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Just in August of this year, a family of five was critically injured after two vehicles struck their van in the suburbs of Chicago. The speeding cars, suspected of street racing, smashed into the front of the van as they flew past a stop sign on a main street. The tragic accident killed both adults and wounded three young children.
Unfortunately, street racing accidents are not uncommon and can often turn fatal, especially because they are six times more likely than other fatal crashes to occur at speeds greater than 65 miles per hour. Additionally, many incidents involve drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Offenders also tend to be younger males with a history of risky driving behavior.
Street racing is listed as one of the top 25 causes of car crashes. When you have suffered injuries or other losses because a driver was street racing, you may have a claim for compensation. A skilled Chicago car accident lawyer can explain your options.
Typically, street racing happens when two vehicles compete side by side in an acceleration contest. Both drivers must race down a straight line without stopping until they reach the designated finish line, regardless of traffic regulations. Drag racing, a similar contest, is considered a motor sport only when performed on official tracks.
According to one CNN profile, there are at least three types of challenges to watch out for, including:
In most states, including Illinois, street racing or drag racing on open roadways is illegal and violators can face harsh penalties. Under Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-506), it is written that “no person shall engage in street racing on any street or highway” and “no owner of any vehicle shall acquiesce in or permit his vehicle to be used by another for the purpose of street racing.”
Anyone convicted of street racing, a Class A misdemeanor, can be subject to a minimum fine of $250 and driver’s license revocation. Subsequent offenses can lead to a Class 4 felony charge, which can result in a substantial incarceration sentence and fines upon conviction.
Moreover, if street racing results in a motor vehicle accident that causes great bodily harm or disfigurement to another person, the offender can face a charge of aggravated street racing punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
Many street racers are addicted to the adrenaline and high risks associated with speeding contests. However, their reckless behavior also endangers the lives of innocent motorists, passengers, and bystanders.
When you or someone you love is hurt in an auto accident caused by unlawful street racing, you might feel overwhelmed, traumatized, or helpless. You will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help walk you through the next steps.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is 100 percent committed to the recovery and well-being of our clients. We have helped many car accident victims obtain the compensation that they deserve and get back on their feet after a tragedy.
Our knowledgeable Chicago personal injury attorneys can prepare a legal claim on your behalf, and negotiate a fair settlement to cover the cost of accident-related damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. Simply give us a call at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free case evaluation and we will be happy to discuss your legal options.