Crystal Lake Drunk Driving Accidents Lawyers
Attorneys Serving McHenry County & the Surrounding Areas
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 28 Americans die every day as the result of an alcohol-related traffic accident. That’s an average of more than one per hour, around the clock, seven days a week. In 2015, 20% of drivers involved in fatal crashes were legally intoxicated, and those accidents accounted for nearly 30% of traffic deaths.
In Illinois, that figure is even higher: about 40% of Illinois traffic fatalities involve alcohol. And, those numbers don’t take into account drivers who were under the influence of other drugs at the time of the accident.
Driving Under the Influence is a Widespread Risk
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts the driver, passengers, occupants of other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even pedestrians at risk. In fact, about 15% of the nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents each year are hit by drunk drivers.
Most drivers are well aware of the risks, yet more than 1 million people are arrested for drunk driving or drugged driving across the U.S. each year. Worse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that those arrests represent less than 1% of impaired-driving incidents each year.
Compensation for Victims of Drunk Drivers
A driver who chooses to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol is clearly not exercising due care. Establishing that a drunk driver was negligent is usually straightforward. However, recovering compensation after a drunk driving accident may be more difficult.
Challenges Facing Victims of Drunk Drivers
Unfortunately, people who choose to drive drunk are often just as careless in other areas of their lives. Many drunk drivers don’t have automobile insurance. One recent study revealed that about 25% of drivers whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15% or greater at the time of the accident didn’t even have valid driver’s licenses.
If there is no automobile insurance, or the insurance is inadequate to cover the damages sustained in the accident, the driver is responsible. However, most drunk drivers don’t have substantial assets. Further, the driver may well be sentenced to jail or prison after a serious accident, meaning that he won’t even have income to garnish.
Third-Party Liability in DUI Accidents
A person injured in a DUI accident or who has lost a loved one to a drunk driver may have a cause of action against people or entities other than the driver of the vehicle. The most common examples include:
- A commercial establishment that served the driver alcohol, contributing to his or her intoxication, may be liable under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, and
- A friend or family member who negligently entrusted his or her vehicle to the impaired driver may be partially responsible
Damages in DUI Accident Cases
The damages in a DUI accident case, like damages in all motor vehicle accident cases, will vary depending on the specifics of the accident and the injuries and other losses sustained by the plaintiff. Some of the most common types of damages awarded include:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses to date
- Compensation for projected future medical expenses
- Reimbursement for lost income to date
- Compensation for projected future reduction in earning capacity
- Costs of rehabilitation and adaptive equipment
The victim of a drunk driving accident may also be entitled to non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering.
An Experienced Illinois DUI Accident Attorney Can Help
Identifying all responsible parties after an alcohol-involved accident can be complicated, and differing time limits may apply depending on the type of claim. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out how to proceed on your own. Our experienced drunk driving injury lawyers have the knowledge to guide you through the process.
When you retain us to handle your accident claim, we’ll investigate the case, identify possible responsible parties, take responsibility for deadlines and procedural requirements, and provide a buffer between you and insurance company representatives who want to reduce your recovery to save the company money.
We’ll negotiate for the best possible settlement on your behalf, and if necessary we will fight for your rights in a jury trial.
Get Started Right Now
Take the first step toward having a seasoned advocate at your side right now by scheduling a free consultation.