Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving is a serious problem in Illinois and throughout the U.S. Drunk driving accidents may have devastating consequences for everyone involved. If you or someone close to you has been struck and injured by a drunk driver, it is important to reach out to a skilled Wheaton and Schaumburg drunk driving accident lawyer with whom you can discuss your legal options. At the Therman Law Offices, we understand that these types of accidents may adversely affect every aspect of your life, which is why our car crash attorneys are committed to pursuing the justice and compensation that you deserve.Drunk Driving Accidents Cause Serious Harm
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in three traffic deaths involve a drunk driver. In Illinois, the basic offense of driving under the influence (DUI) consists of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. You may still be cited for a DUI if you were driving with a BAC of between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent if your behavior suggests that you were impaired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that nearly 40,000 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois in 2014, for example.
If you were injured due to an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to obtain compensation for your harm through a negligence claim. Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care behind the wheel that causes injuries or death to a victim. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same circumstances. For example, a prudent driver would not drive while intoxicated, understanding the risk of accidents and injuries associated with this behavior. Thus, a driver who does get behind the wheel while intoxicated generally will be liable for any harm or damage caused by their conduct.
In order to win in a negligence claim, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the defendant breached the duty of care by driving drunk, and the defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the accident and the plaintiff’s resulting harm.
In some situations, our drunk driving accident attorneys also may help Schaumburg and Wheaton residents hold an at-fault party accountable by establishing negligence per se. This type of claim contends that the drunk driver is liable simply because they violated the Illinois statute prohibiting driving under the influence, which itself is proof of negligence. In order to establish negligence per se, the plaintiff need not establish duty and breach. Instead, it is sufficient to show that the defendant was driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, and this was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s harm. For this reason, negligence per se is often easier to establish than ordinary negligence.
DUI accident victims may be able to recover a variety of damages from the at-fault party, including economic damages for out-of-pocket expenses and any losses incurred, non-economic damages for intangible harm, and sometimes punitive damages for particularly reckless behavior. Some examples of economic damages include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and property damage. Examples of non-economic damages include disability, disfigurement, scarring, and pain and suffering. A precise calculation of your damages will depend on the nature of your accident.Consult a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Schaumburg or Wheaton
If a drunk driver has hit you or someone you love, you should speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At the Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg drunk driving accident attorneys are committed to protecting the interests and financial future of victims and their families. We also represent people in areas such as Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, Mt. Prospect, and Arlington Heights. For more information about your specific case, call our attorneys today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online for a free consultation.