Drunk driving is a significant contributor to traffic fatalities. There were 254 drunk driving deaths in Illinois in 2020, accounting for about 21% of the state’s 1,195 fatal crashes in motor vehicle accidents.
Even if a drunk driving collision does not result in wrongful death, it can cause severe injuries, a lower quality of life, and out-of-pocket expenses for medical bills and motor vehicle repairs.
An intoxicated driver may face drunk driving charges, including criminal charges, to prevent them from harming innocent people on the road. You can work with a personal injury attorney to help you recover financial compensation for economic damages such as medical expenses and property damage.
Other non-economic damages in your compensation include pain and suffering. The drunk driving accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates can help you achieve justice and hold the responsible party liable for their actions on the road with punitive damages.
Steps to Take if a Drunk Driver Injures You in Illinois
If an accident involves a drunk driver, you can take similar steps similar to those of any other auto accident scene.
It is critical to call local law enforcement after an accident, especially if you feel you were in a collision with an intoxicated person. Reporting a drunk driver can keep them from harming others, and it helps you if you decide to file a claim for damages.
Cooperate with the police
When the police officer arrives at the accident scene, make it clear you believe the other driver is drunk. The officer can conduct a sobriety test based on your statement.
If the intoxicated person is uncooperative or refuses to give their information to you, the police officer is trained to get their information. You can find the driver’s contact and insurance information in the police report.
Get medical care
Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or whiplash, may not show up until days or weeks after the accident. A drunk driving crash requires an immediate visit to your doctor to check for internal injuries and recommend medical treatment, such as physical therapy.
The insurance company and your accident lawyer can benefit from having a record of your injuries to prove their severity and estimate damages. We’ll use your medical records to maximize your compensation.
Demonstrating Negligence in an Illinois Drunk Driving Accident
When you are involved in an accident, it may not be evident that the other person was drunk. Taking photos and videos of the vehicles involved, the accident scene, and your injuries can help your lawyer at Nessler & Associates prove negligence.
If there were any bystanders, you can collect their names and contact information, and our attorneys will contact them for their testimonies. We will explore every avenue for recovery, including investigating whether any bar is liable for over-serving the driver or if passengers knew the driver was acting recklessly.
Illinois Zero Tolerance Law
Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is illegal in most states. Illinois’ zero-tolerance law makes it illegal for anyone under 21 to drive with any trace of alcohol in their system. If caught, drivers face a suspension of driving privileges and additional penalties.
Our drunk driving attorneys can also help you get evidence of the drunk driver’s intoxication, such as security footage, police records, and blood alcohol test results, revealing the driver’s impairment.
Dram Shop Laws in Illinois
If a drunk driver in Illinois hits you, there is a possibility that you can file a claim against more than one individual. These Illinois drunk driving laws help you hold multiple parties accountable. Our drunk driving attorneys will aggressively explore all parties that may be liable in your case.
Illinois Dram Shop Law
The Illinois Liquor Control Act allows drunk driving victims to seek compensation from commercial establishments such as bars, restaurants, or facilities where the drunk driver purchased alcohol before driving. Nessler & Associates can hold alcohol vendors liable by proving that:
- A vendor-customer relationship existed
- The business served alcohol to the driver
- A drunk driver caused the accident
- The company was the proximate cause of the intoxication of the driver
- The primary cause of your injuries was the driver’s intoxication
Our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys can use receipts, witness statements, and other pieces of evidence to hold a commercial establishment liable.
Illinois Social Host Law
Under Illinois’ social host law, an adult who provides alcohol or drugs to a minor is responsible for injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by the minor’s intoxication. However, this law does not apply if the adult takes willful action to provide alcohol. If minors consume alcohol without the host’s knowledge or permission, they cannot be held liable.
Contact Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages caused by a drunk driver in a personal injury claim. A personal injury lawyer from Nessler & Associates can investigate and represent your drunk driving accident case.
With over 35 years of experience, our legal team can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our law firm today at 800-727-8010 for a confidential, free consultation.