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Why should we in Illinois care what happens in another state?

The concept of interstate commerce might not be something most people around Springfield give much thought to. Routines might be restricted to waking up, getting the children to school, getting to work and getting everyone home safely at the end of the day. It's only when extraordinary events occur that we might have to confront broader issues.

Truck accidents involving interstate haulers certainly would seem to fall into that category. Crashes with semitrailer trucks typically injure or kill individuals in the smaller vehicle. And the process required to hold all the possible liable parties to account can be complicated if there are multiple entities from many different states involved. Recovery of due compensation could take the skills of an experienced attorney.

The issue of licensing of long-haul truckers alone provides a glimpse into the possible difficulties someone might encounter. For example, there was a recent case out of Florida that is now casting a shadow over the commercial licenses of a large number of truckers.

According to federal court documents in the case, four individuals carried out a scheme that allowed at least 600 drivers to cheat on tests for their driver's licenses. The allegations were that the four charged unqualified drivers thousands of dollars to provide them with phony proofs of Florida residency and test answers. The indictment says those who took advantage of the services then transferred their Florida licenses to their actual home states.

The implication, of course, is that just because a driver appears to have a license doesn't necessarily mean it was obtained legally. If it was obtained illegally, it could require some deeper digging to trace ultimate responsibility for liability in an accident back to the real source.

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