Auto accidents involving multiple vehicles can mean multiple layers of complexity when it comes to pursuing a legal case to recover damages for the harm you suffered. These types of accidents can also mean, however, multiple opportunities to obtain that fair recovery that you deserve. The possibility of multiple defendants can potentially help you if you’ve suffered serious injuries in your case. An experienced Illinois car crash attorney can provide you with the representation you need as you take on such a potentially complicated case.
One recent Chicago-area case offers an example of how the process works. Here were the facts of the case: in the early Saturday morning hours of Nov. 2, 2013, Angela was a passenger in a compact Toyota car headed eastbound on Interstate 88 near Naperville. Eastbound I-88 was under construction, and only one lane was open. Daniel was driving westbound on I-88 at the same time. Daniel, who was high on cocaine at the time, made an illegal U-turn and tried to merge into the eastbound traffic. His Chrysler Pacifica struck the Toyota. The impact rotated the Toyota 90 degrees, and the semi truck that had been immediately behind the Toyota was unable to stop. The semi slammed into the passenger side of the Toyota, causing serious and permanent injuries to Angela.
On the surface, Daniel might seem like the primary focus of a lawsuit by Angela. The Illinois State Police’s accident report stated that Daniel’s improper lane usage and other traffic violations were the cause of the accident.
It is important to remember, however, that making decisions regarding how to proceed in a personal injury action are far more intricate than simply ascertaining who does or does not appear, at first blush, to be morally culpable or the “bad guy.” Just because Daniel precipitated the accident by driving unsafely while under the influence of drugs, that does not necessarily mean that he was the only one to blame and the only one liable to Angela. The law imposes a duty on all drivers to operate their vehicles with reasonable care at all times. Even though they were not the initial cause of the accident, the semi driver (and his employer) could be liable to Angela if she could show that the semi driver acted or failed to act in some way that led to his hitting the Toyota, and that the driver’s operation of the truck violated the applicable standard of care for truckers in that situation.
Making these investigations and, when the law allows, including these additional parties as defendants can be an integral part of achieving a more complete recovery. In Angela’s case, she sued Daniel, the truck driver, and the truck driver’s employer. She settled with Daniel and recovered the limit under his insurance policy, which was $20,000. Angela’s total damages, though, were well in excess of $20,000, so she continued to pursue her case against the truck driver and his employer. Having these additional defendants in her case enhanced her odds of getting an award that could more fully help her in her recovery.
If you’re involved in a multiple vehicle crash or any other type of auto accident, take steps right away to protect yourself. One of those steps should be to reach out to the experienced Chicago truck accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been working for injured people to get results for them for many years. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Rockford Jury Returns $15M Damages Verdict in Wrongful Death Truck Accident Case, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Oct. 24, 2017
Illinois Appellate Court Upholds $26M Judgment Against Cab Company, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 16, 2017