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High Cost of Chicago DUI Accidents

April 18, 2018

With spring break followed closely by high school and college graduation, preventing drunk driving accidents will be a heavy focus for law enforcement and safety advocates.

Illinois drunk driving accidents are among the most complex and devastating cases a Chicago injury law firm can handle. While liability may be clear, in many cases, injury and loss are severe. Determining the full extent of present and future losses and identifying all responsible parties – and their associated insurance carriers – are critical steps to assisting victims and their families in recovering damages.

Illinois Drunk Driving Accidents: Serious and Fatal Injuries

Teens are among those at highest risk and spring always proves the deadliest time of the year for young drivers.

Jacob Smith’s recent blog at DriveitHOME™ illustrates the life-changing impact of DUI crashes. Smith was traveling home from a leadership conference in a school vehicle that was hit head on by a drunk driver. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and a broken back, among other serious injuries.

He urges parents to talk to their teens this spring and remind them that death is only one possible result of a serious motor-vehicle collision. Life-long impairment and disability are also common.

Liability and Damages in Chicago Drunk Driving Crashes

These are tragic cases and often involve multiple victims who were close friends or relatives of the parties affected. Even in such cases, injury victims are entitled to damages. Timely consultation with an experienced law firm is critical.

Illinois auto insurance law requires drivers to carry a minimum insurance premium of $25,000 injury or death per person and $50,000 per accident. In many cases, these limits are woefully inadequate to compensate a victim for his or her losses. Particularly in cases with multiple victims, early consultation with an experienced law firm is the best thing a family can do to protect their rights.

Identifying all responsible parties (for example, in the case above, the school district may share blame as Jacob Smith’s accident occurred in a school vehicle) and the status and limits of all associated insurance policies is often critical to making an adequate recovery.

Illinois’ Dram Shop Act may be another means of identifying liable parties. The act:

“creates a cause of action against owners of businesses that sell liquor, and also against lessors or owners of the premises on which the liquor is sold, for physical injury to a person, for injury to tangible property…”

Under Illinois law, it is enough to prove the vendor supplied the alcohol that caused intoxication.

In the event of a crash caused by an impaired driver, you should consult with an experienced Chicago auto accident attorney who can discuss your options and help you obtain compensation.