Enterprise Truck Accidents
Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyers Serving the Chicago Area
Enterprise Truck Rental rents commercial grade trucks, including pickups, straight trucks, and cargo vans. The rentals are all equipped for commercial use, but this does not necessarily mean that commercial drivers will drive them. While commercial trucks are driven by people who have obtained a commercial license and who have been trained, people with just an ordinary driver’s license and no training can rent an Enterprise truck. Sometimes the results are disastrous. If you are injured in an Enterprise truck accident, you should contact the Chicago truck accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.
Claims Arising from Enterprise Truck Accidents
Enterprise Truck Rental rents trucks to people without experience in handling a large vehicle. There are significant differences between operating a passenger car and operating a heavy truck. A driver who is inexperienced or not skilled may operate a truck that he or she does not understand how to handle. When a driver’s error causes you harm, you may be able to recover damages from the driver in a lawsuit.
Your injury lawyer will need to show that the driver owed you a duty of care, there was a breach of duty, and this caused actual damages. A breach of duty can occur, for example, when an Enterprise truck driver follows too closely and is not able to stop without rear-ending your car. For another example, a breach of duty may occur when an Enterprise truck driver is operating a navigation system and drifts into your lane. For yet another example, a driver may have loaded the cargo inappropriately, such that the truck, which has a higher center of gravity than passenger cars, rolls over and causes injuries to others in the adjacent lanes of traffic. Other breaches of the duty to use reasonable care include drunk driving, speeding, texting while driving, distracted driving, and failing to pay the appropriate attention to the changing road conditions.
What if the truck driver does not have insurance coverage for driving the Enterprise truck? This is a very real challenge. In most cases, you will not be able to hold the rental truck company liable. Usually, a rental truck company limits its liability in the contract that the renter signs when they rent the truck.
However, there are certain situations in which the truck rental company has been negligent. For example, if it fails to conduct adequate maintenance and safety inspections in connection with the truck, and this failure was the cause of the accident, it may be possible to hold the company responsible for negligent maintenance. Similarly, if it rents a truck that does not have appropriate service records, it may be found negligent.
When Enterprise knows or should know that the truck renter does not have a license to drive or lacks the capacity to operate the truck safely, it may be possible for your attorney to recover damages by suing for negligent entrustment. In Illinois, rental companies are supposed to verify the identity of a renter and his license before renting him a truck, and if they fail to do that, this may be negligent entrustment.
There are also situations in which it may be appropriate to hold the manufacturer of the truck or a component of the truck fully or partially responsible in a product liability lawsuit. A manufacturer can be held strictly liable for a manufacturing or design defect that causes injuries to others.
Consult an Experienced Attorney in Chicago for Your Truck Crash Case
Rental truck accidents can be devastating, due to the weight and size of the truck. If you were injured in an Enterprise truck accident in the Chicago area, you should consult a tenacious personal injury attorney. Whether you were a passenger in the rental truck and the driver was negligent, or you were an innocent bystander, it is very important to retain an experienced attorney who can look at the accident from all angles. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent accident victims in Quincy, Rockford, Champaign, Springfield, and Aurora, as well as other areas of Adams, Winnebago, Champaign, Sangamon, Kane, and Cook Counties. You can call us at 312-724-5846 for a free consultation.