Drunk and drugged driving crashes don’t have to happen. The preventability of accidents like these supports a plaintiff’s case in a civil claim for compensation. A jury could decide serious injuries or death could have been avoided, with the exception of a defendant’s negligent or reckless actions and enough evidence to establish fault and award damages.
Two people were badly injured recently, after a car driven by a Cook County man struck a Pace bus and caused a pedestrian accident. Police said the 24-year-old driver was under the influence of three controlled substances when his Nissan Sentra crossed over into a lane of oncoming traffic, plowed into the bus and then hit three people in a Maywood crosswalk.
The Rockdale driver suffered minor injuries. All five bus passengers were uninjured. Two of the three pedestrians were listed in serious condition after the mid-afternoon crash.
Authorities believe the Sentra driver was high on a mixture of codeine, heroin and morphine. The defendant was charged with aggravated driving under the influence and several traffic offenses, including uninsured driving, failure to yield to pedestrians and reduce speed and improper lane usage. A $50,000 bond was set.
Aggravated DUI is a Class 4 felony offense, under Illinois statute 625:11-501. Sentencing following a conviction may include a fine up to $25,000 and a prison term as long as 12 years. The law applies to drunk driving as well as drivers under the influence of drugs.
The media often focuses on the criminal aspects of an accident case. The unexplored story frequently is the suffering experienced by an injured victim and the victim’s family. Outside the courtroom, families are thrown into turmoil with worries about the victim’s recovery and the stability of finances.
While criminal cases may end with a wrongdoer’s conviction and punishment, liability cases establish fault and directly compensate the person or people harmed.
Source: WLS-TV, “Man charged with DUI in Maywood bus crash that injured 3 pedestrians; Scott Stubler, 24, held on $50K bond after crashing Pace vehicle” No author given, Feb. 16, 2014