If two or more vehicles were involved in an auto accident in the county in which all of the motorists involved resided, then any subsequent personal injury lawsuits or wrongful death lawsuits would be filed in that county. But now imagine that a man was driving across Illinois from one state to another, and he resided in a completely different state. If he were involved in a collision in an Illinois county which was someone else’s fault, where would he file any related lawsuit? In the county where the crash occurred.
Such was the scenario in a two-vehicle crash in McLean County earlier in the month. Right before 2pm on the afternoon of Saturday, July 20, a 72-year old man from South Carolina was driving his 75-year old fiancée from Iowa to Indiana along U.S. 24. When the eastbound sport utility vehicle had gone about five miles past Interstate 39, a westbound pickup truck driven by an 18-year old El Paso man crossed over the center line just past County Road 1800 East (a couple miles west of Gridley) and slammed head-on into the SUV. The elderly man was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital less than 90 minutes later, and the woman was rushed to a Normal hospital.
It appears that the teenager, who was charged with improper lane usage by Illinois State Police, will be held primarily or solely responsible for the auto accident. As a result, the woman could choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the El Paso man in order to receive reimbursement for medical expenses and reimbursement for work absenteeism due to the crash. In addition, surviving relatives of the South Carolina man (but not his fiancée, because they weren’t yet related to each other) could elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf against the teen in order to be reimbursed for both hospital and burial costs and possibly receive damages for pain and suffering.