In the course of representing individuals and families in civil personal injury and wrongful death actions, our experienced Chicago injury lawyers sometimes come across criminal or quasi-criminal laws that impact our clients’ cases. Such is the case with the little-known law in Illinois called “Scott’s Law” (625 ILCS 5/11-907(c)), more commonly referred to as the “Move Over” law.
Named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver while helping a distressed motorist on the Dan Ryan Expressway, the law requires any motorist “approaching any police or other emergency vehicle stopped along the roadway” to yield to the moving emergency vehicles, by:
- Proceeding with caution
- Changing lanes, if possible
- Reducing speed
Penalties under Scott’s Law vary depending on whether the violation happened due to “a factor of aggravation,” such as driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Such penalties include:
- Property damage: 90 days to one year suspension of driving privileges
- Injury to another person: 180 days to 2 years suspension of driving privileges
- Death of another person: 2 year suspension of driving privileges
Indeed, the Illinois State Police has stated that violators of Scott’s Law will be fined up to $10,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years.
Though Scott’s Law deals specifically with emergency vehicles, other laws may also apply to serious motor vehicle accidents, depending on whether or not the driver was intoxicated, uninsured or underinsured. An experienced transportation accident lawyer has a thorough understanding of all applicable laws and investigative tools relating catastrophic motor vehicle accidents.
Motor vehicle accidents may be caused by a number of factors, including driver negligence, defective parts, or simply bad luck. In any particular accident, there may be many persons or entities involved, including drivers, witnesses, employers, insurance companies and medical personnel. A top Chicago car accident lawyer can help you navigate the players and investigate the facts to ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled under the law.
For a free consultation with one of our accident attorneys, call Passen & Powell today at (312) 527-4500.