Wrongful Death Caused by Drunk Driving
Drunk drivers continue to plague our streets and roads, highways and tollways. In fact, drunk driving accidents and alcohol impaired driving generally cause some of the most death, personal injury, and damages across all kinds of motor vehicle crashes.
Even if the person is not given a DUI, their actions were wrongful and can give rise to legal actions in state civil court for compensation due to losses that the family members suffered.
Wrongful death damages (including punitive damages and compensatory damages) may include relief for funeral expenses, medical expenses, and the pain and suffering following a drunk driving accident.
Our Lawyers can Help File a Wrongful Death Case
If your family is struggling with the wrongful death of a family member alcohol impaired collision, contact our law firm and speak with our attorneys in a free consultation.
We can offer legal advice on how to act and file a civil action against the insurance company, at fault driver, or other responsible party.
Then, a lawyer from our office in the state can explain DUI laws and give you information for free on what compensation is possible after an accident.
Wrongful Death Claim Law and Application
You might be wondering how you can recover compensation in your state if someone took your loved one's life after consuming too much alcohol and then getting into a car or other motor vehicle.
Well, the basic premise of a wrongful death case is that someone acted unreasonably and that conduct took the life of another. Basically, this is a classic DUI situation. Your loss can be realized through court or insurance or both.
Here is what you need to show specifically to succeed on this cause of action:
- The defendant acted unreasonably.
- Someone died because of that unreasonable conduct.
- You suffered legally recognizable damages due to that death.
Normally, only close relatives and significant others can proceed on these lawsuits and they can only seek recovery for particular kinds of harms and losses.
Yet, there is a lot of wiggle room on both of these topics. If you enter into an attorney client relationship with an attorney from our office, we can explore the civil (and possibly even criminal) routes you can take after the alcohol related crash. Just give us a call by phone or phone fax to get started.
What You can Recover in a Fatal DUI Wreck Case
Damages and financial recovery is entirely a case-by-case analysis. Every plaintiff's award or settlement comes from what happened to him or her and is not tied to trends or averages.
With that being said, there are some things we can use to evaluate your future recovery in a DUI lawsuit for personal injuries or wrongful death.
Take a look at these questions with an attorney to identify what your compensation range might be:
- What was the total cost of your hospital and related medical costs?
- Did you have any funeral or burial fees?
- What is the projected amount of lost income from the deceased person's absence?
- Will you suffer lost companionship, consortium, or other emotional damage as a result of this death?
- Have you sustained any other kind of tangible or intangible injury or loss due to this tragic event?
Important Illinois DUI Crash Statistics
- Several hundred people die each year in the state due to intoxicated driving.
- About one third of all MVA deaths involve alcohol.
- Tens of thousands of people are arrested each year for driving while intoxicated.
- A DUI criminal conviction can cost you as much as ten thousand dollars or more.
- Medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs from an accident like this can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Drunk Driving Cases in Illinois
Below are some sample settlements and verdicts involving fatal motor vehicle collisions across Illinois involving intoxicated motorists. If you have a question regarding a fatal drunk driving accident, contact our law office for a free consultation with an experienced attorney near you.
$1,420,000 Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlement; Cook County, Illinois; 2008:
Here, a man was drunk driving and crossed the median and then slammed into another passenger vehicle head-on. The drunk driver was driving drunk and was borrowing his parents' car at the time of the accident.
His blood alcohol level was way beyond drunk. Plus, two people in the car he hit died. They were both just in their middle twenties sadly. Family members of the people the drunk driver killed brought a wrongful death claim and then wrongful death lawsuit with the aid of personal injury attorneys.
They sought compensation within the statute of limitations for the death, personal injury, pain and suffering, and medical bills that the impaired driving caused them and their loved one. Note, the man also faced criminal charges and jail time in a related case.
The defendants families settled with the plaintiffs for $1.42 million to end the drunk driving wrongful death claim.
$550,000 Wrongful Death Claim; Chicago, Illinois; 2007:
This wrongful death lawsuit was brought by attorneys for the family members who lost a loved one in a drunk driving crash.
The defendant was actually the driver and the passenger was the one who died. The lawyer alleged that the driver may have been drunk driving and that is why he lost control of the vehicle and their loved one died.
That is why they eventually decided to file a wrongful death case. The claim sought compensatory damages and punitive damages. It was filed within the correct statute of limitations time period. The matter did not proceed to trial though because they settled with the law firm before that could happen.
The plaintiffs received $550,000 for all the harm and damage that the wrongful death caused them.
$335,000 Settlement; Illinois DUI Auto Fatality Case; 1991:
A man in his early thirties was hit head on by an intoxicated truck driver while riding his motorcycle down Route 120. He died not long after the crash. Counsel for his estate brought this subsequent action for his pain and the related damages that the death caused.
They were hindered in their pursuit though because the motorcyclist was also intoxicated during the accident Therefore, he was not completely innocent. This fact could have explained why the eventual settlement of $335,000 fell well below the average for this type of case.
Talk to a Lawyer about a Wrongful Death Lawsuit after a Drunk Driving Incident.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has brought many civil legal cases for wrongful death against at fault drivers, businesses, and insurance companies following drunk driving collisions.
We can arrange a free consultation to review what an attorney client relationship may mean for you after a similar loss.
Contact us to get all of the information you and your family members need to evaluate what recovery is possible.
We can file a wrongful death lawsuit on contingency so that you will not have to pay anything until you get an award or settlement. Give us a call and see what you may be able to recover.