Penske Truck Accidents

Injury Lawyers Representing Victims in the Chicago Area

Penske is a company that has numerous arms, operating both as a dedicated carriage and as a truck rental company. Penske's name appears on more than 35,000 commercial trucks that travel hundreds of millions of miles on a yearly basis. Penske also maintains fleets owned by other trucking companies. If you are injured in a Penske truck accident, it can be helpful to consult the Chicago truck accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck.

Proving Fault for Penske Truck Accidents

Pursuing a claim against Penske can be more complex than pursuing a claim against other commercial trucking companies because Penske is involved in commercial truck maintenance, trucking operations, and truck rental. Penske rents trucks in the same way that U-Haul does. It rents to consumers who are trying to move their possessions or goods to another location. However, Penske also rents out entire trucking fleets to companies that do not want to operate an in-house trucking company but need to move goods and other cargo.

In most cases, Penske rents out trucks to people who do not have a commercial license. That renter may need to purchase a temporary insurance policy in case he or she causes a crash. The coverage may be limited. In most cases, however, you will need to recover damages from the renter by establishing their negligence by a preponderance of the evidence.

There are rare and limited circumstances under which you may be able to hold Penske liable for a renter's negligence. For example, when an agent renting trucks is in a rush and does not ensure adequate insurance or the appropriate age of the renter or check that the renter has a driver's license, it may be possible to argue that there was negligent entrustment. Similarly, if Penske does not adequately maintain a rental truck, and it is the company's failure to conduct proper inspections and maintenance that causes injuries in an accident, it may be possible to hold the company liable under a theory of negligent maintenance.

Some companies contract out their shipping by hiring a fleet of Penske trucks in order to avoid the risks and difficulties of running their own trucking fleet. Penske agrees to take on the risk if they act as another company's trucking fleet. If you are injured in a Penske truck accident involving a Penske driver, it may be possible to hold the truck driver liable. It may also be possible to hold Penske vicariously liable for an employee truck driver's negligence in the course and scope of employment. You may also have a basis to hold Penske directly liable for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training. For example, if Penske hires a driver without conducting a background check or drug and alcohol tests, and it turns out that the truck driver has a history of DUIs that could have been uncovered had Penske used the proper hiring procedures, it may be possible to hold Penske accountable under a theory of negligent hiring if the driver gets into a drunk driving accident.

In some cases, a cargo loading company negligently loads the trailers being hauled by Penske trucks. If improperly loaded cargo causes an accident, it may be possible to hold the third-party cargo loader liable for its negligence.

Get Advice from a Chicago Attorney Experienced in Truck Crash Cases

Trucking companies are notoriously difficult to pin down. It is crucial to retain an attorney who understands the tactics so often employed by trucking companies in order to avoid liability. If you are injured in a Penske truck accident in Chicago, you should consult an experienced truck accident attorney about your claim. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent victims in Chicago, Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, Springfield, and Aurora, as well as elsewhere in Adams, Winnebago, Champaign, Sangamon, Kane, and Cook Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation.