To operate a motor vehicle safely, one must think clearly, reason responsibility, and maintain muscle coordination. Alcohol consumption weakens all of these functions. Any injury caused by a car accident can be devastating and the injuries caused by a drunk driving accident are often preventable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly half of the vehicle fatalities in Illinois involve alcohol. Unfortunately, drunk driving is even more prominent during the summer months.
Illinois Drunk Driving Accidents
Across the nation, summer accounts for the highest level of drunk driving-related fatalities. This increase in deadly accidents makes it imperative to understand the dangers of drunk driving. Because alcohol can weaken the driver’s attention and control of the vehicle, the resulting injuries tend to be much worse. Impaired drivers may swerve, speed or even drive the wrong way on a highway, potentially leading to a head-on collision.
As drunk driving accidents remain prevalent, law enforcement has taken steps to discourage this behavior. One combative strategy includes sobriety checkpoints, allowing officers to check drivers for impairment at highly visible locations.
Damages a DUI Accident Victim May Recover
If you have been harmed in a drunk driving accident, you should immediately seek medical attention. Car accidents can result in injuries that are not always apparent. You will then want to contact the police, making sure to explain your suspicions of the other driver’s intoxication as the officer will need reasonable grounds to perform a field sobriety test. The police report, along with the hospital visit, can act as supporting evidence for a future insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If an intoxicated driver is convicted of DUI, the driver is likely to face criminal penalties and fines. However, criminal penalties do not provide restitution to the accident victims. A personal injury claim may help victims recover compensation for their damages.
There are several sorts of damages you may be eligible to receive after being injured in a drunk driving accident.
Economic damages such as medical expenses or property damage
Noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering
Punitive damages which are specific to car accidents caused by grossly negligent or intentionally malicious actions
There are also several manners in which an individual may pursue these damages.
You may pursue compensation through the drunk driver’s insurance policy, assuming the negligent driver carries insurance.
In the case that the drunk driver does not have sufficient insurance, a crash victim may pursue an uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage under their own insurance policy.
As a drunk driving accident victim, you may also bring a claim against the establishment that supplied the driver with the alcohol.
Contact a Schaumburg Car Accident Attorney Today
Tragically, drunk driving remains a persistent issue, and many people are affected by this every day. An Arlington Heights personal injury attorney can use your collected evidence to protect your rights and fight for your compensation in court. Contact Newland & Newland, LLP today by calling 847-797-8000 for a free consultation.