In some ways, the roads of Chicago have the same hazards of roads anywhere in the nation. Drivers who act negligently or recklessly while operating a vehicle place others in harm’s way, including those in the driver’s car, in another car, or walking or riding in the street. Few things place selfish actions before safety more than a driver who operates a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contrary to and in violation of local, state, and federal laws.
Though driving drunk is incredibly dangerous, thousands of motorists still do it every year in Chicago, and many of these drivers get caught by police. Some even cause accidents with others, leaving victims that are injured, or worse, killed, in their wake. When the police are able to identify an impaired driver, the driver may be criminally charged for his or her actions, but the extent of the driver’s liability likely will not end there. An accident victim or the victim’s family may be able to bring a claim for financial damages against the impaired driver which will subject the driver to financial as well as criminal liability for the damages that result from an accident. An injury attorney can help a victim bring one of these claims and recover for any injuries sustained in a crash.
Friday night, a bicycle accident occurred in Douglas Park that is believed to have been caused by a drunk driver who now faces criminal charges of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. Police say that the 54-year-old Riverside suspect was driving a van in the area of 2500 West Ogden Avenue when he approached a bicyclist. The cyclist, a 28-year-old man from Heart of Chicago, was riding home from his job in a local restaurant in the same area the suspect was driving. The 54-year-old man allegedly struck the bicyclist just before midnight, causing the cyclist to crash and critically injuring him. He died of his injuries following the collision.
The driver of the van was apprehended by police who noticed his eyes were bloodshot and that the man smelled of alcohol. A blood alcohol test was performed on the driver and reportedly confirmed that the suspect’s BAC was 0.118 at the time of the accident, greater than the Illinois limit of 0.08. The suspect, a long time county employee, also reportedly admitted that he was driving the van at the time of the crash and that he struck the bicyclist, asking officers if the cyclist was alright.
The suspect was in court on Sunday and was held in lieu of $400,000 bail, leaving the victim’s family surprised that bail would be granted by the judge. The family of the victim has described the young man as soft spoken and kind, a hardworking individual devoted to his family and his dogs. Many members of the victim’s family were in attendance at Sunday’s bail hearing for the suspect.
If a drunk or impaired driver has caused an accident that left you injured or that killed your loved one, make sure you understand your legal rights and options, including whether your may have a valid claim to make a recovery following the accident. The injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer all accident victims a free telephone consultation at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to take your call. If an accident has affected your family, make sure your rights are protected by calling us today.
Prior Blog Entry:
Heavy Snowfall Creates Hazardous Conditions in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 9, 2013.
Charges filed in bicyclist’s death: “Tragedy of epic proportions,’ by Geoff Ziezulewicz and Adam Sege, Chicago Tribune, published December 9, 2013.