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Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneyThe death of a spouse is one of the most heartbreaking experiences a person could ever go through. The loss of a husband or wife due to old age or an unavoidable illness is tragic but losing your spouse to the irresponsible actions of another person is especially devastating. If your spouse has passed away from injuries sustained in a fatal drunk driving accident, you have the option of bringing a civil action against the drunk driver.

Illinois Wrongful Death Claims for Fatal Car Accidents

If a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes a fatal car accident, the driver will likely face significant criminal penalties. DUI resulting in great bodily harm or death is a felony offense in Illinois. The person who caused the fatal accident may be imprisoned for up to 14 years as a result of his or her recklessness. Although criminal charges against the person who caused your loved one’s accident may provide a sense of justice, criminal charges do not help alleviate the financial burden created by your spouse’s death.

A wrongful death claim is a civil claim that may be used to recover financial compensation after the loss of a loved one. In Illinois, a wrongful death is one that is caused by the careless, reckless, negligent, or intentionally malicious actions of another party. If your loved one’s death was caused by a drunk driver, you will most likely not be required to prove that the driver acted negligently to receive compensation. He or she may be considered “negligent per se” or automatically at fault for the accident.

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