People living and working near Chicago are well aware of how busy our interstates and highways are. These roads are more often than not very congested with cars and trucks en route to their place of work, driving family members to school, or on the road traveling for business. With how busy these roads are, they are already dangerous and high-risk accident areas. When we add negligent or reckless driving to these naturally present factors, then these roadways are a place of high risk for accidents, injury, or even death.
For instance, in a recent article by the Chicago Sun Times, a wrong-way driver has been charged in a crash that resulted in injuries to six people. The accident occurred on I-94 in south suburban South Holland. The crash occurred in the early morning when one car was traveling north in the southbound lanes of I-94 at 159th Street. Illinois State Police reported that three other vehicles were also involved in this accident.
Reports have revealed that the driver that was traveling in the wrong direction was a 22-year-old, who has been charged with an aggravated DUI. As a result of the crash six people were transported to local hospitals. Some of the injured passengers in the involved vehicles included young people, such as teens, who were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Lanes in both directions were closed, as crews needed to clear the scene for almost five hours.
Our attorneys cannot stress enough that a DUI related accident is always preventable, because no one HAS to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol. Instead, this is a knowing and volitional choice that drivers make, in which they choose to endanger the lives of themselves and all others on the road.
Victims of DUI accidents who suffer serious or life changing injuries have legal rights and can hold wrongdoers accountable for their injuries and suffering through legal action. The avenue of achieving this justice is done through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Where victims unfortunately did not survive a DUI crash, their family members may file suit and seek their own justice by proving that the death of their loved one was caused by the fault of another person. Commonly, the damages that can be recovered from a wrongful death lawsuit may include the earnings the deceased person would have provided, death-related expenses like funeral and medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.
In addition, the plaintiff may seek punitive damages, which are designed to and intended to punish wrongdoers. Punitive damages set a legal example by punishing those who have inflicted injury or death on others through their negligent and reckless behavior, like DUIs. By the law punishing these people, this prevents future harm from occurring to others as less people will choose to engage in reckless behavior in the future when they know the harsh consequences they must face.