There are plenty of appropriate places to spend Easter Sunday in Illinois. Like in a house of worship with your religious community. Or at an Easter egg hunt with your kids. Or at a gathering of family and friends. (Or, in 2013, at a sports bar watching college basketball).
But one place that probably doesn’t make the list is the emergency room of a hospital. That’s where two young Pekin men saw the sun rise on Easter this year.
The reason? The two roommates, aged 24 and 23, were in a compact car that was traveling south on Illinois Route 29 on the outskirts of Creve Coeur in Tazewell County’s Groveland Township shortly before 5:30am Easter Sunday morning. They were apparently heading home from a late-night bar in Peoria when they went under the Interstate 474 overpass. But the 23-year old driver lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway, and crashed into a concrete median before spinning into the northbound lanes of traffic. Thankfully, no other vehicles were involved in the auto accident – but the Pekin men had to be transported back to Peoria in critical condition at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.
Even though they are roommates (and even if they were both intoxicated), the 24-year old passenger still has grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. Since the 23-year old man was responsible for the safety of his passenger, he could be ordered by a jury to reimburse his roommate for medical expenses (such as ambulance charges, treatment and medications, hospitalization costs, and physical therapy appointments), compensate him for any unearned wages due to work absenteeism, and possibly even pay monetary damages for pain and suffering. If the driver is charged and convicted of driving under the influence in connection with the auto accident, he may also be forced to pay punitive damages to the plaintiff.