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Springfield defendants settle Illinois claim for DUI fatality

Some DuPage and Will County residents may feel damages awarded by juries are excessive. That belief usually persists until people learn why compensation for negligence is necessary.

A car accident victim may endure long-term or permanent suffering which can cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to treat. During that time, the victim may not be able to support themselves or a family financially.

The loss of a loved one in a fatal accident is traumatic for spouses, children and parents. Emotional distress is often coupled with financial problems including medical bills, burial or funeral expenses and - what many people forget - income loss.

A 22-year-old woman died in 2012 when her vehicle was struck by a work van at a Springfield intersection. The 27-year-old man who caused the fatality ran a red light. He later pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated driving under the influence.

Court records say the Waverly man drank on and off the clock, stopping at a bar on the day of the accident for about two hours in between service calls. The driver, his employer and the bar's owners were named in a wrongful death claim filed a month after the crash.

The parties recently negotiated a settlement. An insurer for the drunk driver, now behind bars for eight years, and his employer agreed to split a $1.5 million payment. The bar will pay an additional $140,000. The victim's heirs will receive about $900,000 after deductions for legal fees and a $90,000 hospital payment.

Civil courts try to place a value on the overall, long-term costs to plaintiffs in wrongful death claims. Compensation is meant to replace the financial and emotional comfort the victim once provided. Families would rather judges and juries turn back the clock than collect damages for the death of someone they loved, but this is the only solace the legal system can offer.

Source:  sj-r.com, "Settlement reached in wrongful death suit" Chris Dettro, Sep. 08, 2013

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  • "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....-Jeff D.

  • "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....- Dave

  • "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.-Jennifer

  • "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day...-Larry

  • "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.- Tyler D.

  • "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.- Karen K.

  • "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends.-Dan H.

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