Traffic violations often go hand-in-hand with car accidents, and often may play a role in causing an accident. Traffic violations can range from a speeding ticket to a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Examples of common minor offenses include:
- Running a red light
- Running a stop sign
- Illegal turning
- Improper lane usage
- Failure to yield to right of way
However, if the violation results in a car accident that causes injury to a person or destruction of property, the offender may face a potential felony charge. For instance, when a driver runs a stop sign and consequently hits another vehicle or hits a pedestrian, he or she can be prosecuted for serious charges.
In a personal injury context, a person who is hurt in an accident stemming from a traffic violation may be able to sue the driver who committed the infraction in a civil court for compensation of medical bills and other losses. If the other driver pleads guilty to or is found guilty of the traffic violation, that can be used as evidence of negligence in the personal injury lawsuit.
Illinois Traffic Laws and Penalties
Under the driver’s license points system in Illinois, a conviction for even a minor traffic offense can leave negative marks on the driver’s record. With enough accumulated points, a driver’s license may be revoked or suspended.
Generally, every county and municipality will set its own rules, standards, and penalties. In Cook County, a traffic violation can be judged as a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony, punishable by the following degrees of sentencing:
- Petty offense — $1 to $1,000 fine
- Class C misdemeanor — up to 30 days in jail and/or fine of $1 to $1,500
- Class B misdemeanor — up to 6 months in jail and/or fine of $1 to $1,500
- Class A misdemeanor — up to 364 days in jail and/or fine of $1 to $2,500
Frequently prosecuted misdemeanor violations include:
- DUI or aggravated DUIs
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Driving more than 30mph in excess of the speed limit
- Drag or street racing
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Fleeing or attempting to elude the police
An aggravated DUI offense resulting in physical injury or vehicular homicide can be classified as a Class 2 felony, eligible for up to 14 years in prison and a maximum possible fine of $25,000.
Compensation for Victims of Chicago Traffic Violations
Understanding the different types and levels of traffic offenses can help an auto accident victim make informed decisions when pursuing a legal claim. If you or a family member was recently injured or killed by a negligent driver who committed a traffic violation, you may be entitled to compensation that includes payment of medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, disability and disfigurement, or loss of normal life.
The experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will assist you in determining the best course of action for recovery. We can help evaluate your case, complete required paperwork, and navigate the legal process on your behalf so that you can focus on healing from your injuries. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. does not charge any service fees unless we win your case.
In the past, we have successfully fought on behalf of victims of DUI, reckless driving, and speeding violations. Their claim settlements provided valuable resources and peace of mind. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is committed to representing car accident victims from all walks of life. Please contact our office today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation, and we will be happy to discuss your legal options.