Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Agency Relationship Finding in Taxi Cab Injury Case

| Oct 26, 2017 | Automobile Accidents |

Achieving full and complete success in your Chicago personal injury case is about many things. One of the keys to success in many cases is including all of the available defendants in your action. Suing only an individual person (such as an employee) may mean that, even if you win, you may have a more difficult time recovering the full amount of your damages, especially if the trial court gives a substantial award. Including employers and other entities may enhance your odds of getting your full recovery in some cases. An experienced injury attorney can help you make sure that your case is constructed to give you the full recovery you need.

A recent injury plaintiff, Edward, was a self-employed installer of computerized dispatch equipment in taxi cabs who was hurt when a man drove a taxi cab into Edward, pinning one of his legs between the vehicle and a fence. The impact caused serious injuries to Edward.

The man who was driving the cab at the time was a part-time manager employed by the company that owned the cab. When Edward filed suit for the damages he suffered from his injury, he sued the manager and the company that employed the manager. However, he also named another defendant in his negligence case, a limited liability taxi dispatch company.

The dispatch company asked the trial judge to issue a summary judgment in its favor and end the case against it. The trial court ruled against the dispatch company. The defendant appealed, but it again lost.

There are a variety of legal ways that you, as a plaintiff, can pursue an entity in situations like this. One way to establish vicarious liability is by establishing that an “agency relationship” existed between the defendants. That was an argument Edward made in this case. The jury found for Edward, including finding that the dispatch company was liable, since the taxi cab company was the dispatch company’s agent, and that agency relationship made both companies liable.

The appeals court upheld that ruling. In any case asserting a claim of agency, including one like this in which the plaintiff has asserted an agency relationship as a basis for a defendant’s liability, the key to success is proving control. Specifically, the party asserting an agency relationship must prove that the principal retained control over the activities of the agent. The dispatch company asserted that it did not retain control over this taxi company or any of its affiliates. The plaintiff, though, had ample evidence to prove the required control. The dispatch company conducted regular inspections of the taxi company’s cabs. New drivers for the taxi company had to pass a test, taken at the dispatch company’s office, which was approved by an employee of the dispatch company. Additionally, the accident that injured this plaintiff occurred because a managerial employee of the dispatch company directed the taxi company’s employee to retrieve the cab and drive it to the dispatch company’s office. All of this made for enough evidence to allow the jury to find the existence of an agency relationship.

Obtaining a fully successful outcome in your injury case is about more than just understanding the facts of the case. Getting you the recovery you deserve may often also involve a detailed knowledge of the law and the ability to use that knowledge to your advantage. If you have been injured, talk to the experienced Chicago car accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our team has been helping injured people get their proper recoveries for many years. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds $26M Judgment Against Cab Company, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 16, 2017

Uber Suspends, Then Restarts, Driverless Vehicle Program After Arizona Crash, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, April 13, 2017