It would be unfair to say all teen drivers in Illinois are careless or reckless because it isn't true. However, some teens lack maturity and experience with consequences, not just as drivers but as people. Teens often don't realize their behaviors can injure or kill others, but that's not an excuse to escape accountability.
Authorities in Iroquois County are waiting for toxicology test results to decide how to charge a 17-year-old driver who caused a fatal accident. State police believe the male teen was driving under the influence of alcohol when he raced through a stop sign in Crescent City. The teen crashed into another vehicle, killing the driver and severely injuring a child.
The Watseka man who died was the 59-year-old grandfather of the surviving victim, a 6-year-old boy. The child suffered head trauma and several other critical injuries. Doctors have kept the boy in a coma since the mid-July accident.
The teen driver was arrested for DUI. His fate, including the possibility of being charged as an adult, depends upon the crime lab's report. In the meantime, the accident victims' family members filed two liability lawsuits. Unspecified damages are sought for the grandfather's widow and for the anticipated long-term medical costs for the grandson.
Wrongful death juries award compensation for losses suffered by surviving spouses, parents and children. Plaintiffs must show a defendant's negligent, reckless or intentional actions dismissed the safety of others and inflicted harm that resulted in plaintiffs' losses.
Injury claims for children are filed on the minor's behalf by adults. Damages for medical expenses may include estimated future costs. In cases of permanently disabling injuries, a jury award may cover a lifetime of medical care.
Grief and shock are compounded for families when more than one relative is hurt or killed in an accident. Attorneys are prepared to work with victims and families to ease some of their hardships.
Source: The Daily Journal, "Wrongful death lawsuit in fatal crash" Jon Krenek, Aug. 15, 2014