When a driver dies after running off the road and/or crashing into a stationary object, people tend to react with sadness. They reflect on what a shame it is that a person’s life ended so suddenly. But when the same thing happens and there are passengers in the car who get injured, should people respond in a similar manner? Or should they also feel angry that the carelessness of the driver subjected others to pain and anguish?
This question is relevant in a single-vehicle crash that occurred on the Far North Side of Chicago this week in the West Rogers Park neighborhood. On Thursday evening shortly before 9:15pm, a car was traveling on Howard Street between Kedzie and California Avenues on the Evanston border when the male driver lost control and drove into a tree. The man was killed, but four other occupants of the vehicle had to be transported to area hospitals with critical injuries.
Though the investigation is continuing, it appears that the man driving the car was fully responsible for the auto accident. Even though he is deceased, his estate can still be named as a defendant in personal injury lawsuits which could be filed by one or all of the four injured passengers. If these suits were to go to trial and a jury found in favor of the plaintiffs, the monetary award would be taken out of whatever assets the driver owned at the time of his death – which could include other vehicles, deposits or investments, and possibly even his home (if no one else lives at the residence).
The victims could receive reimbursement for ambulance charges, hospitalization costs, and any other treatment or health care expenses they incur as a result of this auto accident. If any of the victims are forced to miss work because of their injuries, they could be compensated for the wages they would have earned on the days they were absent. Finally, it’s possible that they could be awarded monetary damages for pain and suffering as well.