The Right of a Drunk Driving Accident Victim to File a Claim for Damages in Illinois

Drunk driving crashes are still pervasive on Illinois roads. According to the latest statistics compiled the Illinois Secretary of State compiled, 330 died in drunk driving crashes in Illinois in 2017. The number represents 30 percent of the total number of people killed in 2017 in Illinois was 1,090. Law enforcement officers were diligent making drunk driving arrests. Illinois law enforcement officers across the state made 27,046 drunk driving arrests in 2017. 

What is a drunk driving accident victim to do after a crash?

Contacting an attorney to represent the interests of the drunk driving accident victim and his or her family as soon as possible after the crash is vital to the success of the victim’s personal injury claim. Many people mistakenly believe that the state’s attorney will preserve the accident victim’s rights. The state’s attorney can protect the crash victim’s rights to an extent. However, state’s attorneys do not represent the victim, per se. They represent the state. As such, the state’s attorney has an interest in seeing that the perpetrator receives punishment and is put on the road to rehabilitation. 

By contrast, the drunk driving victim’s personal injury attorney works solely for the accident victim. The attorney can work with the prosecution team to make sure that the victim is prepared to testify in the criminal case and assist the prosecution in securing a conviction. Illinois law gives a drunk driving accident victim an incentive to help the state’s attorney. If the drunk driving suspect is convicted of drunk driving, then the plaintiff in the personal injury case can use the conviction to his or her favor. The only issue that remains to argue after a conviction is the number of damages the defendant must pay to the plaintiff. 

Proving damages is no easy task, and it requires a knowledgeable, successful, and aggressive drunk driving car accident injury attorney from Illinois to make sure that the accident victim receives the maximum recovery allowed by law.