On behalf of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC posted in Brain Injury on Friday, November 2, 2012
A 14-year-old Illinois boy was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike home for family dinner last February. The driver, with his own two sons in the car, was driving to a restaurant when the accident occurred. The driver told police “suddenly there was a bump,” and that he hadn’t seen the boy until after he accelerated and realized he had struck something. The young man was trapped beneath the car, unconscious but still breathing. Now, the young man is still unable to move on his own due to the traumatic brain injury (http://www.rblaw.net/practice-areas/injury/brain-injuries) he sustained in the crash.
The driver is facing a traffic citation for the accident for failure to yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk. The young man’s family is infuriated and insulted that this is the charge he will face. A family friend pointed out that if the driver had been drunk, they would have been charged far more severely and faced jail time. The driver in this case will face a fine of up to $1,000 and no jail time at all, despite the serious nature of the accident.
The family has begun to circulate an online petition in order to change the law to make hitting a pedestrian a more serious offense. In Illinois, if a construction worker is hit by a car, the fine is $10,000 and up to 14 days in prison. For this young man, however, his injuries will not warrant more than $1,000 in fines for the man responsible.
Families who are coping with the effects of a traumatic brain injury will face the difficulty of caring for the injured person and the financial burden of medical care. If the family cannot receive justice from the criminal system, they may choose to pursue civil charges of personal injury in order to cover the medical expenses for their son.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Parents, friends of disabled Downers Grove teen petition to change traffic law,” Dawn Rhodes, Nov. 2, 2012