In 2009, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., obtained a $33.2 million personal injury verdict on behalf of a drunk driving accident victim. It remains the largest verdict in Lake County history.
Based on our experience in this and the many other car accident cases our firm has handled, we have come to understand the horrible impact these crashes can have on victims and their families. We are passionate about seeking justice for them.
If you believe that a driver who was impaired by alcohol caused your crash, contact our firm to speak with a lawyer about your case. We serve clients throughout Chicago and Illinois.
We can help you to understand your legal rights and your options, and we can discuss the steps we can take on your behalf. We are available to provide immediate assistance.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Drunk Driving Crash?
Under Illinois law, a driver is deemed to be too impaired to drive if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at 0.08 percent or higher. Additionally, it is illegal in Illinois for anyone under age 21 to drive with any trace of alcohol in their system.
If a driver violates either of these laws and causes a crash, he or she can be considered “negligent per se.” In other words, the driver’s violation of the law establishes that the driver is at fault.
The driver can, in turn, be held responsible for any losses the driver causes others to suffer in a crash. This includes the harm caused to other motorists, pedestrians or his or her own passengers.
However, studies show that a driver with a BAC lower than 0.08 can still be dangerous to others on the road. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drivers typically exhibit impaired judgment, coordination and alertness with a BAC of 0.05 percent.
So, in some cases, a driver’s liability can be established by showing how his or her alcohol consumption led to careless driving, such as swerving or crossing the center line.
Can Other Parties Be Held Liable In A Drunk Driving Crash?
The drunk driver isn’t the only party who may be held responsible for a drunk driving crash.
For instance, under Illinois’s dram shop law, you may be able to sue the bar, restaurant or store that served alcohol to the intoxicated driver who caused your crash.
However, your recovery from this establishment would be limited by a “statutory cap.” Also, you would need to file your claim within one year from the date of the accident. (Typically, you would have two years from the date of the crash to bring a claim under Illinois law.)
In some cases, you may also be able to sue anyone who provides alcohol to a minor (a person under age 21) who causes your car crash. These are commonly called “social host liability” cases.
Finally, if the drunk driver who harmed you or a loved one was working at the time of the crash, the driver’s employer could also face liability.
Contact Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
You deserve compensation if you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver. The drunk driving accident attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., will investigate your accident and pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.