Disabled woman’s death puts spotlight on fatigued driving

The family of a woman who was killed when her bus driver fell asleep at the wheel has settled their lawsuit.

Woman's family reaches settlement in lawsuit related to 2013 crash

The family of a woman who was killed in a 2013 Chicago car crash has reached a settlement with the employer of the motorist who was driving the woman, according to ABC 7 Chicago. The woman, who suffered from diabetes and was confined to a wheelchair, was being driven to her college class by a bus service that offers transportation for the disabled. The driver crashed into a utility pole while the woman sat in the passenger seat. While the driver initially claimed he was trying to avoid a dog, video footage appeared to show him falling asleep at the wheel.

Tragic death

The victim of the March 8, 2013 crash was a mother and grandmother and 58 at the time of her death. Despite her limited mobility, she was attending Business Administration classes at a local college. On the day of the accident, she called the bus service to drive her to her classes.

On the way to class, the bus swerved into a utility pole on South Halsted. The woman suffered severe injuries and was declared dead at the hospital. The driver was convicted for speeding, improper seatbelt usage, and negligent driving and his commercial license was suspended in relation to the crash.

Fatigued driving

The family of the deceased woman launched a lawsuit against the driver's employer. Initially, the driver claimed he swerved to avoid a dog that had run out into the street. However, a dashboard video camera showed that the driver momentarily fell asleep before he was awoken by his passenger's screams, according to NBC 5 Chicago. The family will receive $2.7 million under the settlement that was reached earlier in August.

The case has brought renewed focus to the danger of fatigued driving, according to the family's attorney. In this case, the driver appeared to fall asleep only for a second or two, but it was long enough to lead to a tragic and fatal crash.

Car accidents

As the above story shows, negligent driving, including driving while fatigued, can lead to devastating consequences for innocent victims and their families. If negligent driving leads to the death of another driver or passenger, the loss can be unbearable for the loved ones that are left behind.

While no amount of compensation can ever replace the loss of a loved one, it can at least make the financial strain of a wrongful death easier to bear. When holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions, however, victims and their families will want the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Such an attorney can provide expert advice and guidance about how to best pursue compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a negligent driver.

Keywords: fatigued driving, car accidents, negligence, wrongful death, recovery