Car accidents are common throughout the United States, including in Illinois, but they are more common in large urban areas with streets and highways that are crowded with traffic day and night. Unfortunately, when cars and other vehicles collide, their occupants are vulnerable to injuries from the minor to the extremely serious and even the life threatening. In the worst cases, people die from collisions. Too often, the cause is negligence, and one of the worst acts of negligence is to drive while intoxicated.
In Forest Park recently, a 21-year-old man reportedly caused a fatal auto accident because he was allegedly drunk. According to the Illinois State Police, the accident on the Eisenhower Expressway occurred around 4:40 a.m. on a recent Sunday and involved three vehicles. State troopers say the alleged drunken driver was traveling in the wrong direction when his vehicle collided with two others. A 29-year-old passenger in a van was killed. Two other people, including the suspected drunken driver, sustained non-life threatening injuries. The alleged drunken driver was charged with aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm and aggravated driving under the influence resulting in death.
In an instant, a person apparently died because of the negligence of another person. The family of the deceased can follow the criminal case and let justice run its course and also proceed to seek damages for the sudden loss of their loved one. Because negligence was the alleged cause of the crash, family members can seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
To obtain fair and just compensation, the lawsuit will need to establish fault on the part of the alleged drunken driver and an accounting of all losses incurred by surviving family members. Funeral expenses and punitive damages can be awarded to the plaintiffs if negligence is proven.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, "Driver charged in fatal wrong-way Eisenhower crash," Jan. 14, 2015