NBC Chicago reported on September 11 that even when you’re off the road in the comfort of your home, a truck or vehicle can strike you. That’s what happened in south suburban Lansing on Torrence Avenue near 184th Street. A semi-truck injured a resident and the truck driver when it slammed into a residential building. The truck’s cab was almost completely inside the two-story apartment building. The accident happened around 5am in the morning.
The tenant suffered a broken leg and was taken to a nearby hospital. It took almost three hours for first responders to help the truck driver, who was unconscious after the accident, get out of the truck and to the University of Chicago Hospital. A few fire personnel also suffered minor back and hand injuries during the rescue mission.
Officials were still working, as of the filing of the report, to shore up the building before they could start to try to remove the semi. For the moment, tenants in the building could get their belongings, under supervision, but would need to stay elsewhere until the apartment was made habitable again.
One tenant said she felt the whole building shake when the collision occurred. She was sleeping along with other family members. She stated “You could see my bedroom wall pushed in.” She called 911 to help the tenant victim, who was injured due to the debris and bricks which crushed him.
The cause of the accident wasn’t reported. Lansing officials did say that the Carl Budding Company owned the truck.
Liability when trucks collide into buildings
There are several types of claims that will likely arise in this type of case:
- The claim of the injured tenant. The tenant whose leg was broken will have a claim against the truck driver for all his medical bills, any lost wages, and his physical pain and emotional suffering. If the truck driver was intoxicated, drove when he should have been resting, or otherwise wantonly disregarded the safety of others – then experienced truck accident lawyers could file a punitive damage claim against the driver. The tenant could also seek to hold the trucking company liable if it owned the truck or if the driver was its employee. The trucking driver might be liable if the driver was an independent contractor too.
- The claim of the truck driver. If the truck driver was an employee of the trucking company and he was on-duty, then the driver could file a workers’ compensation claim against the trucking company. If bad brakes or other defective equipment caused the accident, then the driver could file a products liability claim against the makers and sellers of the defective truck parts.
- The claim of the other tenants. Generally, tenants can’t file a personal injury claim for emotional distress or financial loss against negligent drivers unless they were physically injured. If the tenants had homeowner’s insurance, they could seek to have their homeowner’s carrier pay for the damage to their property.
Anyone who suffers injuries – anyplace – should seek help from experienced Chicago truck accident lawyers. At Gainsberg Law, we’ve been fighting for injury victims for more than 20 years. We have a premier record of success settling cases and obtaining large jury verdicts. For help with all types of truck accident cases, please call us today at 312.313.1621 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.