Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

Holding Collateral Entities, Like Brokers, Liable for Your Illinois Tractor Trailer Injury Accident

| May 29, 2024 | Automobile Accidents |

Being involved in an auto accident where your vehicle is struck by a tractor trailer can be a terrifying experience. The trauma anyone would suffer in such an accident is only made worse if you are unfortunate enough to be seriously injured in that accident. What if your injuries force you to miss work? What about your medical bills? The law does allow you to seek compensation for these damages, but you must also decide whom you should sue in court in order to obtain that award of damages. In other words, to give yourself the best possible chance of success, be sure you have knowledgeable Chicago injury counsel on your side.

A recent case involving a tractor trailer accident highlighted how to go about suing certain entities in this type of scenario. G.B. was driving her vehicle in the Chicagoland area when she and a tractor trailer were involved in an accident at an intersection that was under construction. The truck driver, I.V., had just finished delivering a load of produce from Texas to a pickling plant in Northern Illinois. According to the injured woman, the trucker committed numerous errors, including “failure to stop at a red light, failure to keep a reasonably careful lookout for other vehicles, failure to decrease speed, and driving too fast for conditions.”

Once G.B. was hit and injured, she had some decisions to make. For one thing, who should she sue? Making sure that you choose the right defendants is important because, if your list of defendants omits the wrong person or entity, then that could destroy your case, or at least reduce your chances of getting a full recovery.

G.B. sued numerous entities, including the company that brokered the delivery of the cucumbers from the produce company in Texas to the pickling plant in Illinois. The broker, according to the plaintiff’s argument, was an agent of the trucking company that employed I.V. An entity can become an agent of another if what’s called an “agency relationship” is formed. That happens when, as a result of overt or implicit actions, the principal gives the agent authority to act on its behalf. This issue of agency relationship matters a great deal because an entity that might not otherwise be liable for your accident injury damages might become liable if it is deemed to be an agent.

In a case like G.B.’s, timing can be a key factual issue, according to the court. Previously, in 2011, the court had issued a ruling that laid out how a broker could be liable. The trucker hauling the potatoes hit a vehicle, injuring that driver. The driver sued, among others, the entity that brokered the deal. The courts concluded that an agency relationship existed, which meant that the injured plaintiff could continue to pursue the broker for damages. One of the key facts that helped the injured driver succeed was that the trucker was still in the process of hauling the load with which the broker was involved when the accident took place. Because the trucker was under the broker’s direction at the time of the accident, the broker was an agent and could be liable for the harm caused by the trucker’s accident.

In other words, there may be many entities that could be liable for your truck accident damages, and they might be more numerous that you might have thought. Equally importantly, establishing liability against these entities can often require intricate knowledge of the rules within Illinois law laid out by statutes and previous court rulings. To get the full recovery that you deserve, contact the knowledgeable Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been helping injured people for many years and are ready to handle your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

A Chicago Driver Receives a $4.75M Settlement After Her Collision With a Municipal Garbage Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 10, 2018

Southern Illinois DOT Worker Receives $2.3M Damages Award After Injury Arising From Near-Collision With a Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Jan. 10, 2018