Two men were injured and a woman was arrested following a suspected drunk driving crash involving three vehicles in Wicker Park on July 8.
According to Chicago police, 49-year-old Kelly James was driving north on the 1500 block of Ashland Avenue at around 3:46 a.m. when she stopped her vehicle. According to witnesses, she began yelling from her car, then turned around and started speeding south on Ashland. Her vehicle then crashed into two other vehicles which were stopped at a traffic light.
The other two drivers were hospitalized at Stroger Hospital – a 55-year-old man who was critically injured and a 60-year-old man who was stabilized.
James refused medical treatment at the scene and was arrested. She has been charged with a felony count of aggravated DUI involving an accident causing bodily harm, along with one misdemeanor charge each of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of drugs.
Additionally, James was cited for failure to reduce speed and disobeying a red light.
She appeared in court on Wednesday and had bail set at $300,000. She is scheduled to appear in court again on July 16.
People who have been injured by drunk drivers have legal rights. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, these victims may have grounds for multiple types of lawsuits. Here is attorney Brian Kent with some thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been hit by drunk drivers in the state of Illinois:
As in all other states, people who have been injured in drunk driving crashes in Illinois may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who injured them. Illinois is also one of many states with a dram shop law, which under certain conditions allows third parties to be held liable for providing alcohol to someone who caused an alcohol-related injury.
Basically, in some situations, people who have been hit by drunk drivers in Illinois may have grounds for a lawsuit against the bar, club, or another alcohol vendor that served alcohol to the person responsible for causing the crash.
According to Illinois’ dram shop law, an alcohol vendor can be held liable for injuries caused by a customer if:
Several other states only allow dram shop lawsuits to be filed if the customer was already visibly intoxicated when they were served alcohol, but Illinois is not one of these states. Simply providing the alcohol that caused the intoxication which led to the crash is enough to file a dram shop lawsuit in Illinois.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed after being hit by a drunk driver in Illinois, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking with an experienced drunk driving injury lawyer.