In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, it is very difficult for the family members and loved ones of victims to ever feel that justice has been served. There are two ways to seek justice following a fatal collision in Ilinois; one of these is through the criminal system, and the second is through the civil legal system. Criminal charges are handled by the state and can result in jail time among other consequences, while a civil claim is filed by the family and often a wrongful death attorney in order to seek compensation for funeral expenses, lost source of income and pain and suffering.
While these methods together can help families hold negligent drivers accountable as well as relieve financial burdens, they cannot undo the loss that has been suffered. Today, a former actress was sentenced to three years in prison following a criminal conviction for a 2010 drunk driving collision that resulted in the death of a New Jersey woman.
Family members of the victim were reportedly very upset that the defendant was not given a harsher sentence. They were reportedly hoping for the 10-year maximum.
The Associated Press reported that after the sentence was read in court, the victim's husband yelled, "what a travesty!"
The former actress, who is best known for a stint on "Melrose Place," was reportedly over three times the legal blood alcohol content limit when she drove her SUV into a Mercury Milan that was being pulled into a driveway. The passenger in the Milan, a 60-year-old woman, was killed. The driver, her husband, was seriously injured.
The judge said that he was lenient in the sentencing because the defendant has two young children, and one of them has serious disabilities.
According to a news report, the family of the victim unfortunately does not feel that justice has been served.
Source: The Edwardsville Intelligencer, "Melrose' actress gets 3 years for deadly NJ crash," Feb. 14, 2013
- Our Southern Illinois law firm helps victims of car accidents and their families hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions with personal injury and wrongful death claims.