Illinois Trooper Sued After Fatal Car Accident
In late November 2007, the parents of two Illinois sisters received the horrific news that both of their teenage daughters were killed in a car accident on Interstate 64 near Scott Air Force Base.
Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell was responsible for the tragic car accident and pled guilty to two counts each of aggravated reckless driving and reckless homicide.
Upon investigation of the fatal car accident, investigators discovered that Mitchell, driving an Illinois State Trooper squad car, crashed into the car driven by the older sister, Jessica Uhl. The squad car was traveling around 126 mph when it crossed the median, causing the head-on collision that instantly killed both 18-year-old Jessica Uhl and 13-year-old Kelli Uhl.
State trooper Mitchell was not only traveling at an excessive speed but also sending an email from his computer and talking on a cellphone while driving. This was Mitchell’s third accident as a state trooper.
While the criminal case wrapped up in April 2010, the family has filed a civil suit against the trooper. The girls’ parents, joined by the sisters’ stepsister and stepbrother, are seeking $46 million in damages for loss of companionship, loss of love, loss of society and loss of affection.
Illinois Wrongful Death Act Provisions
By law, the family of a deceased victim can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party after a fatal car accident. While the lawsuit may not offer the family closure after the tragic accident, it can prevent the family from worrying about financial concerns stemming from the loss of a loved one.
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act, in particular, provides the means for families in Illinois to pursue a civil claim. The Act allows victims’ families to seek compensation for “grief, sorrow and mental suffering.” The statute of limitations to file a suit against the negligent party is limited to two years from the date of the victim’s death.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car or truck accident, it is important to obtain counsel. Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney who will be able to preserve valuable evidence and inform you of your rights after an accident.