The vast majority of auto-pedestrian accidents caused by cars involve the front (or side-front bumper) of the vehicle. The reason is obvious: since this portion of the car is the one that enters an area first, it’s more likely to make contact with a pedestrian. But this isn’t always the case with 18-wheelers. Because these vehicles are so big, their rear wheels are commonly the first contact point with pedestrians – especially when the big rig is making a turn.
This is apparently what happened in a trucking accident last week that killed a pedestrian. On Monday around 8:30am, a tanker truck was driving south on the Kennedy Expressway when it exited in the West Loop. As it was turning right onto Randolph Street, its rear wheels struck a 24-year old woman who was believed to be walking to work. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. Though the truck-pedestrian accident is still under investigation, the 55-year old truck driver from Minnesota was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian.
If the probe concludes that the truck driver was fully responsible for the fatal accident, the surviving family members of the woman could elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit against him. They could also name the company for which he was driving as a defendant as well, since employers are responsible for the actions of their employees in the state of Illinois.
This type of legal action could allow the plaintiffs to collect the estimated future compensation that the young woman would have earned in her lifetime has the accident never occurred – which could potentially run into the millions of dollars. A jury could also order the defendants to reimburse the family for burial expenses and even pay out monetary damages for loss of care and companionship and/or pain and suffering.