Illinois road worker fatality prompts wrongful death lawsuit

All jobs have inherent risks. Unfortunately, some jobs expose workers to dangerous conditions which sometimes can result in devastating outcomes.

The death of an Illinois tollway worker early this year in a fiery vehicular crash prompted his family to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois, against the truck driver and his employer.

Prior to the accident, the 39-year-old victim had stopped his emergency aid vehicle to help a disabled truck along the highway. A tractor trailer truck hit the tollway worker’s vehicle, killing the road worker and seriously injuring a police officer who was also on the scene.

The truck driver was cited for violating commercial vehicle driver hours-of-service laws. According to authorities, the truck driver had been operating the vehicle for 36 hours but had only taken less than four hours of rest. He also allegedly falsified his logbook.

The truck driver remains free on bond.

Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, even at work. For instance, construction workers are at risk for falls from working stories high, while road workers and emergency responders risk injury from traffic accidents.

Chicago work-related deaths occur for many reasons, including negligence. Losing a loved one causes unimaginable pain and suffering as well as financial burden to the surviving family. Costs, such as medical bills, funeral expenses and lost wages, are often the financial burdens associated with the death of a working family member.

Fortunately, an employee’s surviving family may file a claim to collect workers’ compensation benefits if the cause of death is work-related. Similarly, the family may also file a wrongful death suit if a negligent party causes the fatal accident. An experienced Chicago worker’s compensation legal professional can help answer any questions regarding victim and survivor rights.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Family of tollway worker killed in accident sues truck driver,” Clifford Ward, Mar. 10, 2014