A recent story in the Springfield News-Sun serves as a good example of the legal complexities involved in many traffic accidents. When crashes occur on our highways, often there are two types of legal proceedings involved: criminal and civil.
If one driver is disobeying any traffic laws as part of the accident-from illegal lane changes to speeding-than they may be charged in a criminal court. The criminal proceeding involves the possibility of state penalties like fines and time in jail.
On the other hand, there also may be a civil legal case involved. A civil case does not pose the risk of jail, but instead seeks to compensate one private individual for losses they suffered because of the actions of someone else.
Each proceeding involves unique rules, regulations, time limits, and legal nuances. For example, earlier this year a semi-trailer was involved in a deadly accident on Illinois Interstate 70. The truck driver, a Chicago resident, was driving too fast for the raining conditions, ultimately slipping on the road and hitting other vehicles. Six other passengers were hurt in the accident, with four of them killed. The driver was criminally charged for vehicular manslaughter because of his inappropriate speed. He is facing the possible of up to a year in jail.
However, he also could be charged in a civil suit for his negligent actions. In that case, he may have to pay for the financial, physical, and emotional losses suffered by the crash victims. Besides that, the legal principle respondeat superior makes it possible for the injured individuals to sue the trucking company for their involvement in the wreck. After all, the negligent driver was hired by this company, was using their truck, and was working under their watch when the accident occurred.
Each of these types of legal proceedings involve many different unique principles and processes. That is why for even straight-forward accidents, it is important to seek expert legal help to sort through the legal jargon.
Our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti are experts of helping to resolve your situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. Anyone injured in these types of truck crashes deserve to be compensated for their losses. Please contact our truck accident attorneys and learn more about your options.