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Chicago area truck crash claims life of medical worker

DuPage County drivers are expected to use good driving practices, not just for their own safety but to safeguard others on Illinois roads. Inattentiveness and other careless driver actions can cause preventable accidents, serious injuries and deaths.

A 43-year-old Gurnee woman died recently on her way to work in Grayslake. WLS-TV Chicago reported the Northwestern Medicine employee's Honda Civic and a van were struck by a dump truck. The dump truck had been sideswiped by another commercial vehicle, a landscape truck that crossed onto the wrong side of Illinois Route 120.

Both truck drivers were hospitalized. Reports did not have further information about the accident victims' injuries or medical conditions. Two other people, the van driver and a landscape truck passenger, were treated for injuries at the scene.

Crash investigators from the Lake County Sheriff's Office are gathering evidence for a report to be presented to local state attorney's office. Authorities then will make a decision whether to press criminal charges. No citations were issued immediately following the truck accident.

Accident victims and families who've lost loved ones may file personal injury and wrongful death claims for damages. It's not necessary for police to bring charges of criminal wrongdoing for an at-fault driver to be named as a defendant in a civil claim. Civil juries and judges consider whether a driver, or in some cases, a third-party, was negligent before deciding whether compensation is warranted.

Commercial vehicle injury and fatality cases commonly involve trucking companies. Employers bear responsibility for the qualifications and actions of the truck drivers they employ. Third parties who own, lease, service, maintain and load commercial trucks also may be held accountable in civil lawsuits.

An attorney can help identify the at-fault individuals and companies in legal actions for compensation. Lawyers also assess fatal commercial truck accident claims to determine the financial value of losses to an accident victim's family.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Woman killed in crash was 'relentless crusader for animal welfare'," Frank S. Abderholden, News-Sun, June 24, 2015

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