Fatal Accidents Always Tragic and Liability Can Be Broad

Categories: Accident Victims

A case is making its way through Illinois courts this year that could have far-reaching consequences for the families of victims killed in car accidents. As a Georgia personal injury attorney, I work with the victims of cases just like this in Georgia.

In the example I’m sharing here, a man performing his community service responsibility at a rest area for the State of Illinois was taking a break from the work along with three co-workers in the scoop of a state owned bulldozer. A man under the influence of drugs drove recklessly into the rest area and slammed into the back of the dozer. One man was thrown from the bucket directly into the path of the car as it bounced off the dozer. The man never left the parking lot alive.

While it seems obvious that the person responsible for the wreck was the impaired driver of the vehicle, there are other parties that may share in the liability. For example, in this case, the vehicle that caused the accident and death was not owned by the driver. The owner of the car could be found partially liable if the case proves he knew the driver was impaired when he borrowed the car or if he had reason to believe the driver might drive his car while impaired.

Attorneys will argue that the owner of the car knew the driver well enough to know it was a distinct possibility that the borrower might drive impaired. The owner of the car may also be liable if routine maintenance was not performed on the car (if it is found that faulty brakes or other maintenance issues were contributing factors to the death.)

In addition, the State of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the courts that set the community service punishment, and others on the “community service” side of the case may also be liable for damages. If these unpaid community servants were not specifically warned that sitting in the scoop of a dozer was unsafe, there could be liability assessed to the Department of Transportation or the courts.. If the maintenance department did not adequately cordon off the area where maintenance vehicles would be parked, the potential liability for the state increases.

When a fatal accident occurs, there is no doubt tragedy all around. However, in this case, a young boy was left orphaned when his father was killed. Attorneys for the family are fighting to ensure that liability is addressed on all sides. It’s a complex case, but many accidents and most fatal accidents are equally complex.

At the law offices of David Van Sant, it’s our job to help the victims or survivors of tragic accidents. Sorting through a case with this many layers of complexity is extremely difficult, and yet a good attorney will pursue every avenue to its appropriate resolution. If you have been the victim of an auto accident or if someone you love was killed in an accident, contact Georgia Personal Injury Attorney David Van Sant.