From billboards on the highway warning drivers to stay sober to driver’s education classes to cautionary TV shows, one would think that no one would ever drive drunk. But, unfortunately, it happens every day, and when it does, people get hurt. Some people even die.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver or have lost a loved one, you will need a trained Illinois personal injury attorney to make sure you receive compensation for the accident. However, there are a few facts about drunk driving accidents in Illinois that are helpful to know.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Illinois
- In 1997 Illinois passed a law stating that a person was considered under the influence of alcohol when their blood alcohol content was at least at 0.8. They were the 25th state in the country to lower the level from 0.10.
- Males comprise 75% of persons arrested for drunk driving.
- More than 50% of those arrested for DUI are under the age of 35.
- According to a 2012 study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, 2.1 adult Illinois residents have admitted to driving after having had too much to drink.
- You can lose your driving privileges for six months and go to jail for a year for a first-time DUI in the Land of Lincoln.
Dram Shop Laws
The state of Illinois has something that is known as a dram shop law. A dram is a unit of measurement that was employed by apothecaries when fulfilling prescriptions. The English eventually used the term to mean a small draught of cordial or alcohol.
A dram shop law pertains to any establishment that serves liquor. It enables a person who a drunk driver injures to sue an establishment that might have over-served the driver.
In most states, a bartender or waiter simply can’t serve a person who is intoxicated. However, in Illinois, the establishment can be held responsible for an accident if they serve a patron any alcohol; the person does not have to appear to be drunk.
If a person was struck and injured by a drunk driver, they could sue both the establishment that serves that driver and the driver themselves.
What to do if A Drunk Driver injures you
Whenever you are injured in a car accident, you should pull over to the side of the road and see if anyone is injured. If you are a pedestrian injured by a car, you should stay at the scene and move as little as possible until an ambulance arrives.
When the police arrive, be sure to ask for a copy of the accident report. Get the phone number of anyone who might have seen the accident, as well as the contact and insurance information of the other driver. You should also take pictures if you can.
You will want to make a copy of every doctor bill that you get and those for physical therapy. You will also want to save any of the receipts you have from prescription and non-prescription medications you had to take because of your accident. You should also document the time you had to take off of work to see the doctor.
Filing an Insurance Claim in Illinois
Illinois is a fault state when it comes to automobile insurance. This means that a person responsible for an accident will also be accountable for its related bills. If a drunk driver hits you, you should be able to recover money from their insurance company.
Fortunately, Illinois is a comparative fault state. This means that you may be able to collect insurance compensation even if you were somewhat at fault for an accident. The other driver or drivers must be at least 51% responsible for the accident for you to collect money.
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to keep their money in-house. So they are unlikely to want to give you a fair settlement offer. That is where we come in.
After your insurance company reviews the documentation you presented them with, they will either accept or deny your claim. If they deny the claim, we can contact them on your behalf to find out why they decided that they did and if it would be worthwhile to sue them.
If they offer you a paltry settlement, we can negotiate with them to get you more money. Our law firm has years of experience in working out deals with adjusters and insurance company attorneys. In the unlikely event that we cannot get you a satisfactory settlement, we can represent you in court.
Getting injured in an accident is painful and time-consuming. Being hit by a drunk driver can be incredibly traumatizing because you expect people on the road to take responsibility when they drive.
Our car accident attorneys will work hard to get you the money that you need to get back on the road and on with your life.