by a truck driver with a blood alcohol level more than 4x the legal limit. The driver, Ricky Hatfield, ran from the scene of the accident and was later found and arrested by Pennsylvania State Police. His employer, J.B. Hunt, a major transportation logistics company headquartered in Lowell, Arkansas, failed to screen Hatfield’s employment and driving records, which included a previous DUI arrest while operating a tractor-trailer, 2 charges for reckless driving, speeding in a construction zone while driving a tractor-trailer, and job termination for failure of a drug and alcohol test and attempting to bribe the test administrator. These charges and Mr. Hatfield’s firing from a previous employer all occurred within the past 5 years.

Jury Finds Both Driver and Employer Negligent

Ricky Hatfield was considered an independent operator, a trucker who ran his own company but contracted with J.B. Hunt under an Outsource Carriage Agreement. The agreement requires the contracted employee to self-certify their driving record, with the logical expectation that J.B. Hunt would conduct a background check to verify the information. The company never checked Hatfield’s record, arguing that Mr. Hatfield was technically self-employed and had a duty to screen his own record. The company also attempted to argue that Ricky Hatfield personally made the decision to become intoxicated and that he was technically driving on his day off. Mr. Espinoza’s attorneys quickly refuted these claims, proving that Hatfield had been contracted to drive for J.B. Hunt and was operating the tractor-trailer and not his personal vehicle because he was out on dispatch for the company.

For anyone who has ever been in an accident, you know how frustrating they are, sometimes even for the long term. In a matter of just minutes victims sustain injuries and incur heavy financial burdens from damage to their vehicles, medical bills, and possibly lost wages when injuries are serious enough to keep someone from work. However, we all know that the right and lawful thing to do after an accident is to pull over to the side of the road and exchange information with the other party or parties involved. When this doesn’t happen though, and other people flee the scene of the accident, victims are left helpless and responsible parties evade accountability.

In recent news by Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, police are trying to identify a truck driver after a hit-and-run accident. The accident occurred in Charleston near Stevenson Hall on the Eastern Illinois University campus. At the intersection of Fourth and Grant, officers had been called out to the scene of an accident where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that immediately fled the scene. Authorities gathered information from witnesses, who described the fleeing vehicle as an aqua green full-size truck with a regular cab. The victim had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. The incident is still under investigation.

As you know, it is the law in Illinois to stop when in a motor vehicle accident. Illinois law, under 625 ILCS 5/11-401, describes that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or death to another person must immediately stop at the scene of the accident. The individual must also remain at the scene.
Continue reading ›

Trucking accidents caused as a result of driver fatigue and hit and run incidents are two issues that we frequently discuss on this blog. Our lawyers hope that by drawing attention to the issues, we can educate drivers about the dangers and prevent future accidents Unfortunately, in a recent incident both of these factors were at play.

According to a recent article by, a fatal semi-truck accident occurred on Interstate 70. The local authorities explained that an Impala was driving westbound on the interstate when the driver lost control, swerved to the right and then the left, and was then struck by a semi-truck. Following the collision, the semi-truck fled the scene and did not stop to attend to the accident. After this semi-truck hit and ran from the accident, a second semi-truck hit the Impala, which caused it to go into a ravine and the semi-truck to roll over.

Illinois State Police have hypothesized that the cause of the crash may be due to the driver of the Impala falling asleep just prior to the first collision. He had just completed an overnight shift at a fast food restaurant. After the collision he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Continue reading ›

Accidents happen every day in and around the City of Chicago. However, our lawyers are always saddened to read about motor vehicle accidents that impact the lives of young people by inhibiting their future potential through permanent and life-altering personal injuries or by cutting their young lives short and never allowing them to grow up. Fatalities and injuries that occur as a result of driver negligence are often preventable and it is for that reason that our attorneys fight for the rights of plaintiffs and their families to bring justice and prevent such tragedies from occurring to other people in the future.

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, a young boy died as a result of blunt force trauma after being struck by a semi truck, which drove off after the collision. Witnesses said that the boy was trying to cross the street at the time of the collision. Police located the truck driver several miles from the scene, and detained him for questioning. Illinois State Police continue to investigate this accident.

According to CBS Chicago, police were able to track down the hit-and-run driver only minutes after he fled the scene thanks to diligent and prompt witnesses providing descriptions and details to local authorities.

Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards Winner
The National Trial Lawyers
Elder Care Matters Alliance
American Association for Justice
Fellow Litigation Counsel of America
Super Lawyers
Contact Information