Some people are still unclear about precisely where a personal injury lawsuit should be filed in the case of an Illinois auto accident. According to Illinois accident law, such legal action must be filed in the county in which the accident took place. This is true even if everyone involved in the accident is not a resident of that county – or even Illinois residents, for that matter.
To illustrate this, let’s look at a fatal collision which took place in Jo Daviess County last week. On Thursday night, a 69-year old woman was driving north on North Stagecoach Trail on the southwest edge of Nora, which is about four miles south of the Wisconsin border. When she reached the intersection with North Tiger Whip Trail, a 26-year old man allegedly ran a stop sign and slammed into the driver’s side of the woman’s vehicle. The 69-year old had to be extricated from her vehicle and was airlifted to a Rockford hospital, but she was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The man was cited by the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office for driving too fast for conditions, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to yield at an intersection, disobeying a traffic control device, and unsafe equipment.
The victim was from South Wayne, Wisconsin, while the man lives in Monroe, Wisconsin. Even though those two municipalities are just 14 miles apart in neighboring counties, the surviving family members of the woman would have to file any wrongful death lawsuit in Jo Daviess County in Illinois. This suit could allow them to be reimbursed for hospital and burial expenses, receive compensation for any wages that the victim would have earned in her lifetime (if she was still working), and even get monetary damages for mental anguish and loss of care or companionship.