Recently, our Chicago semi truck accident attorneys read a report on MyFoxChicago.com detailing a rush hour semi truck collision that resulted in one fatality. A semi tractor-trailer was traveling northbound on I-394 when it crossed the center median and entered the southbound lane. Upon entering the southbound lane, the semi truck collided with a SUV. The collision caused the SUV to burst into flames resulting in the death of the 49 year-old female driver. While the initial cause of the accident remains unknown, authorities state that there was no indication that alcohol or drugs played a factor in the accident. Illinois police are looking into the semi truck driver’s logs to determine if the driver may have been fatigued at the time of the collision.
Every year, semi truck accidents kill over 5,000 people and injure nearly over 150,000 – according to SafeRoads.org. When a semi truck is operated by a fatigued driver, the risk for these types of accidents substantially increases. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 750 people die and 20,000 are injured each year as a direct result of fatigued commercial vehicle drivers. Although the FMCSA provides federal regulations that limit the hours of services in which semi truck drivers are permitted to operate, often times semi drivers are pressured by their trucking companies to meet deadlines and arrive quickly at their destinations. In addition, many trucking companies give their drivers financial incentives to drive as many miles as possible in order to transport more freight.
The news report does not confirm if whether the semi truck driver is currently facing any charges or if the family of the deceased woman is seeking legal action. From our experience as Chicago truck accident attorneys, it appears as though this is a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death cases arise when the wrongful or negligent conduct of another causes a premature death. The family of the deceased may be able to seek damages including: medical, funeral, and burial expenses, as well as, punitive damages that punish the wrongdoer’s negligent behavior.
Since 1992, our Illinois injury attorneys have represented clients in all types of accident cases, including semi truck accident lawsuits. Truck drivers have an increased responsibility to safely operate large commercial vehicles in order to prevent accidents such as this one from occurring. When truck drivers operate in a negligent way that causes an accident, they may be held legally liable for the damages incurred. If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of a trucking accident, please contact a Chicago accident attorney to see what legal rights may be available to you.