A number of months ago, our Illinois trucking accident blog reported the devastating story of 5 year-old boy that was killed when a semi truck hauling a cargo of logs collided into his house. The latest report posted on WMTW.com states that no criminal charges have been filed against the 57 year-old driver of the semi truck. Although the driver of the semi tractor-trailer admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel when his logging truck tipped over onto a house – subsequently killing the 5 year-old boy who was asleep on the couch, the prosecutor in this case revealed that a reconstruction of the accident proved there was no basis for criminal charges.
Despite the tragic nature of this accident which caused additional injury to other individuals in the house, no criminal charges have been filed after it was proven that speed, roadway conditions, as well as, the condition of the truck did not play a contributing factor in the fatal collision. The prosecutor stated that in order for a charge of manslaughter to be filed, recklessness and criminal negligence must be proven — which was not the case in this accident. The report states that the 57 year-old driver of the commercial vehicle has had no previous criminal record.
The news report does not confirm if the family of the accident victim wishes to seek civil litigation against the truck driver for his role in the fatal accident. From the perspective of a Chicago truck accident lawyer, the accident victim’s family may have a cause of action for a wrongful death claim. In Illinois, a wrongful death claim asserts that the death of an individual was caused by the wrongful act, either through negligence or default, of another.
Illinois statute also provides that those bringing about a wrongful death claim must prove that the negligent or default act would have entitled the injured party to seek legal relief to recover damages if premature death had not occurred, in addition to, proof that monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.
When a devastating accident caused by another’s negligence does not constitute criminal charges, civil litigation can provide adequate relief to those who have been harmed as a result of a negligent driver. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed at the hands of a negligent driver, please contact our Illinois trucking accident attorneys to see what legal rights may be available to you.