Our lawyers understand that motor vehicle accidents involving rollovers cannot only pose serious and permanent personal injuries, but are very often fatal. A rollover crash, like the name implies, is one where the vehicle flips over and does not remain right-side up. Since a rollover crash is a collision plus a following flip-over, these crashes are especially dangerous and more likely to be fatal for drivers and passengers of vehicles involved.
According to a 2012 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the growth in sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and light trucks has led to a rapid increase in the total number of fatal rollover crashes. Even though fatalities due to passenger car rollovers have decreased, due to light trucks and SUVs, the average number of fatalities in rollover crashes remained at about 32,000 annually. While passenger car vehicle rollover deaths fell by 15% between 1991 to 2000, rollover deaths due to trucks and SUVs increased by 35%. These statistics could suggest that the growing popularity of these types of vehicles are replacing rollover fatalities for cars.
According to CBS Chicago, a fatal rollover crash occurred in the Chicago neighborhood of Norwood Park last week. Reports stated that an SUV was headed northbound on the 6000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue. The SUV apparently lost control, hit into two fences, flipped over, and hit a light pole. The driver and his passenger were pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital.
Why the driver lost control of the SUV may be currently unknown, but families of the deceased passenger are probably asking why this happened and was the accident was preventable. Our legal system helps families of those fatally injured as a result of negligence to seek justice through wrongful death lawsuits. In the event of a car accident lawsuit with multiple fatalities including the driver, Illinois law allows the family of deceased passengers to take legal action against the estate of the driver for compensation. According to Illinois Statute 755 ILCS 5,/18-1 (a), a claim can be made against the estate of a decedent or ward, based upon tort (such as personal injury or wrongful death). In this instance then, a court may award the family of the deceased passenger compensatory damages from the estate of the deceased driver for their loss of a loved one and their suffering if the court reasons that but for negligent and unsafe driving the passenger would not have died during that car-ride.
Our Chicago accident firm has helped individuals and families find justice through personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits for over 20 years. We empathize with the losses that families of deceased victims face, and understand that even though court-awarded monetary compensation cannot measure up to the life of a loved one, these monetary damages provide justice to families and set a legal example that prevents future negligence from occurring. If you have lost a love one in a rollover crash, please contact our firm for a free consultation. We would be happy to discuss your case with you and help you determine if you have a legal cause of action.