Pursuing Compensation After an Illinois Car Accident Involving a Drunk Driver
It is illegal in all states to operate a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yet, this does not stop people from doing just that. Driving while you are intoxicated increases the chance that you will get into a car accident and unfortunately, DUI-related traffic accidents are common in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,500 deaths caused by drunk driving accidents in 2018, accounting for around 29 percent of all traffic deaths that year. Even if you are not killed in a drunk driving accident, you can be seriously injured. The state of Illinois gives you a few options when it comes to pursuing compensation after a drunk driving accident.The Illinois Dram Shop Act
In Illinois, it is possible to pursue compensation from different responsible parties. Not only can you pursue compensation from the drunk driver themselves, but you may also be able to pursue compensation from the establishment that served the driver his or her alcohol. The Illinois Liquor Control Act (also known as the Dram Shop Act) is the legislation that allows bars, restaurants, and other establishments to be held liable for damages and injuries caused by a drunk driver that they served.Pursuing a Case Under the Dram Shop Act
In order to prevail in a case where you are holding an establishment responsible, you are required to prove certain elements. The burden of proof lies with you, meaning you must convince the court that the establishment was responsible. To do this, you must prove the following is true:
- The driver was intoxicated at the time the crash occurred.
- The driver was intoxicated from alcohol that was served to them at the establishment.
- The accident was caused by the fact the driver was intoxicated.
- You suffered injuries or a loved one was killed because of the accident.
There is only so much compensation that you can claim from an establishment if they are found to be partially responsible for a drunk driving crash. The Illinois Comptroller sets the limits each year for the amount that can be claimed in cases under the Dram Shop Act. If you file a case claiming someone was injured or killed or your property was damaged, you can claim no more than $70,091.09. If you file a claim stating you have lost the means of support because of the death or injury of another person or yourself, you can claim up to $85,666.89.A Tinley Park Car Accident Injury Attorney Can Help Your Case Be Heard
If you have been injured in a car accident or you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a drunk driver, you should contact a Cook County car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we understand how difficult dealing with car accident injuries or the loss of a loved one can be. Our compassionate attorneys are here to help you throughout your case so you can gain the most compensation available. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.