December 8, 2020
Illinois Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
An accident with a drunk driver hurt you or killed a family member. In an instant, you’re dealing with injuries, property damage, or worse, the loss of a loved one. You may never be the same. You deserve compensation.
Statewide in 2019, more than 26,000 drivers were arrest for driving under the influence. Many of those arrests come after a tragic accident resulting in injury or death to innocent parties. While the impaired driver typically faces criminal proceedings, you may be rightfully concerned about who’s paying your medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries from a crash with a drunk driver. Just when you’re at your lowest, insurance companies kick into overdrive trying to get a quick settlement of your claim. You need a skilled Illinois car accident attorney right away.
The personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C, understand DUI accident victims and survivors’ needs. We’ve represented many people harmed by drunk drivers and know how to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
You and your family have suffered enough. Don’t go without compensation as well. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 or online. Your initial consultation is free, and there are no up-front costs. You don’t pay unless you recover.
Driving Under the Influence Accidents in Illinois
With tens of thousands of drunk drivers on Illinois roads annually and hundreds of thousands of car accidents each year, impaired drivers are likely the cause of many of those incidents. According to the 2021 Illinois DUI Fact Book published by the Secretary of State, 276 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2019. Additional crash statistics indicate a fifth of all car accidents result in serious injuries to drivers and passengers.
While criminal and administrative penalties are stiff for DUI, there are additional costs when someone drives while impaired. The DUI Fact Book estimates that medical treatment for a crash involving injuries or fatalities is more than $100,000 per incident. Compensatory damages for crash survivors, the report found, tops $10,000 per person. And those are just some of the losses that must be compensated.
Fortunately, after an accident where impaired driving is suspected, emergency medical personnel must provide law enforcement with test results if asked. Not only does the law help fight drunk driving, but it aids in establishing liability for personal injury that results from DUI.
Additional 2019 DUI statistics from the Secretary of State include:
- 90 percent of all drivers arrested for DUI, who were eligible, lost their driving privileges.
- 289 drivers under age 21 lost their driving privileges due to Zero Tolerance law violations.
- 26 percent of those arrested for DUI were women, who represented 50% of all licensed drivers.
- Males ages 21-24 had the highest DUI arrest rate (about 9 per 1,000 licensed drivers).
- 86% of all drivers arrested for DUI are first offenders.
In Illinois, the average DUI offender is:
- male (74% percent of those arrested);
- age 34 (52% charged are under age 35);
- arrested on weekends between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.; and
- caught driving with a BAC of .16 — twice the illegal limit.
Although the aggravating factor of impaired driving makes these cases similar, we know from experience that every case is also unique. When we represent you, we get to know all the circumstances of the accident and your injuries, treatment, and compensation needs.
What to Do After a DUI-related Accident
A car accident is a traumatic event. Even seemingly minor ones can turn your world on its head. Because impaired drivers have slower reflexes and response times, a crash with a drunk driver may be more severe and cause more significant harm. If you’re involved in an accident with a driver who appears intoxicated or drugged, stay calm and, if able, follow these tips:
- Determine if you are safe or need to exit the vehicle (if possible)
- If exiting the car is not safe, stay seated and belted
- Assess your and your passengers’ injuries
- Call 911
- Wait for emergency responders
- Don’t confront the drunk driver but do note any evidence of impairment (bloodshot eyes, slurring, stumbling, alcohol bottles or cans)
- Make no statements at the scene
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible
- If able, take pictures or video at the crash scene, get witness information, and as much information on the driver and insurance company as possible
You mustn’t make any statements, sign any waivers, or accept a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Instead, engage us to handle your claim so you can concentrate on getting better or deal with the emotional trauma and grief of a loved one’s sudden death.
Once we’re on board, we will get the police report, investigate the crash circumstances, look for other liable parties, and communicate with the insurers. After collecting the facts and evidence, we will build a strong case and negotiate for the highest amount of compensation for your injuries.
Damages for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
If hurt in an accident with a drunk driver, you’re entitled to damages that include:
For those that lose a loved one, certain surviving family members could recover for “pecuniary injuries” for wrongful death:
- lost wages
- lost services
- loss of consortium
- loss of society of children
- grief, sorrow, and mental suffering
While we understand absolutely no amount of money can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one in a drunk driving accident, by securing compensation for this painful loss, your family can grieve and start the healing process without worrying about finances.
The Statute of Limitations and Drunk Driver Accident Claims
You may feel that your accident made time standstill. One day your life is going along as usual; the next, you’re dealing with devastating injuries or the loss of someone dear. For you, the days may drag on as you come to grips with your new reality. Unfortunately, for everyone else, time marches on. Every day you don’t proceed with claiming damages that arose from your accident is one day closer to the statute of limitations that could bar you from recovery.
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit for damages. If you leave negotiations for settlement to the last moment, you may find yourself out of time to file your claim. Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys need adequate time to build the strongest case possible to maximize your recovery.
Some exceptions would extend the amount of time you have to make your claim, but it’s best not to rely on those. If you know you were injured or suffered loss from an accident with an impaired driver, contact us right away.
You Deserve Compensation For Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver
When a driver decides to drink and drive despite the risk to others and injuries or kills others, he must be held liable. While the driver will likely face criminal charges levied by the state, you must pursue an Illinois personal injury or wrongful death claim for your accident damages. We can do that for you, allowing you to concentrate on getting better or helping your family with the grief from losing a loved one.