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27-year-old Illinois woman charged in car accident that killed 2

Chicago residents may have heard that criminal charges were recently filed against a woman who stands accused of killing two people in a car accident late last month. The 27-year-old Humboldt Park woman was driving in Ashburn on the evening of Jan. 26 when she reportedly struck a 39-year-old man and 34-year-old woman who were in the street. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene of this fatal car accident.

Police have not released further information about the cause of the accident. However, the driver was charged with two counts of driving under the influence, two counts of aggravated DUI causing death, reckless driving, possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle, driving without a driver's license, driving without insurance, failing to stop and render aid at the scene of an accident, failure to maintain a lane and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.

Laws prohibiting a person from driving under the influence are designed to protect people from being injured by drunk drivers. A person who is accused of driving under the influence may be held accountable both in criminal and civil court.

Criminal charges are handled by the state and they can result in jail time, fines and other penalties. Civil actions, such as wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits, are filed by the victims of the crime or the family members of deceased victims.

In a wrongful death case, for example, the estate of the victims is permitted to bring a lawsuit to recover damages. Common damages include any medical expenses and funeral costs, and a wrongful death plaintiff may also be able to recover for the loss of earnings provided by the deceased person. Experienced car accident attorneys may help victims recover compensation for their losses by reviewing the details of the case and possibly enlisting an accident reconstruction expert or eyewitness testimony in order to prove negligence on the part of the defendant.

Source: DNAinfo.com, "Humboldt Park Woman Charged with DUI in Fatal Crash," Geoff Ziezulewicz, Jan. 29, 2013

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