Growth is partially based on learning from past mistakes. Some errors lead to progress with relatively harmless consequences. Other mistakes inflict permanent damage, not just personally, but to others - a family member, a friend, a colleague or a stranger.
Victims who are injured by someone else's oversight or intentional poor behavior have a right to pursue financial satisfaction. Cook County civil courts determine the legitimacy of plaintiffs' personal injury or wrongful death claims. Jury awards help to repair the damage caused by negligent actions.
A DuPage County man will spend up to eight years in state prison for causing the death of a teen who was riding in his car. Prosecutors said the 32-year-old defendant was intoxicated in April when his car veered off the road in Winfield and struck several trees. The 18-year-old high school senior suffered fatal head trauma.
Authorities arrested the man they accused of causing a drunk driving accident. Bail was set at $1 million. Toxicology test results later confirmed the driver's blood alcohol content exceeded the 0.08 state BAC limit.
The Warrenville defendant accepted a plea deal. In exchange for a guilty plea to aggravated DUI, prosecutors agreed to recommend the limited eight-year prison sentence. A judge will consider the suggestion before the scheduled December sentencing.
Driving while intoxicated is a crime that crosses into civil courts as negligence. Plaintiffs' injuries may be physical, emotional or financial, and often all three. Accident victims receive compensatory damages to cover immediate and long-term crash-related medical bills, wages losses due to the inability to work, mental anguish and pain and suffering.
Additional damages include spousal loss of consortium. In some cases, plaintiffs whose injuries force them to give up a business opportunity may also be compensated.
Criminal wrongdoing punishes a defendant. In separate Chicago civil courts, negligent defendants are ordered to make amends by easing a victim's financial hardships.
wheaton.patch.com, "Plea Deal Taken in DUI Crash That Killed WWS Senior" Charlotte Eriksen, Oct. 19, 2013