A 22-year-old woman died recently in a two-vehicle accident in downtown Springfield, Illinois. According to The State Journal Register, the woman died a day after incurring life-threatening injuries in the accident. The other driver in the accident, who was driving a company provided van, only suffered relatively minor head injuries. According to the police, he ran a red light just before getting in the accident with the woman. The woman’s vehicle was knocked over a curb and toppled a tree.
The driver is now charged with aggravated driving while under the influence, and he is currently being held in the Sangamon County Jail on a $250,000 bond. Additionally, the mother of the deceased is filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Sangamon Country against both the driver and the heating and cooling company that owns the driver’s van.
As per the suit, the company is named because the driver was working when the accident occurred and the company “allowed him to drive the van even though the company knew or should have known that [the driver] had a criminal record involving both drugs and alcohol.” As our Chicago car accident lawyers interpret the law, there are many forms of liability ascribed to companies of various types.
Premises liability, for example, is the concept that a company is responsible for what happens on its land or property. In terms of this case, the company’s potential contributory negligence is at issue. In layman’s terms, the company made possible or fostered negligence on the part of its employees by not taking the necessary actions to prevent such potentially negligent actions.
The primary basis of this lawsuit, as our Illinois car accident attorneys understand it, is that the driver was allegedly negligent in operating a vehicle because he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and ran a red light before colliding with the plaintiff’s vehicle. Further, the driver has a detailed history of potentially negligent driving incidences.
Apparently, the driver was convicted at least twice on each of the following charges: marijuana possession, illegal transportation of alcohol, possession of drug paraphernalia, and speeding. The latter speeding accident, to which he pleaded guilty, happened just one week before the accident in this suit. Clearly, the driver has demonstrated that he has acted in potentially negligent ways in the past.
The choice to let this man drive on the part of the company is questionable at best, and forthright negligent at worst. It does not take a Chicago car accident attorney to foresee the potential liability issues associated with putting this man behind a company vehicle. On an optimistic note, there may be some silver lining to this incident.
In a general sense, it raises awareness about a couple important issues, such as the danger of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In a more specific sense, it demonstrates that there are avenues for one to pursue legal recourse should a tragic situation befall them or someone they love. Should you or a loved one be seriously injured due to the negligence of another driver, you can contact our team of Illinois car accident lawyers to find out what rights may be available to you.