Abels & Annes

Illinois trucking accident lawsuit seeks damages for teenager left paralyzed

A teenage driver has filed a personal injury lawsuit after an Illinois trucking accident left her paralyzed.

The injured teen, age 19, filed suit last week against 12 people and companies involved in the muli-car collision on I-270 on Feb. 4, 2008 which left her 2001 Saturn trapped beneath the semi.

The Chicago trucking accident lawyers and car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes encourage anyone who has been in an accident with a semi or large commercial vehicle to seek the advice of a qualified attorney. This case illustrates the serious injuries and complex issues such a case presents to an injury victim seeking compensation for damages.

This lawsuit involved the tractor owner, who was driving the tractor, the owner of the trailer being hauled, and nearly a dozen other defendants.

According to the complaint filed in Madison County Circuit Court, defendant was driving a tractor-trailer in front of the victim when he rear-ended a Chevrolet Impala, which caused a chain-reaction collision that also involved another truck. The plaintiff is being represented by Clifford Law Offices in Chicago and Armstrong Teadsdale in St. Louis.

The teenager collided with the rear of the defendant’s trailer because she could not see the accident unfolding in front of him, the lawsuit states, according to the The Record of Madison/St. Clair.

The lawsuit claims the trailer the defendant was hauling was not equipped with a properly affixed rear impact guard, which is designed to prevent cars from traveling underneath the trailer during a rear-end collision.

The suit alleges that the fasteners connecting the rear-impact guard were corroded and damaged due to normal wear and were not durable enough to withstand the impact.

Because of the injury to her cervical spine, the plaintiff was paralyzed and remains a quadriplegic, she claims.

She contends that her paralysis could have been avoided if the rear impact guard was properly attached to the back of the trailer.

“Had the rear impact guard on the trailer been attached with adequate fasteners that could withstand at least as much force as the rear impact guard itself, excessive underride would not have occurred,” the complaint says.

The teen was wearing her seatbelt and the airbag deployed, but the lack of adequate safety features on the trailer made the safety equipment in her automobile largely ineffective, the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiff is seeking a judgment in excess of $500,000.