In most collisions, the actions of one or more drivers involved lead to a dangerous situation where a crash occurs. These car accidents can lead to injuries sustained by an at-fault driver, a passenger in a driver’s vehicle, or even another person in a separate car.
Car accidents are responsible for millions of dollars’ worth of damages in Chicago and across Illinois every year in the form of medical expenses, rehabilitative care, property damage to a vehicle, lost wages, and other losses like pain and suffering. Following a collision, a victim may be forced to bear these expenses even if a collision was not his or her fault. Yet Illinois recognizes that is it unfair to cause these burdens to be borne by a victim and instead enable victims to seek financial compensation for their losses through the use of a civil claim. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer may help you understand whether you have a valid claim for your damages, and if so, what types of relief may be available to you.
A June collision between a Walmart semi-truck and a vehicle in June left several passengers of the vehicle, including comedian Tracy Morgan, seriously injured and it claimed the life of one man. The driver of the Walmart truck has been charged with vehicular homicide and assault by automobile and has pleaded not guilty. Due to the extent of his injuries, Morgan filed a civil suit against Walmart for his injuries and has claimed, among other things, that Walmart knew or should have known that the driver of the semi-truck had been awake for more than 24 hours prior to the incident. Morgan’s suit also alleges that the truck driver was speeding and that he falsified log records regarding his driving.
In response to the suit brought by Morgan, Walmart recently countered that Morgan is either entirely or partly responsible for the injuries he sustained because he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision. In the incident at issue, Morgan was riding in a limo bus, a vehicle that often does not offer passengers seat belts, though it is not clear whether seat belts were available for Morgan’s use. Walmart further claimed that it is not responsible for the damages sustained by those injured in the collision but note that the actions of an individual not under Walmart’s control may have caused the crash.
Morgan’s claim is in the early stages and it likely will be some time before any resolution is had. In the interim, an investigation into the semi-truck driver’s actions is ongoing by the National Transportation Safety Board, the results of which may impact future legal proceedings stemming from the June crash. In prior statements, Walmart promised to investigate the collision and to take responsibility for the damages if the investigation revealed liability on their part.
Insurance companies, at-fault drivers, corporations, and others who are defendants in accident-related claims often try to blame victims for injuries, even when the victims do not properly deserve any blame. This common tactic can make it more difficult to obtain the relief a victim both needs and deserves and its a good reason to consider consulting a personal injury lawyer if you have been involved in a collision.
The rules of the road apply to all motorists but there are additional rules and regulation that apply who drive a semi-truck. Federal and state laws restrict the number of hours a driver can operate a truck continuously, the length of trips, and may set requirements covering documentation of transit. Failing to comply with any of these requirements or any laws that cover traffic in general may lead to a collision and may impose legal responsibility against an at-fault driver for the damages that occur.
The personal injury team at Abels & Annes, P.C. believe in fighting for the rights of those who have been hurt in an accident and we want to help you as well. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we will offer you a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and everything discussed will be kept confidential.
If a Chicago car accident has left you injured, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Actress Amanda Bynes Arrested Again for DUI, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 29, 2014.
Walmart says Tracy Morgan should have worn a seat belt, by Topher Gauk-Roger, CNN, published September 30, 2014.