Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous yet preventable actions a driver can engage in. Yet, countless motorists get behind the wheel every day after having too much to drink. When these drunk drivers cause accidents, the victims can be left with overwhelming injuries. Fortunately, they can pursue compensation for their losses.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver in or around Chicago, do not hesitate to reach out for help getting compensation for your losses. The car accident attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC are ready to meet with you and discuss your case. Call our Chicago office today for a free consultation and case review.
Justice Through Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents
Driving while drunk is inexcusable and a strong basis for a car accident claim for compensation. But in order to collect damages, the victim must prove that the defendant was driving drunk or otherwise negligently or recklessly. The victim must also demonstrate that they have suffered compensable losses.
Depending on the circumstances, various ways of proving liability in a drunk driving case might exist. For example, if a corresponding criminal case arises out of the accident, the plaintiff in a civil case could use information and facts discovered by the police to prove liability.
Other powerful forms of evidence of liability in drunk driving cases include:
- Traffic cam footage
- Video footage from businesses and private individuals
- Photos of the accident scene
- Witness statements
- Medical records
Statements and actions made by the defendant may also be valuable pieces of evidence attesting to their drunkenness.
The term damages refers to the types of compensation that you can receive for your losses. In Illinois, monetary and non-monetary damages are recognized by law. The term monetary damages refers to compensation for financial-related losses caused by the drunk driver, such as:
- Money spent on medical care and treatment
- Money spent on prescriptions and rehabilitation
- Lost income from missing work
- Money spent on hiring homecare workers
- Property damage, including your vehicle and personal property
Victims of drunk drivers are also entitled to pursue non-monetary damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of society
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Because the action in question is particularly dangerous and egregious, Illinois law allows injury victims to also pursue punitive damages against drunk drivers. Punitive damages exist to punish and are paid on top of monetary and non-monetary damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions and answers will help you further understand drunk driving accidents and compensation claims. Please call us to discuss any further issues or questions you have.
Do I need a car accident lawyer for a drunk driving accident?
Yes. To recover as much compensation as possible, you need to hire the services of an experienced car accident lawyer. Victims of drunk driving accidents without attorneys typically receive far less compensation than those who use lawyers.
Can I afford a car accident lawyer?
Yes. Car accident lawyers cost you nothing upfront. Their payment comes from the money they recover for you.
Should I accept a drunk driving settlement offer?
If you have been presented with a settlement offer, you should meet with an attorney before you sign it. An attorney will give you a fair appraisal of your claim, whereas an insurance company adjuster will try to convince you to accept far less than you deserve.
How much compensation will I get for a drunk driving claim?
The amount of money you receive for your claim depends on how serious your injuries are and how they have affected your life. Generally speaking, you get more compensation the more serious your injuries are.
How much you earn in income will also affect your payout. If you typically earn $200,000 per year, your lost income damages will be far more than a person who earns $10 per hour and works part-time.
What happens if the drunk driver who hit me is acquitted or not prosecuted?
If the drunk driver who caused your accident is acquitted or not prosecuted, you can still pursue compensation. The results of the criminal case are entirely independent of the car accident case results, and different standards of proof are required for each.
Of the two, the criminal process requires a higher standard of proof, which is why a person may be found not guilty in a criminal trial and still be held liable for damages.
For more information and explanations, contact us anytime to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer.
Call to Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Don’t leave compensation on the table. Let Stein & Shulman, LLC fight to get you maximum compensation. An experienced and compassionate Chicago car accident lawyer is ready to explore your options. Call today for a free consultation.