Three years ago, one Illinois family was forever changed. A mother of two was pulled to the side of the interstate to fix a flat tire when a semi truck struck and killed her. In response, the woman’s family brought a wrongful death claim against the truck driver and his employer in order to help them work through the healing process.
Although one of the companies included in the civil case maintained that they should not be held liable for what happened, a Cook County court found that all the parties included in the suit were negligent. As a result, the woman’s family will recover $8 million for the emotional and economic damages created by the fatal 2010 crash.
In addition to the truck driver himself, the accident victim’s family was able to hold the driver’s employers responsible through the theory of vicarious liability. In many cases, commercial truck drivers aren’t acting alone as a private party; rather, they are driving for the company. Trucking companies aren’t directly involved in accidents, but they can be held liable for their relationship to the crash.
As a result of the accident, the victim’s husband will solely be responsible to provide for the two children left behind. The jury’s verdict will help him cover expenses related to raising the children. Not only did the accident prevent future financial contributions to the family, but it also will prevent her loved ones from receiving her emotional support and guidance.
Unfortunately, this kind of accident is all too common. If drivers aren’t exercising enough caution, then tragedy can strike. The hope, however, is that this case will inspire the trucking companies in question to redouble efforts to prevent accidents in the future.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Jury awards $8 million to family of woman struck, killed on I-294 in 2010,” Deanease Williams-Harris, March 26, 2013
· Our firm has experiencing working through the complex details of motor vehicle accident cases. To find out more, please see our Naperville truck accident page.