It’s sad, but countless people choose to drink and drive in Illinois. Perhaps they don’t feel any remorse about “having a few drinks” because they’re only focusing on what might happen to them. But if they are involved in a fatal auto accident, then these drivers are forced to deal with the fact that they killed another human being – and they must live with this knowledge for the rest of their lives.
One man is facing that reality after a single-vehicle crash on the South Side of Chicago earlier this month. Around 2am on the morning of Sunday, December 15, two men were in a vehicle that was heading southbound on Western Avenue in the Gage Park neighborhood a couple miles south of the Stevenson Expressway and a few miles northeast of Midway Airport. Near 50th Street, a driver lost control of the vehicle, which left the road and slammed into a tree. The driver sustained serious injuries; while the passenger, a 19-year old man, was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries less than an hour after the crash. Chicago Police believe that alcohol was a factor in the deadly accident.
In addition to possible criminal charges of driving under the influence, it’s readily apparent that the driver will be held civilly liable for the crash and the death of the teenager. As a result, the surviving relatives of the 19-year old man may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. This lawsuit could allow the family to collect reimbursement for hospital and burial expenses, as well as monetary damages or pain and suffering and loss of companionship. They could also be awarded compensation for the estimated future wages that the teen would have earned in his lifetime had the accident never taken place.