Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Illinois man's DUI conviction may make case for wrongful death

If a person is convicted of DUI in Illinois following a fatal car accident, he or she may suffer consequences beyond any criminal penalties. After a recent criminal case, a 19-year-old man expressed remorse over the drunk driving crash that killed one of his passengers. While he may feel genuine sorrow over his actions that led to the 39-year-old's death, he may also face the decedent's family if they decide to file a wrongful death claim against him.

The accident occurred near Mason City on Oct. 28, 2012. According to reports, the driver rolled his vehicle, causing all three occupants of the car to be ejected. First responders arrived at approximately 1:30 a.m. to find the 39-year-old man unresponsive. He was transported to a Lincoln hospital, where he died from his injuries about an hour later.

The driver agreed to a plea deal on a charge of aggravated DUI and has been sentenced to six years in prison. At his sentencing, he read a statement expressing his regret over what had happened and how he wished he could take it back. According to reports, he had no previous DUI convictions.

This accident may have happened more than a year ago, but the decedent's family must always live with the loss of their loved one. In Illinois, the family members of an individual killed in an accident may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim if there is evidence that the death resulted from someone else's negligence. A successful claim typically awards compensatory damages that may give the family some financial relief and a sense of closure as they work through their grief.

Source: Journal Star, Mason City man gets 6 years in fatal DUI crash, Ken Harris, Dec. 20, 2013

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