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Illinois mother seeks harsher driving laws in light of son’s injuries

On behalf of of Frederick & Hagle posted in Car Accidents on Friday, September 7, 2012.

A 14-year-old Illinois boy was left severely disabled in a car crash earlier this year. After the accident, his mother discovered that the maximum penalty a driver can receive for failing to yield to a pedestrian is a $500 fine. She is speaking out against what she feels is an unjust and insufficient punishment for drivers who negligently strike pedestrians.

As a result of the car crash, doctors say the boy will likely never walk or talk again. While the mother is upset about the limits of Illinois law, our state courts do offer the opportunity to pursue civil litigation for monetary damages when negligent actions of another result in serious injuries or death.

The mother is now calling for vigilance behind the wheel to avoid more accidents like the one that injured her son. Although the state is cracking down on distracted drivers, it certainly won’t take away what happened to her family. Texting while driving is already banned in Illinois, but the legislature seeks more laws to protect other drivers and pedestrians on the road. The use of cell phones in construction zones is now banned and a proposed bill bans the use of any type of mobile handheld device while driving.

The young boy’s mother hopes to eventually see the same level of penalties for drivers who hit pedestrians as there are for those who hit road construction workers. Drivers who strike construction workers in Illinois can face a 14-year jail term as well as thousands of dollars in fines. Prosecutors in her son’s case are investigating whether cellphone use could have been a factor in the car crash that left her son disabled. The driver has pleaded not guilty to accusations that he failed to yield to the pedestrian.

A car crash can happen in an instant, and the repercussions may forever alter someone’s life. This teenager will likely never walk again, much less play football as he had reportedly aspired to. His mother is working hard to ensure that state lawmakers will enact harsh penalties against distracted drivers. It remains to be seen if the family will seek financial remedies against the individual they deem responsible for the accident. A successful claim may offer the family some measure of justice while helping to prevent the personal tragedy from becoming a financial one as well.

Source: Downers Grove Patch, “Mom of Injured Boy Urges Vigilance Behind the Wheel,” Lauren Williamson, Aug. 28, 2012

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