According to recent data from the Illinois Department of Transportation there were 419 fatal car accidents and 468 fatalities on Illinois roadways as of June 30, 2013. While accidents do happen, the harsh reality is that most automobile accidents are the result of driver error. From drunk driving to texting while driving, if someone is killed due to another driver's mistake, the driver may be held liable under a wrongful death claim.
Two people are dead following a fatal car accident the other week in a neighboring state. The tragic accident took place when one vehicle traveling along a highway struck another vehicle turning onto the same highway. One of the passengers in the vehicle that was turning was hospitalized and is reported to be in serious condition. The two passengers in the back of the turning vehicle were killed in the crash.
According to law enforcement, the driver of the turning vehicle was arrested at the scene of the tragic car crash on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Immediately following the fatal accident, the driver was transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries he sustained in the crash; the man reportedly fled the emergency room and has yet to be recaptured by local authorities.
Upon his recapture, this driver - and any driver in a situation like this - could face civil liability in addition to criminal charges. When a passenger is killed in a fatal accident because the driver of the vehicle behaves negligently, the family of the passenger may be entitled to damages. A wrongful death action allows family members to recover damages on behalf of the deceased individual's estate. While the loss of a loved one will never fully go away, holding the responsible party accountable for the wrongful death and unnecessary loss can help let the healing begin.
Source: CBS St. Louis, "Two Killed in Crash, Driver Flees From Hospital," June 30, 2013