Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem in the United States. Statistics reveal that three in ten people killed on the road are involved in accidents involving the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Preventative measures have proven to be only mildly effective at keeping the roads safe. It is important that intoxicated drivers be held accountable for their actions when they cause the deaths of innocent victims. If you have 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.
Financial compensation can provide recovery of funeral expenses and the loss of income the deceased victim can no longer provide his or her family. Holding the drunk driver who so carelessly took the life of someone you care about both legally and financially accountable can help you find justice concerning the horrific event.
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 all evidence, even if you don’t know whether it will prove useful or not. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and keep 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 solid case against the driver who is responsible for your loved one’s passing.
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC also have access to accident reconstruction experts who will be able to use the information you provide to help conduct an independent investigation. Our attorneys work with these experts 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 financial recovery for your damages, you will need to meet with your attorney to determine which of the deceased victim’s family members have 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 surviving family members are usually entitled to receive compensation that will replace a lifetime of income that the deceased victim can no longer earn.
- The loss of consortium. This is the legal term for the companionship or love that the deceased loved one can no longer provide due to the recklessness or negligence of the driver at fault for the accident. This loss takes a 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, the financial recovery should include the cost of these services as well as funeral and burial expenses.
- Punitive damages. Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs is a crime that has no excuse. When this criminal action results in the death of an innocent victim, it is not unreasonable to demand that the offender be punished. Punitive damages involve financial recompense awarded to the victim's family in addition to the damages that are typically sought in lawsuits. Jury award punitive damage to punish the defendant for actions which are especially deplorable and out of line.
Get Help From a Chicago Law Firm Committed to Obtaining the Maximum Compensation You Are Entitled After a DUI Accident Takes the Life of a Loved One
To learn more about your rights as the family member of someone killed in a drunk driving accident, contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC 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. 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 make an up front payment. If we are unable to win your case or negotiate an acceptable settlement amount on your behalf, you will not be required to pay us a dime.