Illinois law outlines consequences for people who cause auto accidents. Those who are found to be responsible for a collision must pay for the damage to other vehicles and property (which is usually covered by insurance). He or she may also be ordered to provide monetary compensation for victims who are injured or family members of anyone killed in the crash.
But it’s not fair for the accident-causing driver to lose his life.
Sadly, that’s what happened this past weekend in Lake County. Around 6:45am on Sunday morning, a Chrysler Sebring and a tow truck were traveling east on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Near Lake Cook Road, the Sebring rear-ended the tow truck, and both vehicles pulled to the right shoulder of the tollway. Neither driver was injured, and the tow truck driver got out of his vehicle to speak to the 39-year old Sebring driver, who stayed in his car.
But then, a taxi cab struck the tow truck driver and slammed into the back of the Sebring. The pedestrian’s injuries were not life-threatening, but the male driver of the Sebring was pronounced dead on the scene.
It appears that the taxi driver will be held liable for the injury to the tow truck driver and the death of the car’s driver. That means that the surviving family members of the 39-year old could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the taxi as well as the taxi company (because Illinois law states that companies are responsible for the actions of their employees on the roadways). But there’s no statute which implies or states that because the Sebring driver caused the first collision (with the tow truck) that he carries any liability for being on the shoulder of the tollway and/or being partially responsible for his own death in the second collision.