One of the greatest contributors to auto accidents in Illinois (after alcohol and drugs) is driver inexperience. That’s why teens and young adults have higher auto insurance rates – because their lack of experience behind the wheel leads to a greater number of collisions than their older counterparts. So it’s easy to see why a collision took place in a car driven by an inexperienced driver – especially when the driver is barely a teenager.
The incident happened last month in the Cook County village of Olympia Fields about a quarter mile east of Olympia Field Country Club. Shortly before 1pm on Wednesday, November 27, a car was driving on Brookwood Terrace, which is less than a mile north of U.S. Route 30. The car, which was being driven by a 13-year old girl, left the roadway and slammed into a tree. A 12-year old boy inside the car died shortly thereafter, and two other kids – both under 16 years of age – had to be taken to local hospitals with serious injuries.
Under normal circumstances, the driver of the vehicle would be held responsible for the auto accident and the harm inflicted upon the passengers. But since the driver was underage, her parents will be held liable for the crash, since minors cannot be held legally accountable in cases like this. This is even more likely given that one neighbor claimed that the driver’s mother let the youngster drive the car on her 13th birthday a couple of months ago – and that the car came by the neighbor’s house twice before the crash.
Since minors also cannot file lawsuits, the parents of the injured kids could file personal injury lawsuits against the driver’s mother. Similarly, the mother could be named as the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of the 12-year old boy.