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Being a passenger in a vehicle essentially leads to the driver being responsible for that passenger's safety. Similarly, if the driver is under the influence or otherwise impaired, the likelihood of being involved in an accident increases for the occupants of the vehicle. If a car accident does occur, the situation could result in serious charges and possibly wrongful death claims if there are fatalities.

A single-car accident in Illinois recently resulted in the death of a 44-year-old individual. It was reported that he was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a man who did not have a valid driver's license. At one point, the driver was unable to control the vehicle, and as a result, the car hit a pole.

The crash led to the passenger suffering fatal injuries after his arm was severed and his body thrown from the vehicle. He was taken to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Responding officers reportedly smelled alcohol on the driver, and the driver was taken into custody. His blood-alcohol level was later reported as being .317 at the time of the crash. He was charged with aggravated DUI.

Because the accident led to the death of the passenger, the driver could potentially have a civil claim filed against him along with the criminal charges, if the victim's family wishes to take such action. A wrongful death claim may let the decedent's loved ones work toward gaining compensation from the driver deemed at fault and any other liable parties. Information on the civil court process in Illinois relating to their situation may be helpful to concerned individuals.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Man Charged With DUI In Fatal Crash That Severed Passenger's Arm", Oct. 14, 2014

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Bonifield & Rosenstengel
16 East Main Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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