When it comes to determining liability in a auto accident, the blame can be almost always be placed on one or more of the vehicles that were in motion at the time of the crash. However, it is possible for a parked vehicle to be partially or entirely responsible for causing a wreck.
A fatal three-vehicle auto accident in DuPage County over the weekend could fall into this latter category. A 2006 Mercury was on a ramp from Interstate 355 to the Reagan Memorial Tollway near Lisle. The car changed lanes to the right and struck the trailer of a semi that was parked on the right shoulder but sticking out into the right lane. The car then spun across the ramp and hit a van. The crash left a 17-year old female Mercury passenger dead and two of the car’s male occupants injured.
The 17-year old boy who was driving the Mercury was cited for improper lane usage. But the driver of the tractor-trailer also received a citation for parking on the shoulder of the roadway.
Because every driver is responsible for the safety of his or her passengers, the 17-year old Mercury driver will probably shoulder part of the blame for the auto accident – and, by extension, the girl’s death. However, since the 18-wheeler was determined to have been illegally parked, it’s quite possible that its driver – and, by extension, the employer of the truck driver – will be held partially responsible for the deadly crash as well. Therefore, both drivers and the trucking company could be named as defendants in any future wrongful death lawsuit that could be filed by the girl’s parents. Similarly, the other injured male (or his parents, if he is also a minor) could file a personal injury lawsuit against the same defendants.