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Settlement Reached in Drunk Driving Accident in Illinois

The family of a Springfield woman who was killed in a drunk driving accident last year has reached a monetary settlement in connection with the wrongful death lawsuit that they filed on behalf of their young daughter. The accident occurred when the young woman was driving through an intersection and was struck by a van that had run a red light. The vehicle that ran the red light was a heating and cooling van driven by a young man, who was on the job and who was apparently driving under the influence at the time of the terrible accident.

A criminal case filed against the heating and cooling van driver resulted in a sentence of eight years in prison, after he pled guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. The victim’s mother also filed the above referenced wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused the accident. In addition to naming the driver as a defendant, the wrongful death lawsuit also sued an Illinois bar where the driver had been drinking for several hours prior to the accident. In Illinois, a lawsuit may be brought against the establishment where a drunk driver was drinking prior to an accident in certain situations, under the Dram Shop Act. The lawsuit also listed the driver’s employer as a defendant in the wrongful death case, as the driver was on a service call when the accident occurred, meaning he was drinking while on duty at the time of the accident. The lawsuit alleges that not only was he drinking at the bar for several hours before the accident occurred but that he was also drinking at the job site right for about an hour before the terrible accident occurred.

According to The State Journal-Register, both the bar and the employer have settled with the mother of the victim, the bar for $140,000 dollars and the employer for $1.5 million dollars. These amounts do not only account for actual damages (including medical care) incurred as a result of the accident but also for pain and suffering and other emotional damages that the family of the young victim suffered at the hands of these parties.

The family of a victim that was killed in an accident, has the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or parties responsible for the accident, since the victim can no longer bring the lawsuit themselves. There is a time limit on how long after the accident has happened that the family has to bring the lawsuit in Illinois (in most situations the time limit is two years after the accident occurred). If you believe that you may have a wrongful death case to file on behalf of a loved one that was killed in an accident, please contact our office today to discuss what legal options may be available. Our attorneys have handled wrongful death lawsuits for many clients and have helped these families receive compensation for all they have been forced to deal with in connection with their terrible tragedies.