If you do a quick search on YouTube or many other places, you can probably find photos or videos of people doing stupid things while under the influence of drugs. Many of these images are probably pretty funny, but a weekend auto accident in Ogle County reminds us that taking drugs can have potentially dangerous consequences – especially for people who are unfortunate enough to be near the impaired individual.
On Saturday January 5th, around 10:30pm, a 23-year old Rockford man was driving a Dodge Stratus on Illinois Route 2, which runs along the Rock River north of Byron and connects that city with Chicago Rockford International Airport. For some reason, the man tried to pass a vehicle by driving on the shoulder; and as a result, the Stratus lost control and struck a Chevrolet that was being driven by a 24-year old woman from Cherry Valley. She suffered non-life threatening injuries, but the Rockford man was arrested and charged with DUI-drugs, reckless driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and improper lane usage.
Even though the woman’s life was never in danger, she still has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the 23-year old driver of the Stratus. This could allow her to receive reimbursement for any medical costs that she incurred on the day of the auto accident, as well as any related health care expenses she may have to pay in the future (for such things as medications, follow-up doctor’s appointments, and physical therapy sessions). If this woman is forced to miss work either due to her injuries or her follow-up medical care sessions, she can also be paid the wages she would have earned while on the job. There’s also a possibility that a jury could award the Cherry Valley woman monetary damages for pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages if the defendant is eventually convicted on the DUI charge.