If a driver who was acting with more than just negligence caused your relative’s passing, you can sue that driver for wrongful death. Under the wrongful death and survivor acts, the close relatives of a deceased person can recover damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and medical expenses resulting from the death. While an award for these damages cannot even come close to compensating for the loss of your loved one, the money can help you and your family rebuild your lives.
You can call a fatal accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for a free consultation today if you think your relative may have died as the result of someone’s reckless driving. During this free consultation, we’ll ask you about the facts of your case and determine what avenue of recovery best fits your needs. If you’re unsure about your ability to afford quality legal representation, you needn’t worry. We don’t ask our clients to pay us unless we win their case or get them a beneficial settlement.
When Reckless Driving Causes Fatal Car Crashes
In Illinois, courts consider a driver to be reckless when he or she displays actual or deliberate intent to harm, or shows a complete indifference or willful disregard for the safety of others. This sort of conduct usually does not come up in car accident cases. Usually, accidents can be attributed to a driver’s simple negligence. But in some rare cases, there may be evidence that a driver acted with recklessness. For example, the driver may have been street racing, or may have been drinking while driving.
When an accident victim can demonstrate that an at-fault driver acted with recklessness, the victim can ask a court for a punitive damages award. As the name suggests, these damages are meant to punish at-fault drivers for their wrongdoing. Unfortunately, the wrongful death and survival acts do not allow for the family of the deceased to recover punitive damages from at-fault drivers. Thus, a wrongful death case premised on recklessness will yield similar financial results as a case brought under negligence.
Accidents Involving Reckless Drivers
That being said, there are benefits to premising a wrongful death case on recklessness instead of negligence. For example, a jury will be more willing to rule in your favor if you can provide evidence of the defendant’s recklessness. Similarly, the defendant will be more willing to settle with you if your case includes a showing of recklessness. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to claim recklessness in a wrongful death suit even if there is no possibility of receiving an award for punitive damages.
The wrongful death attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. have won millions of dollars on behalf of accident victims through negotiated settlements and high-profile trial wins. Besides our ability to get excellent results for our clients, what sets us apart from other law firms is our dedication to putting our clients’ interests first. It doesn’t matter if our clients call us at noon or at midnight—we guarantee that we’ll connect them with the lawyer who’s been working on their case. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 for consultation.