Drunk Driving Accident Victim Attorney for Cook, Kane, DuPage and Will Counties
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JOLIET DUI ACCIDENT VICTIM ATTORNEY
Illinois takes driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously. If the driver of a vehicle has a blood alcohol at or above 0.08 percent, they are considered too impaired to operate a vehicle. In Illinois, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drive with any alcohol in their system – no matter how low.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGES – THE DRUNK DRIVER
If, after the consumption of alcohol that surpasses the above stated limits, the driver causes a crash, the driver is considered “negligent per se.” This means that, in Illinois, the driver’s violation of the alcohol limits establishes that the driver is at fault.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has studies the effects of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) on one’s ability to drive. They have shown that as little as 0.02% BAC will result in some loss of judgment, a decline in visual functions and a decline in the ability to perform two tasks at the same time. It is possible that a BAC below the limits set by the state of Illinois may still be a contributing factor in establishing liability. Did the driver swerve or cross the center line? Was he/she driving carelessly? Was their alcohol consumption, although below the legal limit, a contributing factor in causing the crash?
RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGES – NOT JUST THE DRIVER’S RESPONSIBILITY
Illinois’s Dram Shop Act allows the party injured by the intoxicated driver to sue “owners of businesses that sell liquor, and also lessors or owners of the premises on which the liquor is sold” (i.e. the bar, restaurant, store or establishment that served the alcohol which allowed the person to become intoxicated). This Illinois law, while allowing the injured party to seek compensation, places a “statutory cap” on the amount you can seek from the responsible business. There are also different time lines that apply when seeking compensation from the responsible business or businesses.
If the intoxicated driver is working at the time of the crash, their employer could be held liable.
If an individual supplies alcohol to an individual under the age of 21 and this under age individual causes the crash in which you are involved, the person who supplied the alcohol to the driver could also be held liable. This type of liability is called “social host liability”. Effective January 1, 2013, Illinois law states that an individual who allows an underage individual (someone under 21) to consume alcohol at their residence or on their property can be charged with a Class 4 Felony if that underage individual then causes “great bodily harm or death” to another party.
Drunk drivers seriously hurt or kill motorists, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists in an alcohol-related accident every two minutes. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an alcohol-related accident, you can file to receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, damaged or destroyed property and pain & suffering. Personal Injury Attorney Tim Henderson can guide you through the steps necessary to receive compensation for your injuries and other losses while protecting your rights. He will work hard for you, making certain that anyone who contributed to the crash is held responsible.
If the individual responsible for the crash is convicted of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in an Illinois court the injured party may also be allowed to pursue punitive damages – particularly if there appears to be “gross negligence”. As a drunk driving accident victim do not sign any documents from the opposing insurance company or accept a settlement offer without first seeking legal advice from an attorney representing you – the injured party. As an experienced Drunk Driving Accident Victim Attorney, Tim Henderson can help explain the full extent of the financial compensation to which you might be entitled. He can explain your legal rights and the steps you need to take to protect those rights. Representing clients throughout the Cook, Kane, DuPage and Will County area (including Joliet, Cicero, Chicago and Skokie), Tim Henderson can help you receive the compensation you need for your physical, financial and emotional recovery. Call (312) 444-9400 today for a free consultation.