9 Injured in Chicago, IL, 18-wheeler Accident on Kennedy Expressway
Chicago, IL -- June 9, 2019, at least 9 people were injured as the result of an accident where a truck crashed into traffic on the Kennedy Expressway.
Investigators with the Illinois State Police reported that the crash happened at around 12:30 a.m. near the Kennedy Expressway and Harlem Avenue.
Police officials said that traffic began to slow along the highway when a semi-truck failed to do so. As a result, it slammed into the back of multiple vehicles.
Over a dozen people were examined at the scene, but reports say 9 people were taken to area hospitals. At least one of those patients had serious injuries.
Police cited the truck driver for failure to reduce speed to avoid collision. Additional citations weren't reported.
People are likely to see the truck driver face citations and assume the trucking company automatically has to take responsibility for the victims' injuries. The law is a bit more complex than that. Ultimately, the burden of proof falls to victims and their families. In other words, trucking companies don't have to take responsibility for a crash unless a court tells them to or they think they have no chance of winning in court.
For example, I wrapped up a case recently which, after reading initial police reports, many would have called an open-and-shut case. Police said that the driver of an 18-wheeler had a significant amount of cocaine in his system when he failed to slow down on an interstate, slamming into the back of a car. When we were brought onto the case and confronted the trucking company, they basically said, "It doesn't matter that our driver was high. The cause of the crash was a nearby ambulance that blinded our driver."
As ridiculous as that sounds, it was still up to us to prove otherwise. We were able to track down multiple witnesses and the service logs of the ambulance in question. That evidence all clearly showed that the ambulance was over a mile away from the crash scene. Only after presenting that evidence--and overcoming a few other last-ditch efforts at avoiding blame--did the trucking company finally accept responsibility for the crash.
So even with something as heinous as driving under the influence of drugs, the trucking company made things complicated by making up a defense. It takes years of experience, extensive evidence, and legal tools to navigate these complex situations and make sure that the trucking company's defenses don't have legs to stand on. While there needs to be a more thorough investigation into what happened here, I see no reason why this crash would be an exception.
--Grossman Law Offices