Traffic violations and motor vehicle accidents often go hand-in-hand. In fact, a driver’s violation of basic traffic rules often plays a pivotal role in why the accident occurred in the first place. Violations can range from speeding to driving while under the influence. Some common examples of minor traffic violations in Chicago include:
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Illegal turns
- Using lanes improperly
- Failure to yield
If a traffic violation leads to a car accident that also causes injury to an individual or destroys property, that violator can also face a potential felony charge. For example, when a driver chooses to run a stop sign and hits a vehicle, he or she can be prosecuted for serious criminal charges.
From the personal injury perspective, the individual who is hurt (the victim, also known as the plaintiff), may be able to sue the driver that committed the traffic infraction in civil court in order to receive compensation for their losses. When the other driver pleads guilty or is found guilty of a traffic violation, that guilty verdict can then be used as evidence to help establish negligence during a personal injury lawsuit.
Understanding Illinois Traffic Laws and Penalties
Illinois uses the driver’s license points system. Therefore, a conviction for a minor traffic offense could result in negative marks on a driver’s permanent record. If they have enough accumulated points, a driver could have their license revoked or at least suspended.
Cook County relies on its own rules and standard for traffic infractions. Some of the degrees of sentences that can be used include:
- Petty Offenses – $1 to $1,000 fine
- Class A Misdemeanor – Up to 364 days in jail; fine of $1 to $2500
- Class B Misdemeanor – Up to six months in jail; fine of $1 to 1500
- Class C Misdemeanor – Up to one month in jail; fine $1 to 1500
There are certain offenses that are typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor (DUI, driving on a suspended license, street racing and leaving the scene of an accident) while other offenses can be charged as a felony. For those guilty of an offense resulting in serious injury or homicide, the offender could face a Class 2 felony for 14 years in prison and maximum fine of $25,000.
Receiving Compensation as a Victim
The various types and consequences of traffic violations can play a pivotal role in your personal injury claim. If you have been involved in an accident with a reckless driver that committed a traffic infraction, you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, trauma, disfigurement and even the loss of normal life.
Meet with the experienced car accident attorneys at Malman Law for a free consultation by calling us at 888-307-2051 or fill out an online contact form.