Though the reason is difficult to define, it seems like in most auto accidents in Illinois that involve vehicles owned by municipalities, there tends to be an assumption that the blame for the collision lies with the municipal vehicle. Perhaps it’s because people know that these drivers of municipal vehicles receive additional driver training, or are required to maintain a higher standard of care when it comes to other vehicles on the road. Even so, there are plenty of instances where the municipal vehicle isn’t completely at fault in these collisions.
One such incident took place earlier this month in the Chicago suburb of Glenview. Shortly before 12:45pm on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 15, a garbage truck operated by the village of Skokie was traveling north on Harlem Avenue. As it passed through the intersection with Harrison Street just southeast of Johns Park, a car that was eastbound on Harrison reportedly ran a stop sign. The garbage truck slammed into the car, crushing it and allegedly pushing it for a block and a half. All three people in the car – a husband and wife and a friend of the couple – were killed.
Because the car ran the stop sign, it appears that the driver of the garbage truck won’t be held primarily responsible for the auto accident and the deaths of the three people in the car. However, there is a question as to whether the garbage truck was traveling at too high a speed. If an investigation reveals this to be the case, then the driver and the village of Skokie might share some liability in the crash.
In either case, the surviving relatives of the friend do have solid grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of the driver of the car. This suit could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for burial expenses, monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care and companionship, and estimated wages the victim would have earned in the future.