Drunk Driving Accidents

At Coogan Gallagher, our personal injury attorneys fight on behalf of victims of negligence, recklessness, and carelessness. If you or a loved one has sustained severe and possibly life-altering injuries in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact our Chicago drunk driving accident attorneys for a free consultation today.

Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Chicago, IL

Illinois Drunk Driving Laws

In 2016, Illinois saw 272 traffic fatalities in which the driver who caused the accident was over the legal limit for blood alcohol content. This accounts for one quarter of all crash fatalities that year. To say that drunk driving is a problem is an understatement, which is why the state has taken and will continue to take a strict stance on the issue.

Under Age 21

Since 1995, Illinois has upheld a Zero Tolerance Law for individuals who are under the legal drinking age of 21. This means that if any person under the legal drinking age gets caught behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in their system, that person will be charged with a DUI.

Over Age 21

For all other individuals, the law defines intoxicated driving in one of two ways:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .08 percent; OR
  • Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs—or any combination that prevents the driver from reasonably and safely operating the motor vehicle

Illinois law stipulates that even legal consumption of drugs or alcohol does not permit driving under the influence. What this stipulation means is that if a driver consumes alcohol and remains within the legal BAC limits, they must operate with extreme caution and care when behind the wheel of a vehicle. If that person causes an accident and causes harm to another person, the state may still hold them accountable for negligent behavior.

Suing an Intoxicated Driver for Negligence

Illinois allows injured parties to pursue damages sustained in drunk driving accidents via an insurance claim or litigation. If the victim of the accident passed away as a result of accident-related injuries, the surviving family may sue for wrongful death as well.

Potential Damages

Both causes of action—personal injury claims and wrongful death claims—allow claimants to pursue economic and non-economic damages. Some damages you stand to collect from a drunk driving accident claim include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of consortium

Time Limit

In order to file a lawsuit against a drunk driver, you must bring the claim within two years of the incident. Illinois law gives you up to five years to pursue compensation for property damage.

Get Legal Help Today

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, and angry. You have every right to feel this way. Channel your feelings in a constructive manner and pursue the compensation you need and deserve to recover from the devastation the drunk driver caused. Contact Coogan Gallagher to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney today.

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