There’s a perception that most auto accidents occur when drivers or pedestrians are in unfamiliar surroundings far away from where they live and work in Illinois. But in reality, the opposite is true: the highest prevalence of auto accidents is found within a five mile radius of a victim’s home.However, few people expect to die in an auto accident right outside their home.Tragically, that’s what befell an 81-year old woman in Merrionette Park last week. On Tuesday morning, the woman was walking on West 115th Street near the intersection of Kedzie Avenue, which is near both Mount Olivet and Mount Hope Cemeteries as well as the Merrionette Park campus of Everest College. The location is also very close to the woman’s house in the 3100 block of West 115th. Around 6:15am, the woman was struck by a car, and she died less than half an hour later at Oak Lawn’s Advocate Christ Medical Center. Cook County medical examiners confirmed that she succumbed to her injuries sustained in the auto-pedestrian accident.The news story does not give any details about how the incident occurred, who the driver was, or where on the street the victim was walking (only that no criminal charges have yet been filed). But from the information given, the elderly woman’s family may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed against the driver of the offending vehicle. The victim is survived by three children; so because she has no living spouse, they would be the ones who would be named as plaintiffs in the suit.This lawsuit could provide reimbursement for expenses incurred during the woman’s short stay in the hospital as well as for her interment. A jury may also award damages related to the family’s mental anguish and loss of care or companionship.