In the past, this blog has informed readers about how they may potentially be able hold their rideshare service like Uber or Lyft liable for negligence for injuries riders suffer as a result of the rideshare service contracting with a driver that the service knew or should have known was unsafe. That type of liability, where an entity is held liable for negligently hiring and/or training a driver, even if that driver is an independent contractor, is not something that is limited to situations involving rideshare services. This technique may also be an important element of your successful Chicago truck accident case against a transportation company for the injuries you suffered as a result of an unsafe truck driver. Whether you were hurt by an unsafe Uber driver or an unsafe trucker, there may be many different ways to get the compensation you deserve, not just from the driver but from the entity that put that unsafe driver on the road.
Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a multi-million dollar jury verdict against a trucking company that employed a driver it knew or should have known was dangerous. A Michigan-based trucking company received an application from D.L.J., who was applying to be a truck driver. The company discovered that the applicant had never completed a truck driving course and, in the three years before submitting his application, had racked up four accidents, three moving violations and two license suspensions. In the previous 10 years, the applicant had been fired from four differed truck driving jobs, including one termination for crashing into another vehicle while the trucker was driving aggressively on an interstate highway. He also had a felony conviction in connection to his truck driving, where he tried to shatter the headlights of a woman’s car after he perceived the woman to have tailgated him.
The company declared D.L.J. a marginal candidate and hired him. The driver quickly picked up a speeding citation and again got his license suspended. Nevertheless, the company kept using the man. A year later, the driver rear-ended a man, causing him to suffer massive but non-fatal injuries.