In our previous article, we discussed the unfortunate death and injury of two Illinois emergency responders. However, while our firm empathizes with these grieving families, to be the most experienced and educated Chicago accident attorneys, we fully believe in looking at all sides of the legal equation. By doing so, we can observe and analyze the underlying problems which lead to these tragic accidents and how we can shape the law as attorneys through precedent to prevent future accidents and save victims’ lives.
That is why we feel it is important to address an additional article that has brought forth new facts surrounding that tragic Interstate 88 accident in Aurora. According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, the truck driver who struck the Illinois Tollway Employee and Illinois State Police Officer had been working for over 36 hours with only 3 ½ hours of sleep. In that day alone, the driver had been in Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois on assignments. Even though the emergency responders had their flashers on, this driver reported that he did not see the vehicles stopped at the side of the interstate.
As we have discussed before, distracted driving, such as driving when tired, does not allow drivers to employ the caution they are legally required to use to keep others on the road safe. When workers are sleep-deprived and not provided with enough rest breaks from their employers, they cannot devote the focus and attention to safety that is legally required of them on the road. Here, the individual had allegedly worked for over 36 hours straight. That is over a day without a break. With so little sleep and such a great amount of work, this person may have not had the ability to focus on his driving as needed.
Because this person may have not been allowed breaks and was put on too long of a shift, it may be important to analyze the tort theory of “respondeat superior.” This is a legal theory in which an employer is legally responsible for the tort actions (such as personal injury or wrongful death) of its employees. Under this theory, if the families of the victims decide to pursue a lawsuit, they would include the employer as a party with the defendants as well as the driver.
At our firm, our attorneys are well versed in the theory of “respondeat superior,” as well as many other areas. We have over 20 years of experience in personal injury, wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents, and many other areas that include negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured due to another’s negligence, you can trust your case in the empathetic and experienced hands of our attorneys. Call our firm for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you determine if you have a legal cause of action.