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More Harm is Foreseeable in Truck Accidents

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Chicago auto accident lawyer, Chicago truck accident lawyer, motor vehicle accidents, negligent driver, truck accidents, Illinois truck accident lawyer, significant property damageUnder negligence rules in Illinois, a “tortfeasor” (someone who acts negligently) is responsible for all foreseeable harm that arises from their conduct. There are many classic legal cases where the issue of “foreseeability” is analyzed. But, in the vast majority of cases the matter is relatively straightforward.

Consider a recent tragic example. According to reports, late last month a semi truck ran a red light on U.S. 20 in Winnebago County in Northern Illinois. The truck apparently collided with at least three other vehicles causing significant property damage and seriously injuring several travelers. All those hurt in the accident likely have legal rights under the civil law to recover from the negligent driver (and perhaps his employer) as a result of the accident. That is because it is clearly foreseeable that a collision can occur when a truck runs a red light. Because of the size of the trailer on these trucks, it is also always foreseeable that several cars can be caught up in the incident.

Truck accidents are distinct from other motor vehicle accidents in that the risk of harm is often significantly higher.

Imagine the same accident as above, except that the truck in question was hauling some volatile or hazardous material. If the accident triggered an explosion, the damage could have affected many more travelers. Even though the drivers’ mistake in the actual accident and the hypothetical accident is identical--running a red light--the second driver would face far greater liability. This due to the natural risk of causing significant harm if negligent while driving a vehicle with dangerous cargo. It is foreseeable that these accidents could cause an explosion.

Similarly, if the injured party had some unique vulnerability or medical sensitivity, then the negligent party is liable for the damage. For example, if one of the injured travelers was pregnant at the time of the accident, then the driver may be responsible for increased damages for an injury suffered by the unborn child. The driver cannot argue that it was not foreseeable that the victim would be pregnant.

In cases where a victim has a pre-existing condition, the tortfeasor is also on the hook for increased liability. Perhaps an accident is relatively minor but it aggravates an old injury. The negligent driver is liable for the full scope of the damage, even if there would have been little harm if the victim did not have the preexisting injury. In other words, under the civil law, the amount that a negligent party must pay is not based on the specific mistake they make but on the actual damage that results.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

It is important to contact an attorney any time you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois. Lawyers experienced with these cases can analyze the specifics of your situation and ensure you receive a full recovery for all damages to which you are entitled. Contact the professionals at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today for help with these matters in Northern Illinois.
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