A number of interstate highways pass through the Chicago area, such as I-90, I-94, I-57, I-55, and several more. Large trucks use these interstates every single day to transport goods through Chicago. They also deliver goods to companies that do business in the Chicago area. Chicago residents share the road with these trucks every single day, whether they are large 18-wheelers or smaller commercial trucks. These trucks are capable of causing serious accidents due to their size and weight. Some tractor-trailers may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In an accident, the amount of force behind a collision involving one of these trucks will almost certainly be fatal. Therefore, when truck drivers make false assumptions about another driver’s actions and cause an accident, they need to be held liable for the harm that they cause.
What is a false assumption?
When a driver makes a false assumption, he or she makes an inaccurate prediction about what another driver is about to do. For example, a truck driver may think that another vehicle that is trying to merge onto the interstate will slow down while on the entrance ramp. Or, a truck driver may think that a car with its blinker on is about to make a turn. There are dozens of examples of false assumptions.
When a truck driver makes a false assumption, an accident can happen. Often, truck drivers in false assumption accidents act too soon. They may brake or fail to brake and cause a collision.
Liability for an accident caused by a false assumption
If you are involved in an accident caused by a false assumption, who is liable for your damages?
First, the truck driver may be liable if he or she breached the duty that is required of all drivers to operate their vehicles in a safe and cautious manner. Making a false assumption and causing an accident would clearly violate this duty. The victim of the accident must prove that his or her injuries were proximately caused by the truck driver’s negligent actions to recover any damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Additionally, the company that employs the truck driver may also be liable. Trucking companies must carefully vet the truck drivers that they hire and employ. For new hires, they should carefully study their driving records to be sure there are no major accidents or violations on record. They should also check their employment history with other trucking companies. In addition, they should take appropriate action if a truck driver causes an accident while on the job. Ignoring any warning signs before hiring or while retaining a driver may set the company up for liability.
Speak with an experienced attorney today
At Stein & Shulman, our injury attorneys have over four decades of experience in accident claims. During our free consultation, you can learn more about your legal options from our attorneys. To schedule your free consultation, call 312-422-0500.