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Widow receives large settlement for fatal truck accident

An Illinois state trooper's wife was awarded a multi-million dollar settlement after her husband was killed in an accident in March 2013. The truck accident that claimed the man's life was allegedly caused by a truck driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The man's wife filed the wrongful death lawsuit at the end of 2013 after the 26-year-old truck driver had been charged criminally in Cook County. The lawsuit stated that the trooper was parked on the southbound I-294 shoulder at the time of the accident. The truck driver was heading south in the far left lane when he allegedly fell asleep at the wheel. The semi then veered off the interstate and crashed into the trooper's squad vehicle. The trooper was burned by the accident, leading to his death.

The criminal charges were for violating federal safety laws instituted to avoid accidents of this nature caused by tired drivers. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records showed that the driver and his employer were fined after he broke a rule that prohibited driving for more than 14 hours if drivers have not received at least 10 hours of rest. The driver had been working a 12-hour shift on the day that he fell asleep and killed the trooper. The woman was awarded $10.9 million via a settlement between her, the driver and the companies he was working for on the day of the accident. A judge signed off on the settlement that was entered into as part of pre-litigation mediation.

When a person dies in a truck accident caused by the negligence of the driver or the failure the trucking company to follow federal regulations, the victim's loved ones may decide to consult a lawyer and file a wrongful death lawsuit. By taking this course of action, they may be able to obtain financial compensation for the damages they sustained, including compensation for pain and suffering and possible loss of companionship.

Source: Lake County News-Sun, "Widow gets $10.9M settlement after state trooper’s death", Maudlyne Ihejirika, May 16, 2014

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