Violent Collision Takes Driver’s Life
In December 2017, a 19-year-old man was traveling home to visit his family for the holidays. At the time of the incident, he was approaching Milepost 108.5 on Interstate 88 in Kane County, IL. At that location, a road crew was performing maintenance on a roadway median barrier cable system that involved lane closures, obstructions, and inadequate signage.
Upon encountering a merge taper within the traffic control area, the young man struck the rear of a construction utility truck which was parked in the controlled access zone with a portion of its rear bumper extending in the lane of travel, resulting in fatal injuries. He is survived by his father, brother, and sister.
GWC Overcomes Defense Denial
GWC filed suit on behalf of the surviving family against the contractor in charge of the road work.
“The Defendant immediately denied liability,” said Mr. Sorce. “They insisted that our driver was the primary cause of the accident due to his speed, failure to merge into the travel lane sooner, and failure to see the construction vehicle.”
At mediation before the Hon. William Gomolinski, Defendant for the first time ever produced scientific data extracted off of decedent’s cell phone that supported their argument that decedent was traveling over 100 m.p.h. at the time of the fatal crash, as well as a video “selfie” of decedent singing to the music as he panned the roadway in front of his vehicle, passing the speedometer at over 95 m.p.h. just minutes prior to the crash. To overcome this newly produced evidence, Mr. Cairo and Mr. Sorce made a number of arguments focusing on the Defendant’s paramount responsibility for road safety for the public, the foreseeability of motorists speeding on an open highway with a 65 m.p.h. speed limit, and the unforeseeability of a construction truck being improperly parked partially IN THE TRAVEL LANE, all of which contributed to the young man’s death. They argued:
- The road crew negligently failed to properly warn motorists;
- They improperly set up the partial lane closure in the roadway;
- They unsafely parked a truck partially extending into the travel lane roadway; and
- They failed to provide a safe transition from a two-lane highway into a one-lane work area free of confusion to motorists entering into a temporary traffic-controlled work zone.
In light of these negligent actions, GWC argued that regardless of the alleged “speed” of decedent’s vehicle, Defendant created an unsafe roadway transition that required an unreasonable rapid driver response due to inadequate channelization and warnings to assist drivers in avoiding the improperly parked work vehicle extending into the travel lane. “Defendant had hours and hours to get it right. The decedent had a matter of seconds,” according to Sorce.
On the strength of these arguments, Mr. Cairo and Mr. Sorce were able to obtain a $1.5 million settlement for the surviving family.
“We know that nothing can bring this young man back,” said Mr. Cairo. “But by holding the Defendant accountable, we hope we have brought some comfort to his family and helped to prevent unnecessary tragedies like this in the future.”
Helping Families Suffering from Loss
The loss of a loved one is devastating, especially when it is the result of someone else’s negligence. In the face of such unimaginable grief, many families think about pursuing wrongful death actions against the responsible parties. If your family member has been killed in a tragic accident, consider doing what so many others have done before you and reach out to the wrongful death attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois.
Contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our car accident attorneys. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.