Anytime Illinois residents get into their friends' cars, they put their lives in the drivers' hands. They expect the drivers to get them to their destinations unharmed. If that does not happen and an accident occurs, seriously injured passengers retain the right to file personal injury claims despite their friendships.
On a recent Monday morning, a 55-year-old man was driving and a 22-year-old man was his passenger. The pair rode north on IL-49 when it veered off the road near 200 North. Thereafter, the vehicle flipped numerous times and hit a sign before coming to rest.
The driver was taken from the scene by helicopter with life-threatening injuries. Unfortunately, he succumbed to them later at an Illinois hospital. The passenger was taken to the hospital with serious injuries that were reportedly not considered life-threatening. His friends visited the scene of the accident, which failed to answer their questions regarding what happened.
As the passenger continues to recover from his injuries, he might ask the same questions. Even though he was friendly with the now-deceased driver, the fact that he is incurring, and will continue to incur, medical expenses, lost wages and other monetary losses could lead him to file a civil claim against the estate of the driver. Insurance companies tend to try to minimize people's claims and offer settlements that might not even cover all of the financial losses the accident caused.
Filing a personal injury claim in a Georgia civil court may allow him to recover the restitution he needs to cover his losses. Establishing through applicable evidence that the deceased driver's negligence caused his injuries could result in an award of damages. Any restitution received might alleviate the financial burdens so that he can focus on his recovery and move forward with his life.
Source: illinoishomepage.net, "Fatal crash", John Lubinski, April 17, 2017