There is never an excuse to drive while intoxicated. Yet countless drunk drivers take to the streets every day, causing severe accidents and injuries.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to financial recovery. Our Will County personal injury lawyers can fight to protect your rights. To discuss your case and learn how we can help, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC today for a free consultation.
Why are Drunk Driving Accidents So Common?
Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs changes the way a person operates a vehicle. When a person is intoxicated, they are unable to drive as safely as they would sober.
Drugs and alcohol severely affect a person’s body. Impairment can cause:
- Poor judgment
- Slowed reaction times
- Less concentration
- Impaired motor skills
- Decreased vision
Drunk drivers are more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors, like speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, and tailgating. Additionally, impaired drivers often fall asleep behind the wheel.
A Drunk Driving Accident Can Negatively Impact Your Life
Injuries from drunk driving collisions are often severe, as speeding and other aggressive driving actions contribute to the severity of the crash. These injuries can be extensive and have substantial long-term impacts.
Some of the common injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
It is not uncommon for injuries from a drunk driving collision to result in lasting physical and mental consequences. Injuries could lead to amputations, brain damage, and even death.
Drunk driving accident injuries can be expensive and hurt your finances. Filing a claim for your accident can help you cope with these financial burdens.
Drunk Drivers Can Face Both Criminal and Civil Consequences
It’s common knowledge that driving while impaired is illegal. Drunk drivers can face serious criminal charges for driving under the influence, and penalties are worse when impaired driving results in an accident and injuries.
What many drunk driving accident victims don’t know is that they have the right to pursue compensation from the drunk driver who caused their injuries. Along with facing criminal trouble, drunk drivers could also face civil liability for their negligent actions.
When you speak with an accident attorney, they can review your legal options with you and determine the best way to seek the compensation you deserve.
Liability for Drunk Driving Collisions
Drunk drivers themselves could be liable for the accidents they cause, but depending on the circumstances, other parties may also share fault.
The Illinois Liquor Act, more commonly known as the Dram Shop Act, holds liquor stores, bars, and other establishments at fault for drunk driving accidents if they sell liquor:
- To over-intoxicated individuals
- To minors
- Without a valid liquor license
- After hours
Additionally, if a drunk driver is working at the time of the collision, their employer could be held liable under the theory of vicarious liability, or “respondeat superior.” Under this doctrine, employers can be held responsible for the wrongful actions of their employees if such actions occur within the scope of their employment.
Determining liability for a drunk driving accident can be tricky, but it is important to hold the right parties responsible for your collision. Fortunately, your accident attorney can establish liability and get you one step closer to obtaining fair financial recovery.
Pursuing Compensation for an Accident Caused By a Drunk Driver
When you experience a drunk driving accident, you may have the opportunity to file an insurance collision claim. Because Illinois is a fault state, you can file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company for compensation.
If necessary, you may also need to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. Typically, you’d file a legal claim under certain circumstances, including the insurance company denying your claim or the drunk driver not having car insurance.
Your damages depend on the specifics of your case but could include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
Your drunk driving accident attorney can calculate your total losses and determine the extent of your damages. Knowing the value of your case can help ensure you don’t settle for less than your claim is worth.
What Happens if I Lost a Loved One in a Drunk Driving Accident?
In the most unfortunate circumstances, a drunk driving accident can result in the victim’s death. If you’ve lost a loved one in a drunk driving collision, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim for compensation.
A wrongful death lawsuit helps a victim’s loved ones obtain compensation for the value of their losses, including funeral and burial expenses and loss of financial support. Your accident attorney can provide personalized guidance and assist you with your claim.
Explore Your Legal Options with a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered harm in a drunk driving collision, do not wait to consult with a personal injury lawyer. The legal team at Stein & Shulman, LLC is highly recognized for its dedication to clients and fierce representation. Contact us and let us assist you with your claim and help get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Contact our firm today to schedule your complimentary consultation.