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What Are My Legal Options if My Loved One Was Killed by Reckless Driving?

Posted on in Wrongful Death

IL accident lawyerMotorists driving on public roads have a legal “duty of care” to the people around them. This means that drivers have a legal obligation to follow traffic laws and drive in a reasonably prudent manner. Driving with “willful or wanton” disregard for others’ safety is considered reckless driving. If your family member was killed in a reckless driving accident, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to hold the driver civilly accountable for your loved one’s death in addition to any criminal consequences the driver faces.

Criminal Penalties for Reckless Driving That Results in a Person’s Death

Reckless drivers do not usually intend for anyone to be injured or killed. Nevertheless, driving at excessive speeds or with gross negligence can lead to criminal charges. In Illinois, a motorist who causes an accident that results in death may be charged with reckless homicide. This Class 3 felony is punishable by a jail sentence of up to five years. Criminal charges brought by the state against the reckless driver may get justice for your loved one, but criminal charges do not address the damages suffered by the surviving loved ones. In addition to criminal charges, you may also be able to bring a civil claim against the reckless driver.

You May Bring a Wrongful Death Claim Against the Driver

Whether the reckless driver faces criminal consequences for your loved one’s death or not, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the driver. A wrongful death claim is a civil claim that is brought by a personal representative of the deceased person instead of the state. A wrongful death claim may benefit you and your family by:

  • Holding the reckless driver civilly answerable for your loved one’s death.
  • Giving you a sense of closure.
  • Recovering compensation for your damages.

Financial compensation through a wrongful death claim cannot make up for your loved one’s passing. However, this compensation may relieve the financial burden stemming from the death. You may be compensated for the lost income your loved one would have received, the value of lost services performed by your loved one, medical and funeral expenses, and non-economic damages including the loss of your loved one’s companionship or consortium.

Contact a Lake County Fatal Car Accident Lawyer

If your loved one was killed in an aggressive driving or reckless driving accident, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the driver. A Waukegan wrongful death attorney from Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. can provide legal support and direction throughout your case. To learn more, call 847-662-3303 and set up a free consultation.




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