CHICAGO DUI ACCIDENT LAWYER
Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
Illinois’ DUI laws are strict. Law enforcement and prosecutors are serious about enforcing them. Yet, every day, people still choose to get behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink. The results of an intoxicated driver’s choices are often devastating for not only themselves, but others using the same roads as them. If you were injured by a drunk driver in Chicago or anywhere in Cook County, reach out to an experienced Chicago DUI accident lawyer at Curcio Law Offices for help.
Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys are committed to holding drunk drivers accountable for their actions and for your injuries. Since our founding in 1957, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients, including many whose lives were forever changed by a drunk driver.
Chicago DWI Injury Claim
After a drunk driving accident, many questions arise for most drunk driving accident victims- What if the drunk driver doesn’t have insurance? How will I pay for the damages in the event that the driver decides to leave the scene of the accident. And most of all, just how did this accident happen?
Our Chicago drunk driving attorneys help clients find answers to all these questions and more.
Through our knowledge of Illinois law, dedication to clients, and thorough investigative skills, our drunk driving accident lawyers are able to get fair compensation for drunk driving victims.
Our team at Curcio Law Offices routinely works with accident reconstructionist and other experts to determine the sequence of events that led to the drunk driving crash. Then, we employ our proven negotiation skills to obtain a favorable settlement on our client’s behalf.
If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to take the personal injury case to trial, in order to get you the most compensation possible for our clients’ DWI injury claim.
A Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Can Cause Serious Injuries
While some drunk driving accidents only cause minor damages to the vehicle, this isn’t normally the case. Most of the time, drunk driving accidents leave victims with moderate to sever injuries in multiple areas of the body.
Major Chicago drunk driving accident accidents lead to complex claims that require the experience of a seasoned drunk driving accident lawyer.
Examples of injuries caused by drunk drivers that we handle at Curcio Law Offices include but aren’t limited to:
- multiple broken bones
- traumatic brain injury
- back or spinal cord injury
- neck injury
Should I Get a Lawyer if I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver in Chicago?
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, it is important that you hire an experienced Chicago drunk driving accident attorney as soon as possible following the accident. Having an attorney who understands Illinois law and how to deal with the insurance company helps ensure that you receive the financial compensation you deserve to cover the physical, emotional, and financial damages you received as a result of another person’s reckless and irresponsible behavior.
Not only will your Chicago drunk driving accident attorney help you get the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries, but they will also take care of the extensive legal process that comes with a drunk driving injury case. For example, we will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene and gather any and all evidence that proves that the actions of the intoxicated driver were the direct cause of your injuries.
Do Insurance Companies Pay for Drunk Driving Accidents?
Assuming the drunk driver carries insurance, an injured plaintiff can make a DWI injury claim for damages against the insurer of the intoxicated driver. This personal injury claim essentially demands compensation for the losses the drunk driving accident victim experienced as a result of the drunk driver. Losses may include damage to property, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
On the other hand, whether a car insurance company pays for their own client’s drunk driving accident damages depends on what was established in their policy agreement. There are some cases where the insurance company will cover their client’s damages, while other times they may deny coverage because their client was engaged in illegal and some might say “intentional”) activity.
How Does the Criminal Case Affect My Personal Injury Claim in Illinois?
A DUI accident differs from other car accident situations because there are often criminal charges brought against drunk drivers. The outcome of a criminal case does not always dictate the outcome of a civil case, though.
In civil court cases such as personal injury claims, the same evidence used in a criminal case can be reused in civil matters. However, the standard of proof required to establish liability is much lower than that for a criminal case. This means that a defendant may be declared innocent in a criminal case, but an Illinois court may force the intoxicated driver to pay damages to the victim in a civil case.
While an innocent verdict in a criminal case doesn’t always entail another innocent verdict in a civil case, a guilty verdict in a criminal case will likely bring a guilty verdict in a civil case. This is because a criminal conviction can add serious additional strength to a personal injury lawsuit.
Illinois Dram Shop Laws
A Bar Overserved the Drunk Driver Who Hurt Me. Can I Sue the Bar?
Yes, drunk driving accident victims are able to sue the bar or establishment that overserved the driver responsible for their injuries. This may be done on the grounds of Illinois dram shop laws.
Unlike in most other states with dram laws, Illinois does not require that the establishment knowingly or negligently overserved the customer. According to Illinois’ Dram Shop Act, found in the 235 ILCS 5/6-21, a drunk driving accident lawyer only needs to prove that the establishment served the drunk driver. And, the driver operated a vehicle while his or her blood alcohol content was over the legal limit and the motor vehicle accident caused or resulted in the victim’s injuries.
To successfully sue the establishment, the plaintiff must be able to prove three things:
- The vendor (bar) served alcohol to the liable party.
- The alcohol sold by the vendor caused or at least contributed to the driver’s intoxication.
- The intoxication was the direct cause of the car crash and therefore, the plaintiff’s injuries.
Compensation for Damages After a Chicago Drunk Driving Accident
If you decide to pursue compensation from the drunk driver, the driver’s employer, or alcohol vendor, under the dram shop law, you could receive compensation for damages from a DUI settlement or court-awarded damages, if you win your car accident case. In some cases you may be able to receive compensation for wrongful death from a car accident.
The damages you receive the compensation for depends on both the economic and non-economic loss that you suffered as a result of the accident that the drunk driver caused.
Examples of damages that could result in compensation include but aren’t limited to:
- medical bills or treatment costs
- future medical expenses
- rehabilitation costs
- lost income or wages
- future lost earning income capacity
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- reduced quality of life
- loss of consortium, if applicable
- scarring and disfigurement
In some cases, an experienced attorney at Curcio Law Offices may push for punitive damages, as well. Because drunk driving accidents normally involve gross negligence, accident victims should hold drunk drivers accountable for operating a vehicle when his or her blood alcohol concentration wasn’t where it should have been.
Experienced Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
The Chicago DUI accident lawyers at Curcio Law Offices understand how life-altering a drunk driving accident can be. That’s why we are committed to building the strongest possible case for each and every one of our clients. We want to help you in your recovery process as well as hold the guilty party responsible for their negligent actions. Call us at 312-321-1111 or reach out online to schedule your free consultation today.