The death of a loved one is always a sorrowful time. However, it can be especially traumatic when the situation could have been avoided, as is the case in Chicago drunk driving accidents. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every year in Illinois over 300 drivers are killed in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. While criminal charges are often pursued in these cases, this does not meaningfully help the victim’s family with expenses and the emotional distress they suffered as a result of their loss. However, when someone’s death is the result of a wrongful or negligent act, such as driving under the influence, Illinois law allows the victim’s family to pursue a claim for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. While filing a lawsuit after losing a loved one may be the last thing on a person’s mind, a wrongful death lawsuit can help the victim’s family to ease their financial burdens while they are psychologically recuperating.
Earlier this month, a 41-year-old man was killed in Naperville after a car crossed onto the road’s eastbound lanes and struck him. According to a local news report covering the accident, the responsible driver’s truck rolled over after slamming into the man’s car, eventually coming to a stop on its roof. Sadly, the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was later charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide.
Although the families of Illinois car accident victims cannot have their loved ones back, Illinois state law allows them to bring a claim for their damages resulting from the loss of their loved one. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family of the victim can file civil charges against whoever is responsible for the accident. Notably, a wrongful death case is completely independent of any criminal charges that may be brought. Thus, even if criminal charges are not filed, or a defendant is acquitted, a wrongful death case can still be filed.