There is a wide variety of consequences that can result from one vehicle striking another from behind. Some rear-end collisions only involve a light bump and don’t even result in any injuries (or damage). On the other hand, if the vehicle that initiates the rear-end collision is traveling at a high rate of speed, the injuries can be quite serious – and even fatal.
The point was illustrated over the Labor Day holiday weekend in Rockford. Just after midnight on Sunday, September 1, a 35-year old Rockford man was driving with his daughter on 11th Street about a mile and a half south of U.S. Route 20. Just south of Milford Avenue, their car was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle and both vehicles left the roadway. Authorities say that the SUV and the car wound up over a hundreds yards apart. The 35-year old man was pronounced dead at the scene, while his daughter was rushed to a Rockford hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the SUV, a 19-year old man from Rockford, was arrested and charged with aggravated driving under the influence causing death. He was already awaiting trial on another DUI charge from a January incident.
It’s likely that the teenage driver will be held primarily or fully responsible for the auto accident, as well as the death of the man and the injuries to his daughter. Should they choose to do so, the surviving relatives of the male victim could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the DUI suspect while also filing a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the daughter. These suits could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for medical and burial expenses, as well as monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care and companionship. A jury could also order the defendant to compensate the plaintiffs for the estimate future wages of the 35-year old man.