How Fault Is Determined In A Semi-Truck Accident
Automobile Accidents - April 16, 2021
In the aftermath of a crash involving a semi-truck, it is absolutely crucial that liability be determined so any victim can secure the compensation they are entitled to. Accidents involving large commercial trucks can become very complicated personal injury cases, particularly when dealing with the various parties involved. This can include the truck driver, the trucking company, aggressive insurance carriers, and legal teams. Here, we want to discuss how fault is determined in the aftermath of a semi-truck crash in Illinois.
Who Could be At-Fault for an Illinois Truck Crash?
There may be various parties that can hold liability in the aftermath of a semi-truck crash in Illinois. This can include the following:
- The driver of the truck
- The trucking company
- A third-party loader or shipper
- A maintenance team or body shop
- The manufacturer of the truck for individual truck parts
It is crucial to investigate all truck crashes in Illinois to ensure that the proper parties are held responsible for the incident. Doing so usually requires conducting an extensive investigation to obtain all evidence and data to prove what happened.
Evidence can Help Prove Liability
Evidence is going to be the key point in determining liability for an Illinois truck crash. Evidence will be used to piece together exactly what happened for an insurance carrier or a personal injury jury case and can be the deciding factor if you get a claim. Some of the main types of evidence that needs to be obtained and used in these cases include the following:
- The truck’s electronic logging device (ELD)
- The truck’s electronic control module (ECM)
- Any of the driver’s paper logbooks
- Truck company maintenance records
- Employee records
- The driver statements from eyewitnesses
- Police or accident reports
- Photographs or video surveillance taken at the scene of the incident
A skilled Illinois truck accident lawyer can use their resources to gather all of this evidence. If necessary, an attorney will work with commercial truck accident reconstruction experts who can thoroughly review the evidence that has been gathered and explain to an insurance carrier or a jury exactly what happened to cause the crash.
Aside from determining fault in these cases, an attorney will also work with trusted medical and economic experts who can properly calculate their client’s total expected losses.
What About Shared Liability?
It is not uncommon for more than one party to be at fault in these incidents. However, Illinois operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that even those partially at fault can still recover compensation for what happened, so long as they are not 51% or more responsible for the incident. Any party 50% or less responsible for a commercial truck crash can still recover compensation, but the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Working With an Illinois Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a truck accident in Illinois, you need to speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, most injured individuals do not have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into their own cases. Additionally, commercial trucking companies usually have aggressive insurance carriers and well-funded legal teams on their side. A Chicago truck accident lawyer can help level the playing field in these unfair situations.