Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Pedestrian Killed in Accident | Law Firm Newswire

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Pedestrian Killed in Accident

Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) March 21, 2014 – A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over an August 2013 accident in Jacksonville, Illinois that killed a pedestrian.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the estate of Caryn Thomas in Morgan County Circuit Court, naming as defendants Mitchell Smith, Jay Shirley and Jay Shirley, Incorporated.

According to the lawsuit, Thomas was on foot near the corner of Clay and Morton in Jacksonville when Smith, driving a semi-trailer owned by Shirley's company, struck and killed her.

“Obviously, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable in car accidents. That means that collisions involving people on foot are much more likely to result in fatalities,” said Paul Greenberg, a Chicago wrongful death attorney not involved in the case. “In tragic circumstances such as these, a wrongful death lawsuit may be an appropriate way to seek compensation for the family of the deceased.”

The lawsuit claims that the defendants negligently operated the semi-trailer at an unreasonable rate of speed and without properly looking out for pedestrians. The complaint also alleges that the driver saw Thomas but failed to yield the right of way, and that he started the vehicle from a stationary position without first making sure it could be done safely. The lawsuit further claims that the defendants failed to equip the vehicle with proper brakes, failed to give an audible warning of the truck's approach and failed to stop or change course when the truck was in imminent danger of striking Thomas.

According to the lawsuit, as a result of the defendants' negligence, the semi-trailer struck and killed Thomas. The complaint alleges that Thomas' heirs and next-of-kin sustained damages including mental suffering, grief, sorrow, and loss of support and companionship. The lawsuit requests more than $50,000 in damages.

In 2012 in Illinois, there were 274,111 motor vehicle crashes. 886 of those crashes resulted in one or more fatalities. There were a total of 956 traffic fatalities, and 139 of the people killed were crashes involved pedestrians accounted for 1.7 percent of crashes statewide. Nationally, there were 4,092 pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2009.

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