Damages awarded by Illinois civil courts take more into account than actual expenses incurred by a victim. The injury or death of a car accident victim also may result in compensation for physical pain and emotional trauma.
When a negligent driver causes a child's death, the victim is deprived tragically of a future. Parents lose the enjoyment of a child's companionship and love. In wrongful death actions, evidence of a victim's unnecessary suffering and the family's hardships caused by the loss are compensable.
A Cook County 12-year-old died in a recent auto accident. The Olympia Fields boy was one of four passengers under 16. Investigators said the driver also was a minor, too young to drive a car legally.
Police stated the driver was speeding, before the car veered out of control and smashed into a tree. A relative said the boy who died was in the back seat and wearing a seat belt. Three other passengers were hospitalized; medical conditions were not reported.
Authorities released no identifying information about the surviving passengers, the minor driver or the car's owner.
The boy's mother said she moved her children -- the victim, a 14-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter -- to Olympia Fields last year because she felt the community was safer than ones in which the family previously lived.
Some damages in liability lawsuits cover measurable costs like property damage or medical care. A value can be placed on wages lost due to an injury and an estimated loss of future earnings, in cases where a victim is injured long-term, permanently or dies.
The victim's pain and suffering is taken into account starting at the time of injury, even when death occurs a short time later. Damages are also awarded for an accident victim or surviving family's emotional distress.
Negligence determines whether compensation is warranted. A personal injury attorney helps plaintiffs recover all possible damages.
chicagotribune.com, "Crash kills boy, 12, and hurts three children in Olympia Fields" Jonathan Bullington and Adam Sege, Nov. 29, 2013