People commonly worry about getting into car accidents while driving in unfamiliar areas. But statistics show that a significant percentage of crashes occur within a few miles of the victims’ homes. Sometimes, serious or fatal accidents can occur right out of the driveway.
Accidents close to home are usually attributed to a false sense of security that comes with driving in a very familiar area. Crash victims may not be paying as much attention because they have driven the same street hundreds of times. In some cases, however, car accidents in familiar areas are caused by negligent drivers, as appears to be the case in a Chicago-area car accident that killed a young woman in May.
In that crash, a 23-year-old North Aurora woman was pulling her car out of a private driveway at 6:00 a.m. one morning when she was struck and killed by the driver of garbage truck. The woman’s family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver and his company.
The driver of the garbage truck is a 22-year-old man whose last name matches the name of the disposal company; presumably a family business. The lawsuit alleges that the driver was negligent in that he was driving too fast through the Batavia neighborhood and did not show proper regard for the safety of others.
The company was also at fault for failing to adequately maintain the truck, according to the lawsuit. Plaintiffs allege that the truck lacked properly working breaks and a horn.
One important detail to note is that no criminal charges were filed in the wake of the fatal crash. This is significant only because many accident victims incorrectly assume that they cannot pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit after a crash unless the at-fault driver is also held criminally responsible.
There are times when both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit are appropriate and necessary. But even if the at-fault driver was not found to be criminally negligent, victims and their families can nonetheless pursue reasonable compensation in court.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Family Of Woman Killed In Garbage Truck Crash Sues Driver,” August 13, 2013