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Wrongful death lawsuit possible after recent freak accident


Illinois residents who have lost loved ones know the grief that follows. When death is sudden and unexpected, the pain is even worse, especially when the death was avoidable, as is often the case with fatal motor vehicle accidents. Most fatal accidents are investigated to determine the exact cause, and any party found negligent can be held responsible by criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit.

In Chicago recently, a 64-year-old woman died in a freak accident as she was driving to work on Bishop Ford Freeway near Riverdale. Authorities say a tire came loose from a southbound Chevy Blazer and bounced into the northbound lanes where it smashed into the windshield of the woman's car. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The SUV that lost the tire was found parked on the highway. The driver, a 48-year-old woman, was cited for driving with unsafe tires, driving without a valid registration and driving without insurance. Authorities are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the accident.

The accident most likely could have been prevented if the SUV driver had checked the state of her vehicle's tires. All drivers and vehicle owners are responsible for the condition of their vehicles and should make sure they are roadworthy at all times. Because negligence is likely to be determined as the principal cause of the accident, the family of the deceased may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit to be awarded compensation for their losses, including medical expenses and funeral costs.

Wrongful death lawsuits arise not only in fatal motor vehicle accidents but also in cases involving death and negligence such as medical malpractice. Any lawsuit requires the plaintiff to prove the negligence of the defendants. The lawsuit can also be settled through alternative options such as mediation or negotiation.

Source: New York Daily News, "Woman, 64, killed by flying tire on Chicago highway," Joe Kemp, July 24, 2014

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