Can I Sue a Semi Truck Driver for Causing an Accident in Chicago?

If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent semi truck driver, you can sue that driver for your injuries and damages. Before you begin, you should speak to a lawyer, as suing a semi truck driver might be more complicated than you realize.

In many semi truck accidents, the truck drivers are responsible for the crash. Trucker negligence is very often the root cause of these kinds of accidents. To prove your claims and get compensation for your injuries, you need to show how the tucker was negligent and how their negligence directly caused the collision. To do so, you and your attorney need to gather strong supporting evidence. You should also consider suing the truck driver’s employer, as they might be vicariously liable.

Truck accidents are known for being severe, and you can call our Chicago truck accident lawyers at the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to schedule a free review of your potential case to get started.

Are Semi Truck Drivers Responsible for Accidents in Chicago?

While every accident is unique and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, truck drivers are commonly at the heart of the problem. Semi trucks are huge, and many drivers get a sense of dread when they have to drive alongside one. When truck accidents do occur, they are often devastating, and numerous people are badly hurt or worse.

Since trucker negligence is often the cause of these accidents, injured victims often sue semi truck drivers for their injuries and damages. Truck drivers have the same legal duty of care as all other drivers on the road, which is to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances and obey the rules of the road. When truckers are negligent, accidents happen, and people get hurt.

It is especially important to hold negligent semi truck drivers accountable because of how dire the consequences of their actions can be. In a typical car accident, only a few cars are damaged, and only a few drivers are injured. This is because typical vehicles are smaller and capable of far less destruction than a semi truck. One minor mistake from a truck driver and dozens of people on the road might be affected.

How to Prove a Semi Truck Driver is Liable for Your Accident in Chicago

When arguing over liability, the issue of negligence inevitably comes up. Negligence is more than just carelessness on the part of the truck driver. It is a legal concept by which the defendant’s behavior is measured. To prove negligence and get fair compensation, our Chicago personal injury attorneys need to establish specific legal elements using evidence strong evidence.

Proving Negligence

You must establish specific legal elements by a preponderance of evidence to prove negligence. A preponderance of the evidence simply means that we must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant is liable.

The first element is the defendant’s legal duty of care. To be liable, the truck driver must have owed you an obligation. On the road, all drivers share the same legal duty: drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances and obey traffic laws. The second element, breach, is what the trucker did or did not do that constitutes a violation of their duty. This might be a simple traffic violation, intoxication, or even falling asleep at the wheel.

Next, you must prove causation, or how the truck driver’s breach of duty directly caused the crash. This is sometimes tricky, as, proving a breach occurred does not necessarily mean that breach is the cause of the accident. Talk to your lawyer about what kind of evidence you need to prove causation.

Finally, you have to have evidence of your damages. You must have experienced some injury to get compensation. Medical records, photos, and testimony can help you prove your damages in court.


You cannot prove the above legal elements without evidence. Where you get evidence depends on where and how your accident occurred. For some, most of their evidence comes right from the scene of the collision. For others, evidence comes from more unexpected places.

A good place to start is with photos and videos. It is typical for drivers after accidents to snap pictures or record videos to send to insurance companies. These recordings can also benefit you in the courtroom, especially if they contain details about the crash that are in dispute.

Our team can also help you obtain footage from nearby security cameras or dash cams. If this footage exists, we must find it as soon as possible. Security camera footage is regularly deleted, sometimes after only a few days.

Witness testimony may be extremely important. Truck accidents are often very large, and numerous witnesses might come forward with details about what they saw happen. The more people who can testify about seeing the defendant’s negligence first-hand, the better.

Should I Sue Anyone Besides the Semi Truck Driver After a Chicago Accident?

You can sue the truck driver in your accident case, but there might be other negligent parties to consider. For starters, you should talk to your attorney about suing the truck driver’s employer. It is also possible that other drivers on the road somehow contributed to the accident, and they should be named in your lawsuit, too.

The trucking company that hired the semi truck driver might be vicariously liable. Employers can be held responsible for injuries caused by an employee’s negligence if the employer was on the job and working in furtherance of their typical job duties when they caused the accident. Including the employer is often important because they might have more comprehensive insurance that can better cover your damages.

We should also consider whether other drivers played a role in the crash. Perhaps the semi truck driver was speeding, and the car in front of them braked-checked them, causing the trucker to swerve dangerously and crash. In such a case, both drivers might be liable.

Call Our Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Claims

Call our Joliet, IL truck accident attorneys at the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to set up a confidential, free evaluation of your case to get started.