Earlier today, our Illinois semi truck accident attorneys read a report in the Mcalester News detailing a tragic semi truck accident that took the life of a 38 year old man. Reports state that the driver was traveling along a state highway when a semi truck coming around a road curve crossed the center line and collided with his vehicle head on. Although the driver of the automobile was wearing his safety belt at the time of the accident, he was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the semi truck sustained an injury to the shoulder. Investigations are still being conducted to determine the cause of the accident.
Unfortunately, there has been an increasing trend of semi truck accident fatalities. According to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 3,163 people died in 2009 as the result of a large truck accident. Of that fatality number, 70% of fatalities were occupants of cars or other passenger vehicles, with many occurring near curves in the road. Although many roadways contain advanced warnings cautioning drivers of an oncoming curve, semi trucks often find hard to maneuver these roads due to their sheer size and weight. The Department of Transportation encourages semi truck drivers to always proceed through a curve with the utmost caution and large trucks need to slow down to a speed even lower than the posted speed limit when maneuvering a curve.
The report did not state if whether the semi truck driver is facing charges or if the family of the deceased man is seeking legal action. However, depending on the state’s motor vehicle laws, the family may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits arise when the wrongful or negligent conduct of others causes a premature death. The family of the deceased may be able to seek damages including: medical, funeral and burial expenses; in addition to, punitive damages that would hold the semi truck driver responsible for his negligent behavior.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys strongly encourage safe driving practices by all vehicle drivers — especially commercial vehicles. When a semi truck or any other large vehicle is operated carelessly , the results can be catastrophic. When these types of accidents occur, truck drivers, and in some cases trucking companies, should be held responsible for their wrongdoing if injuries or death result. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries as the result of a semi truck accident, please contact an Illinois semi truck accident attorney to see what legal rights may be available to you.