As of 2023, there are approximately 2.9 million registered semi-trucks in the United States. Though the vast majority of these trucks get to their destinations safely and look out for the welfare of others on the road, accidents can happen. As a non-commercial driver, you may wonder what rights you have if you’re involved in an accident with one of those semi-trucks. In some circumstances, you may be able to sue for damages to help offset your out-of-pocket costs and to aid in your recovery. However, you’re not always able to sue everyone involved. These are some of the parties you may be able to sue with help from your Chicago truck accident lawyer.
The Company Who Hired the Driver
In most truck accidents, you won’t be able to sue the driver directly. Instead, you’ll sue their employer or the company they contracted with and were driving for at the time of the accident. Remember, the driver is acting as a representative of the company, and since the accident occurred during the performance of their duties, the company is liable for damages. While you can sue the company, doing so can be difficult since these companies often have experienced attorneys on their side. You’ll want to work with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer if you decide to take legal action.
The Truck Driver
If the accident happened as a result of the driver’s negligence or actions, they may be personally liable as well. Say the driver was drunk at the time of the collision or they were distracted by their cell phones right before hitting your vehicle. Circumstances like these mean they’re liable for the accident and may be sued for damages. Again, you’ll want to partner with an experienced attorney if you decide to sue.
The Manufacturer of the Truck
Though many accidents can be tied to the negligence of the trucking company or the driver, there are times when both parties are doing everything they can to keep others safe. When the company and the driver are in compliance, it’s time to look at the manufacturer of the truck itself. Sometimes, mechanical failures can lead to accidents, and when they do, the manufacturer can be held responsible.
The City or County
Though the company and driver are typically the ones at fault for the accident, it’s not always the case. It’s up to the local government to maintain roadways and make sure they’re safe for all people driving them. If they’re full of potholes and other safety hazards, the roads can contribute to accidents. If the authorities determine that the road conditions were responsible for the accident, you may want to sue the city or county responsible.
It Will Take Time to Get Your Settlement
Regardless of who you sue for the accident, you’ll want to be patient. Truck accident lawsuits can take time and it may take a few months before you see any results. The best thing you can do is work with an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney.
At Anesi Ozmon, we understand that being involved in a truck accident can be a life-changing experience. You deserve the compensation you need to focus on your recovery and our Chicago accident attorneys are here to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.