Chicago motorists have a duty to operate their vehicles in a way that is safe and refrains from putting others in harm's way. This means drivers must obey traffic laws, be attentive behind the wheel and only drive when sober. They must also be aware of motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Those who fail to uphold these duties can cause serious, even fatal, accidents that leave families devastated.
One of these instances occurred recently in Chicago, when an SUV struck a pedestrian in an intersection. According to reports, the impact threw the victim, who had been walking home from his job as a mechanic, 30 feet. The victim was rushed to the hospital, where he died shortly thereafter. The driver of the SUV fled the scene, but was later located thanks to surveillance photos. He has now been charged with a felony and is being held on $100,000 bond.
Although these criminal charges may bring some sense of relief to the deceased's family members, they do nothing for those family members who may have relied on the victim's financial resources. A sudden and tragic death like this can leave a family with a significant decrease in income, significant medical and funeral debt and insecurity about their future at a time when they are still trying to cope with the emotional hardship of their loss.
Those facing financial challenges in the face of an avoidable accident like the one detailed in the recent news article may be able to find relief through a wrongful death lawsuit. These claims could lead to the recovery of compensation for damages suffered, thereby providing some financial stability and allowing a grieving family to focus on remembering their lost loved one.
Source: Fox 32, "$100K bond for driver charged with fatal Avondale hit-and-run," Feb. 29, 2016