While the holiday season may be the most festive time of the year, holiday parties mean an uptick in drunk driving accidents on our roadways. The U.S. Department of Transportation says 781 Americans were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in December of 2016, and an average of 300 people die in DUI crashes between Christmas and New Year’s annually.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver, you have multiple legal options to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In order to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you should secure representation from a skilled attorney.
Drunk Driving Accident Negligence
In any auto accident, law enforcement officers who respond at the scene typically assess who was at fault by establishing negligence. While proving negligence can sometimes offer a challenge to investigators, in drunk driving cases, determining fault becomes much clearer and quicker.
DUI accidents usually fit under an Illinois’ policy known as “negligence per se,” which presumes negligence when an individual violates a safety law in an act that causes injury to another person. It is extremely difficult for someone guilty of DUI that caused bodily harm to overcome that presumption in court.
Negligent Entrustment of an Auto
If someone loans their motor vehicle to an individual who is then involved in a crash which occurred while they were intoxicated, the vehicle’s owner can be sued for negligent entrustment, which states it was their fault for giving the automobile to an incompetent party. The owner can be found liable for a victim’s injuries and ordered to pay damages.
Illinois Dram Shop Law
If an individual who caused a drunk driving collision was over-served at a bar, restaurant, or other business, Illinois’ Dram Shop Act allows victims of the crash to sue that establishment. It is not necessary to prove negligence, only that the business knowingly served the person and that the accident and injuries were due to those actions.
Contact a Wheaton, IL DUI Injury Attorney
Around 30,000 DUI arrests are recorded in Illinois every year, and many of these incidents involve significant injuries to innocent drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. If an impaired driver caused an accident that injured you or a loved one, trust an experienced DuPage County car accident injury lawyer at Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 630-462-1980 for a free consultation.