There are many conditions that can contribute to the cause of a collision. Inclement weather, nighttime driving, and alcohol are all prominent factors. However, one of the more dangerous times when accidents often occur is right after a collision has already taken place – especially on a freeway.
That appears to be what happened in Rockford last month. Around 4:30am on Saturday, March 23, a 64-year old woman from Ridott was driving on the eastbound side of U.S. 20 near the Rock River when she came upon a crash that had happened earlier in the morning west of Kishwaukee Street. A tractor-trailer in front of her vehicle switched lanes to avoid the accident scene, and the woman slowed her vehicle to let the big rig complete its lane change. But another 18-wheeler slammed into the back of the woman’s vehicle near the Rock River. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
It’s not clear what caused the tractor-trailer to crash into the woman’s vehicle. But from the evidence presented in the story, it appears that the driver of the rear-ending semi will be held solely responsible for the trucking accident and the death of the 64-year old woman. Since Illinois law says that employers are liable for the actions of their workers while on the job, both the truck driver and his or her employer may be named as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit that could be filed by the woman’s surviving family members.
Such a lawsuit could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for the burial costs they incurred, as well as monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship. If the Ridott woman was still working, her family may also be entitled to the estimated wages she would have earned in her lifetime had the trucking accident never taken place.