Two older women from Chicago were killed and two others injured in an accident that authorities attribute to snowy conditions on the road. According to the Elgin Courier-News, the women were driving south when their car slid on the pavement and landed in the path of northbound traffic, where it was hit by a semi truck. The truck driver was not injured, but two of the women in the car, both 70, were killed. Two others were hospitalized in critical or serious condition in Rockford.
Unfortunately, this sort of tragedy is a common outcome of an accident between an ordinary passenger car and a large truck (a semi, tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler). Trucks are many times the size and weight of a passenger vehicle. In an accident, simple physics means their greater weight brings greater force to the collision. Their bumpers also tend to be so much higher that cars’ bumpers can’t do their job — absorbing some of the shock of the impact. Rather, trucks’ bumpers are very frequently at the same level as the torsos, necks or heads of the people in the cars.
This can be disastrous for the occupants of the smaller vehicle, who are frequently killed or very seriously injured in accidents with trucks. According to the federal Department of Transportation, only 6% of fatalities in multi-vehicle trucking accidents in 2007 were the deaths of people inside the trucks. That’s true regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Statistically, truck drivers are much safer drivers than average, but when they do make mistakes, the consequences for the victims are very serious.
In this case, the facts suggest that the crash truly was an accident. But in cases where a truck driver’s bad decisions caused or contributed to a serious crash, victims have the right to hold the trucker — and any trucking company at fault — legally and financially responsible for the results. That includes hospital bills and other medical costs, any funeral costs, missed work and other expenses, as well as compensation for a wrongful death or permanent disability. To learn more from our Chicago truck accident attorneys, please contact us online as soon as possible.