A tragic accident In Barrington yesterday serves as a reminder that during winter in the Chicago area, a slip and fall accident isn’t the only danger when walking through snow and ice. A 51-year-old nurse was killed in the parking lot of the hospital where she worked when she was struck by a snow plow. Will this turn out to be a wrongful death case, or an unavoidable accident? The investigation is ongoing.

Investigation Underway in Barrington

At about 5:30 yesterday morning, nurse Diane Shogren was on her way to work, walking across the parking lot of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington when a pickup truck with an attached snow plow backed into and killed her. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and the incident is currently under investigation by the Lake County Sherriff’s Office.

The findings of this investigation may help determine whether or not this is an example of a wrongful death. Officials report that driver fatigue does not appear to have been a factor in the accident, and that the parking lot was under heavy snowfall at the time. This, combined with the early morning darkness, would have limited visibility.

Wrongful Death Risks During a Chicago Winter

Until the official investigation is completed, we can’t understand the exact circumstances of this tragedy, nor speculate on its outcome. What the incident shows, however, is exactly what our wrongful death lawyers here in Chicago see quite frequently: a slip and fall accident is far from the only danger pedestrians face in winter weather conditions.

Even when the sidewalks are clear and safe for pedestrians, the snow and ice of a winter storm can create other complications and dangers that put them at risk. A driver who does not properly clear the snow off of his vehicle before driving, for example, may not be able to see pedestrians in a crosswalk or parking lot. A vehicle moving too fast for conditions can spin out or jump the curb, striking pedestrians on a sidewalk. Carelessness and negligence take many forms, and pedestrians are often those who pay the price.

What You Can Do

Unfortunately, a wrongful death is out of its victim’s hands—it is the result of another person’s negligence. This doesn’t mean, however, that you’re powerless.

Pedestrians in Chicago should be careful to avoid not only slip and fall accidents, but also other common winter weather hazards, like traffic. Drivers may not have the same level of visibility as usual, because of either weather conditions or their own negligence, and that can put you in danger. Exercise extra caution in areas like parking lots and crosswalks, particularly after dark and during snow storms.

If someone you know has been killed in a winter accident and you suspect that it was because of another’s negligence, contact a wrongful death lawyer in Chicago as soon as possible. The legal team at Malman Law can investigate your case and help you seek justice after a tragedy.