Obviously, fallen snow can make driving more treacherous in Illinois. Sadly, there are occasions where the snow can force someone to lose control of his or her vehicle and cause a collision. And sometimes, that collision is with a pedestrian, not an object. And the least logical (and most illegal) reaction to such a situation would be for the driver to try to flee the scene – presumably at a high rate of speed in the hazardous road conditions.
However, that’s indeed what happened in Rockford late last month. Early on the snowy morning of Sunday, November 24, a man was walking out of a club on Kent Street between Main Street and Church Street just south of Kent Creek on the city’s southwest side. A vehicle apparently ran over the 23-year old man and sped away from the scene, and the victim was found by a witness in the alley next to the club. He was rushed to an area hospital and is now reportedly on life support, and the Rockford Police Department is still searching for the suspect.
Of course, justice would be served if and when the driver of the offending vehicle is identified and charged in connection with the hit-and-run accident. But another problem which would be solved would be the name of the person who would be the defendant in any personal injury lawsuit filed by the victim. If the 23-year old man remains on life support for an extended period of time, his family members could file such a suit on his behalf; or, if the man dies, they could file a wrongful death lawsuit instead.
In this type of legal action, a jury could award the plaintiffs reimbursement for all of the man’s medical expenses, which could run into the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars. The defendant might also have to pay any wages that were unearned due to the victim’s hospitalization (and if he dies, the estimated future wages that the victim would have earned in his lifetime); as well as monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship.