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Trucker says he couldn't avoid crash on Chicago expressway

Regular commuters on Chicago roads know that rush hour volume can begin early in the day. Morning fatigue and distraction are driver errors that contribute to traffic crashes and fatal accidents.

A North Side man died in a fatal trucking accident during a recent morning collision on the Kennedy Expressway. The 65-year-old man was caught in a backup near Cumberland Avenue, when a tractor trailer rear-ended his Ford Escape and shoved it into the Lincoln Town car ahead.

The Ford driver was later pronounced dead. The operators of the 18-wheeler and the Lincoln Town car escaped serious harm.

The 45-year-old tractor trailer driver told Illinois State Police that he could not stop the rig in time. Authorities issued a citation for the driver's failure to slow down to avoid a collision. Troopers did not indicate whether additional charges were being considered.

Standard police procedures often include accident reconstruction, vehicle inspections and driver toxicology tests. The evidence allows troopers to confirm or rule out suspected accident causes.

Auto accident liability claims may move forward with or without criminal charges. Judges and juries in wrongful death and personal injury cases make decisions for damages based on negligence--whether a person or entity breached a duty of reasonable care toward another individual.

Negligence may not be the result of an obvious behavior like drunk driving. Third parties are sometimes held accountable for actions they fail to take. A trucking firm could have substandard training and hiring policies for drivers or shabby service and maintenance records for its fleet of trucks.

The time following a car accident is highly stressful. A victim's recovery or a family's grief can be all-consuming. At some point, financial responsibility for the harm done must be addressed. Evidence gathering and case preparation take time, which is why experts encourage contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

Source:  chicagotribune.com, "Lanes reopen after man killed in Kennedy wreck" No Author Given, May. 14, 2013

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