Drugged Driving Accidents
Everyone knows that drunk driving can cause serious accidents that lead to long-term injuries or even death, but drugged driving accidents can have the same consequences. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drugged driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our skilled Wheaton and Schaumburg car accident lawyers can examine the facts of the case and help protect your rights throughout each step of the process. Acting promptly is important in pursuing justice for a victim, so it is important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.Asserting Your Rights After a Drugged Driving Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Roadside Survey, more than 22 percent of drivers tested positive for illegal, over-the-counter, or prescription drugs in 2017. The proportion was the same for both daytime and nighttime drivers. Under Illinois’ drugged driving law, a person may not drive or be in physical control of any vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicating drug or combination of intoxicating drugs to a degree that the person is incapable of driving safely. Essentially, the use of any drugs that cause drowsiness, poor balance, or dizziness, or otherwise impair an individual’s ability to drive safely, can form the basis of a drugged driving charge.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s drugged driving, meanwhile, you may be able to file a negligence claim against the drugged driver. Negligence is a common law cause of action recognized by Illinois courts. Negligence takes place when a person causes an injury or death by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in the same situation. To establish negligence, the plaintiff’s injury lawyer must demonstrate the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by driving under the influence of drugs;
- The defendant’s drugged driving was a direct cause of the accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered injuries or property damage as a result.
It is important to note that Illinois follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, fault is relatively apportioned among each party involved in the accident. In other words, if a plaintiff is partly at fault for an accident, that plaintiff’s total award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 30 percent at fault because you were speeding, you will ultimately take home 70 percent of the total award. Under Illinois law, however, if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault in the accident that caused your injuries, you will not be allowed to recover any damages.
If negligence is established, the plaintiff may be able to recover a variety of damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, costs of future care, and other economic and non-economic damages. Each case is unique, and the amount of compensation that a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will depend on the facts of the case. If you lost a loved one in a drugged driving accident in the Wheaton or Schaumburg areas, you may be entitled to recover wrongful death damages, such as medical costs, burial costs, loss of consortium, and loss of earning capacity.Retain a Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney to Take Legal Action
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a drugged driving accident, our experienced car crash attorneys can help. At Therman Law Offices, we are committed to protecting the rights of our clients at every step of the way. We represent victims and families in cities such as Wheaton, Schaumburg, Elmhurst, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Lisle, Darien, and Bolingbrook. For a free consultation, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us through our website.