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Criminal charges filed following fatal crash

Posted On December 19, 2014

On behalf of Strom & Associates, Ltd. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Friday, December 19, 2014.

In connection with a Dec. 5 fatal car crash, a 29-year-old Illinois man has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol causing death. The fiery crash occurred when the 29-year-old man collided with a car from the opposite lane that was attempting to make a left turn. The driver of that other car, a 37-year-old man, died at the scene.

The DuPage County State’s Attorney has filed the criminal charges against the 29-year-old man. Bail has been set at $500,000. A press release from the prosecutor indicates that the defendant’s blood alcohol content was two times the legal limit at the time of the accident.

In a car accident like this one, where drunk driving appears to have resulted in someone’s death, the victim’s family may be considering a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver. Unlike the pending criminal charges, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that seeks to compensate a victim’s survivors for their loss. In order to prevail on a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs would need to show that the defendant’s negligence resulted in the victim’s death.

In Illinois, plaintiffs bring wrongful death claims under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. In order to prevail, the victim’s family would need to show that the defendant negligently engaged in drunk driving that caused the victim’s death. If able to make this showing, the family could be entitled to compensation for the wages, earnings, and other support they have lost as a result of the victim’s death. If filed, a wrongful death claim would proceed completely independently of the criminal charges. A wrongful death claim could continue even if the criminal charges are dropped or result in acquittal.

Source: Wheaton Patch, “West Chicago Man Charged in DUI Crash That Killed Warrenville Man“, Amie Schaenzer, December 09, 2014

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