• September 15, 2021

Two Injured when 18-Wheeler Rear-Ends Tractor on US-24 near Rushville, IL

Rushville, IL -- September 13, 2021, two people were injured when an 18-wheeler and a tractor collided on U.S. Highway 24 near the Schuyler County line.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:00 p.m. Monday on US-24 near the line between Schuyler and Fulton counties. Preliminary investigation suggests a 32-year-old Rushville man was driving a farm tractor and hauling a bale of hay along the highway when he was rear-ended by a commercial tractor-trailer.

Both drivers were transported to area hospitals for treatment of unspecified injuries. The semi-truck driver was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Tractor/Truck Accident on US-24 near Rushville

Most of the time when an 18-wheeler crashes into slowed or stopped traffic (even vehicles that can't help but move slowly like tractors), it's because the truck driver made some kind of mistake. That could mean he was driving while fatigued, was looking at his phone instead of watching the road, or was simply traveling at unsafe speeds. Indeed, police mentioned a "failure to reduce speed" as a key contributor to this collision.

If proven with evidence, that might be enough for a successful claim against a trucking company. But how exactly is "success" measured in these situations? Is it just a ruling in the plaintiff's favor, or is it making sure that everyone who contributed to the victim's injuries is held fully accountable?

Two Injured when 18-Wheeler Rear-Ends Tractor on US-24 near Rushville, IL

Here's an example that may help to answer that question: I worked on a case not long ago where a truck driver crashed after driving for 20 hours straight. That's incredibly reckless, not to mention illegal. We wanted to know why a trained professional would jeopardize his health and career that way. Had he done anything like that before? Did his employer try to stop him? We actually found that the company was the real problem: The trucker was driving outrageous hours to meet unfair deadlines that all but required him to cut corners, skip on maintenance, and otherwise behave dangerously. If he didn't make those deadlines he faced cut hours and routes or possible termination. To put food on the table, he did what was asked.

So with information like that, consider the potential consequences a case like that could see. On one hand, a hypothetical jury could decide that the driver made the mistake and be the only one to face consequences. However, if that jury heard that a whole company routinely put lives at risk by requiring such risky behavior, would they still only punish the driver or would they deal out something to the company itself in an effort to teach it a lesson?

Taking steps to consider all possibilities provides the benefit of the doubt until the full story is learned, then ensures that everyone who had a hand in the damage will answer for their actions. The question remains: are those handling this incident going to investigate it fully?

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