Earlier today, a Chicago truck accident attorney at our office read a report on OregonLive.com which revealed that after a grand jury hearing, a semi truck driver will not face criminal charges for his role in a fatal 2011 trucking accident. According to the news report, the accident in question transpired on November 25 of last year when a 35 year-old large commercial vehicle driver was sped through a red light – subsequently colliding into the front end of an SUV, who in turn collided into an additional SUV that was stopped on the roadway. The semi truck dragged the second SUV approximately 50 yards before the commercial vehicle tipped over on its side – crushing the SUV.
The driver of the second SUV was pronounced dead at the scene due to injuries sustained as a result of the accident. Fortunately, the driver of the first SUV did not sustain any majority injuries. Our Chicago trucking accident lawyers learned that a grand jury reviewed the case last week and has since declined to issue criminal charges against the 35 year-old semi truck driver. However, the driver has received citations for careless driving, driving while suspended, as well as, failure to obey a traffic control device.
Although the news article does not confirm whether or not the family of the deceased accident victim plan on seeking civil legal action against the commercial vehicle driver, from the perspective of a Chicago truck accident lawyer, the family may have a cause of action for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits are claims on the basis that the wrongful or negligent conduct of another cause the premature death of another. In this particular case, the commercial vehicle driver’s failure to safely operate his large truck, as well as, failure to obey a traffic control device was a direct cause of the victim’s fatality. If the driver is found negligent, the victim’s family may be able to obtain compensation for damages incurred.
When excessive speed or careless driving plays a contributing factor in an Illinois trucking accident resulting in serious personal injury or even wrongful death, the truck driver and their trucking carrier may be subject to civil trucking litigation. Truck drivers are required by both federal and state laws to exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicles on our nation’s roadways. In many cases, failure to exercise reasonable and responsible care during commercial vehicle travel may constitute negligence in the event that an accident transpires.