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Victims in drunk driving accident have rights to compensation

People are faced with a multitude of decisions daily. Many decisions are routine and may have little to no impact to those around them. Unfortunately, the decision to drive while intoxicated is one that may have repercussions that can be harmful or fatal to others. Recently in Illinois, a man allegedly made a poor choice that may have resulted in a drunk driving accident.

The 25-year-old man, a fireman and a paramedic, is accused of negligent driving, which allegedly resulted in a four-vehicle accident. While reportedly driving to his parent's house one evening, he crossed over into the other lane of oncoming traffic. His Chevrolet truck first made contact with a Ford F150, and then fatally crashed into a Ford Taurus. The accident came to an end when a driver of a Hyundai Elantra rear-ended the Chevrolet truck. Criminal charges have been filed against the Chevy truck driver due to suspicion that he may have been driving drunk.

The Ford Taurus contained two young men; one was an 18-year-old local high school student who did not survive the crash. The 23-year-old passenger in the Taurus suffered serious injuries requiring surgery. The firefighter also suffered many injuries including a broken knee. No injuries were reported regarding the other drivers involved in the crash.

If the firefighter is convicted of his criminal charges, he could face several years in prison. The family of the deceased victim is separately entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court regardless of the criminal court's decision. If negligence is formally established in civil court, the family could be granted compensation to help cover unexpected medical and burial costs, among other applicable monetary damages. Illinois personal injury attorneys can also advise the surviving victim of his litigation rights to potentially recover medical costs and other financial losses related to his injuries resulting from the apparent drunk driving accident.

Source: kcchronicle.com, "Fox River & Countryside firefighter accused in fatal DUI crash free on bond", Brett Rowland, Jan 19, 2017

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