A 6-year old girl was killed and 3 of her family members were injured an Illinois car accident when their car was struck by a runaway trailer on Illinois Route 96 near Hamilton. The trailer was being hauled by an Iowa man when it broke away and crossed over the center line, striking the car that the girl was riding in. The Iowa man left the scene of accident. He was arrested and now faces several traffic charges.From a legal perspective, this Illinois wrongful death car accident raises several legal issues:
- This may be a case where there is more than meets the eye in that the actual cause of the accident may a defect in the design in the manufacture, design, and/or maintenance of the trailer or the hitch. In either event, as an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer, I would strongly recommend that this family take steps to immediately preserve the remains of the trailer and the hitch so that the issue whether there is a basis for a defective product suit can be properly investigated.
- Because he was pulling a trailer at the time of the accident, it is worth investigating whether the Iowa man was doing anything employment related at the time of the occurrence. That would make his employer liable for any negligence on his part. This is part of a proper investigation of serious car accidents.
- This is an auto accident with multiple victims. Unless there is a significant commercial insurance policy involved, the odds that the man from Iowa had insurance coverage is pretty slim. Where there is insufficient coverage to compensate the victims of multi-victim car accidents, the victims may be able to make an Illinois underinsured motorist claim on their own policies.