Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem in the United States and statistics have shown that three in ten people killed on the road are involved in accidents involving the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Prevention measures are currently failing and it is important that intoxicated drivers be held accountable for their actions when they result in the deaths of innocent people. If you’ve lost a loved one due to a Chicago auto accident involving a drunk driver, you are entitled to seek damages in an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit both to provide compensation for funeral expenses and the income the victim provided his or her family as well as to exact justice upon the person who so carelessly took the life of someone you care about.What to Do Following a Drunk Driving Accident?
If your loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, it is important to secure every bit of evidence that you can— even if you don’t know whether it will prove useful or not. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and keep any records that may apply to the incident such as police reports, medical records and death records. A wrongful death attorney will be able to use this information to build a more solid case against the driver who is responsible for your loved one’s passing. The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers also have access to accident reconstruction experts who will be able to use the information you provide to help with their own investigation and keep them apprised of any evidence that may have been misplaced or gone missing from the scene of the accident.Damages You May Claim Due to Fatality Related to a Fatal DUI Accident Under Illinois Law
Before seeking damages, you will need to meet with your attorney to first determine which of the victim’s family members has the right to pursue a lawsuit. The damages sought for wrongful death will then depend on factors which include the following.
- Whether the victim provided financial support to his or her family. If the victim was a breadwinner then the family he or she left behind is entitled to damages which will replace a lifetime of income that has been lost.
- The loss of consortium. This is the legal term for any loss of companionship or love and the passing of a loved one due to another person’s recklessness or negligence takes its toll on all of those who loved or respected the individual who has passed.
- Medical bills and funeral costs. If your loved one was treated for injuries in an attempt to save his or her life, damages will include the cost of these services as well as the cost of his or her funeral and burial.
- Punitive damages. Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs is a crime that has no excuse and when the result is the death of someone who was a complete bystander, it is not unreasonable to demand that the offender be punished. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded in addition to the damages which can normally be sought in lawsuits and are given specifically to punish the plaintiff for actions which are especially deplorable and out of line.
To learn more about your rights as the family member of someone killed in a drunk driving accident, contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to arrange a free consultation with one of our Chicago wrongful death attorneys. We will gather all of the information we need to begin a complete and thorough investigation into your loved one’s accident so that we can quickly recover any evidence that may build or solidify your case. After our investigation is completed, we can assess the value of your case and the amount of damages which should be sought from the person responsible for your loss.
Our lawyers work on a contingency basis with our clients so that anyone can afford to be represented by a qualified attorney who will fight hard to represent their interests. What this means is that you will never be required to remit payment upfront and if we are unable to win your case or negotiate a settlement on your behalf, you will not be required to pay us a dime.