Some may say that losing a child, regardless of the events leading to that loss or the age of the child, is one of the most devastating experiences a person can go through. Unfortunately, one family in Illinois is still dealing with the tragic loss of their daughter due to a fatal car accident. While they are still getting through the criminal case against the driver believed to be responsible for her death, they have the separate right to pursue a wrongful death case in civil court.
The accident occurred in June 2013. The 16-year-old girl was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a male teenager. Prosecutors believe that the teenager was drag racing, which led to a car accident. Unfortunately, the young girl was thrown from the car during the accident and died at the scene.
The driver has since entered a guilty plea in response to charges stemming from the fatal accident. As a result of his plea to a charge of aggravated driving under the influence, charges related to homicide and street racing were dropped. He could spend up to 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in June 2014.
The family of the deceased girl is likely still in shock with respect to the teenager’s death. In addition to their emotional response, they are likely reeling from the financial consequences as well. For example, many people find the cost of a funeral surprisingly high. In order to seek relief from the financial ramifications of the accident, the young girl’s family has the option of filing a wrongful death case in an Illinois civil court. If they can prove that the accident was caused by driver negligence, the judge could order that a monetary award be paid to the family to cover damages caused by the fatal accident and allowed by state law.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Teen Pleads Guilty To DUI In Drag Race That Killed Antioch Girl“, , March 28, 2014