Drunk driving is a top cause of auto accidents. Every day approximately 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an intoxicated driver – that’s one death every 51 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately alcohol is not the only problem. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 30-35% of all traffic deaths involve a driver who had drugs or alcohol in their systems behind the wheel. Victims of accidents that were caused by an intoxicated driver…the consequences of an accident caused by an intoxicated driver can be fatal and often lead to serious injuries.
There is little comfort that can be given to those who have endured serious injury or loss of a loved one in alcohol-related accidents. While money damages may never make up for the physical and emotional costs endured, these victims are owed compensation. There are two way a victim of a drunk driving accident can seek compensation – (1) pursuing a claim against the drunk driver and (2) pursuing a claim against the bar, restaurant, or other establishment that overserved the intoxicated driver.
In an auto accident in which one driver is determined to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is fairly clear cut that the intoxicated driver was at fault. The fact that the driver was intoxicated can be used as powerful leverage during negotiations with the intoxicated driver’s insurance company. The insurance company’s claims adjuster knows the fact that his or her insured was arrested for drunk or impaired driving is strong proof to present to a judge or jury that will most likely result in a verdict in your favor. That is why it is very important to call the police and to have a police report of the accident, as evidence of the at-fault driver’s negligence and proof that he or she was driving impaired.
If you were involved in an auto accident, first and foremost, it is important that you assess your own condition and that of your passengers and others involved in the accident. Call for medical attention immediately if anyone shows signs of an injury. Next, call the police and notify the responding officer of how the accident happened, of the parties involved and any witnesses to the accident. If you noticed the at-fault driver was serving, smells of alcohol or he/she is acting strange be sure to tell the police officer so that officer can properly conduct an investigation and accurately document his or her findings on the police report. As we mentioned above, your strongest piece of evidence when dealing with an intoxicated at-fault driver is the police report that is constructed by the responding officer. Click here to see a list of the key things you must do following an accident. An experienced car accident attorney who can guide you through the claims process and work to get you the best compensation possible while giving you the time you need to recover from your injuries.
If the at-fault driver is determined to be intoxicated, you may also pursue a claim against the establishment that overserved the at-fault driver under Illinois’ Dram Shop laws. It is important to note that Dram Shop cases must be brought within 1 year of the date of the accident. That is why it is important to seek legal advice immediately if you or a loved one was involved in an accident that was caused by an intoxicated driver. The attorneys at Stein & Shulman can help you seek justice for your loss and injuries. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue your claim and help you maximum your compensation. It is FREE to speak with one our attorneys. Call us today at (312) 422-0500.