Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk drivers can cause devastating accidents resulting in injury and even death. When an accident is caused by a drunk driver, they are liable for the other party’s damages. The experts at Mueller, Lawson & Frobish help their clients claim compensation for:
- Medical bills, including emergency treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and assistive medical devices.
- Property damage to the victim’s car and other personal property.
- Lost income from missing work while recovering from injuries, or the inability to perform their normal job duties. An accident victim may suffer a permanent disability that prevents them from returning to work.
- Pain and suffering,also known as non-economic damages. Pain and suffering includes compensation for the experience of physical pain and mental and emotional distress that can’t be easily measured financially.
How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help in a Drunk Driving Accident?
In an accident caused by a drunk driver, injuries and property damage can be extensive. In order to make sure their client receives all of the compensation they are eligible for under the law, an expert legal team will build a case and negotiate for the highest possible settlement.
A personal injury lawyer will establish liability by gathering evidence proving the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and caused the accident resulting in their client’s injuries.
To build an effective case to prove the drunk driver is at fault, the legal team will obtain police and medical records, interview witnesses and consult experts.
Applying their expert knowledge of the legal system, a lawyer will negotiate a personal injury settlement with insurance companies that is the most fair and comprehensive under the law. Insurance companies have their own legal teams and will employ tactics to avoid paying the maximum settlement. A personal injury lawyer will use the best supporting evidence to prove their client’s claims.
If the case can not be resolved with an out of court settlement and goes to trial, a personal injury lawyer will represent their client in court.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois
Drunk driving claims 32 lives in the United States per day – equivalent to one fatality every 45 minutes. In Illinois, there were 379 fatal vehicle crashes involving alcohol in 2020, which made up nearly 32% of traffic deaths in the state. Fatal drunk driving crashes have been on the increase since 2015 – a worrying trend.
Drinking alcohol affects the central nervous system, and the way a driver thinks about risk and makes decisions. The driver’s reaction time to traffic conditions and their muscle coordination are compromised.
Any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream can cause impairment while driving. Even one drink can relax the driver’s mood, affect their judgment, and reduce the ability to track moving targets on the road and perform more than one task at a time. As more alcohol enters the bloodstream, the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle decreases substantially.
In Illinois, as in most states, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if the driver’s BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is over .08 grams per deciliter of blood. At this level, the driver will likely have difficulty maintaining a safe speed, experience short term memory loss, and have difficulty processing visual information. However, many drivers lose track of how many drinks they have had, or have a false perception about their tolerance for alcohol. The only way to completely avoid the hazards of alcohol’s effect on driving is to not to drink at all before getting behind the wheel, but the pressure to drink at social events and limited transportation options tempt many drivers to take the risk.
The effects of drinking alcohol on driving are well known, but driving under the influence of marijuana is also against the law. Although medical cannabis is legal in Illinois, a driver may not operate a vehicle when using it. It is also unlawful to drive when using other prescription and recreational drugs, such as opiates and methamphetamines.
If a driver is suspected of having alcohol or drugs in their system, they are required to undergo field testing by the police, and can be penalized if they refuse to comply.
The personal injury experts at Mueller, Lawson & Frobish will put their extensive experience to work to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact us today.