As upsetting as it is to hear, many car accidents are caused by intoxication. This includes individuals in alcohol-involved accidents, where the driver was drunk, or when the driver was under the influence of drugs. In Illinois, along with other states, there are specific laws to hold drivers accountable when they injure or kill someone because they drove under the influence. Beyond this, individuals who are injured by a drunk driver can bring a personal injury suit—both to recuperate financially from their injuries and the things they have missed out on, while also holding the driver responsible.
Recently, in Chicago, a man injured six people when driving under the influence of drugs. The man was driving on I-90 in Chicago when he rear-ended another vehicle on the shoulder of the road. This car then slammed into the concrete barrier, and another vehicle could not stop in time and collided with this car. Six people, including two toddlers, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the first vehicle, who was intoxicated when the accident occurred, has been charged with driving under the influence, operating an uninsured vehicle, improper lane usage, and failure to reduce speech to avoid an accident.
Even in cases where a person is criminally charged after a motor vehicle accident, individuals injured—or killed—in the accident can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Personal injury lawsuits hold the driver financially responsible, while criminal charges can lead to jail time or other penalties.
In personal injury lawsuits in Illinois, the injured party—the plaintiff—must prove that but not for the other driver’s actions, they would not have been injured. When the other driver, the defendant, was intoxicated, this can often be easier to prove. The plaintiff can introduce evidence about the driver’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash, which helps to show the contribution of their intoxication. It is important to note that in Illinois, a person injured in a car accident must bring the lawsuit within two years of their injury. Otherwise, they are barred from bringing the suit.
In certain cases, the injured person can go after more people than just the responsible driver. If an alcohol vendor supplies alcohol to someone they know to already be intoxicated and they wind up injuring someone, the vendor can be sued too. This is more difficult to prove but is an option in certain personal injury lawsuits.
It can be difficult to physically and emotionally recuperate after a car accident involving an intoxicated driver, but this should not deter individuals from bringing a personal injury lawsuit. Those people harmed in these situations should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago car accident where the driver was under the influence, contact the attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Our passionate and skilled attorneys have years of experience dealing with complicated legal issues—including intoxicated drivers—so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. For a free consultation, call our office today at 312-924-7575 or sign up using our online form today.