As personal injury attorneys in Chicago for many years, we have seen firsthand the devastating effects of accidents involving intoxicated drivers. These types of accidents are completely preventable, yet they continue to occur with alarming frequency.
Drunk driving accidents occur when a driver operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These types of accidents can be caused by a variety of substances, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and illegal drugs.
What the Statistics Show
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 8,024 drunk driving crashes in Chicago in 2019. These accidents resulted in 8,672 injuries and 324 deaths.
In terms of demographics, men were disproportionately more likely to be involved in drunk driving accidents in Chicago. In 2019, 83% of drunk driving fatalities in the city were male.
Drunk driving accidents in Chicago also disproportionately affected people of color. In 2019, 48% of drunk driving fatalities in the city were Black or Latino.
Despite severe criminal penalties for DUI in Chicago, drunk driving accidents continue to occur for a variety of reasons. Some possible explanations include:
- Lack of education: Some people may not fully understand the risks and consequences of drunk driving and may not realize the impact that alcohol or drugs can have on their driving ability.
- Social norms: In some social circles, drinking and driving may be viewed as acceptable or even expected behavior.
- Impairment: Alcohol and drugs can impair judgment, which can lead people to underestimate the risks of drunk driving.
- Substance abuse: Some people may struggle with substance abuse issues, and may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors like drunk driving.
- Repeat offenses: Some people may be repeat offenders and may continue to engage in drunk driving despite facing severe consequences.
In order to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents, it’s important to address these root causes and take steps to prevent drunk driving. This can include things like increasing education and awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, implementing stricter DUI laws, and enforcing existing traffic laws. It’s also important to provide resources and support for those struggling with substance abuse issues, in order to help them overcome these challenges and make safer choices.
Drunk driving accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, depending on the severity of the accident and the speed and size of the vehicles involved. Some common injuries sustained in drunk driving accidents include:
- Head injuries: These can range from minor concussions to more severe brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries: These can result in paralysis or other permanent physical limitations.
- Fractures: These can occur in any bone and may require surgery or other medical treatment to heal.
- Soft tissue injuries: These can include bruises, sprains, and strains, and may result in pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
- Internal injuries: These can range from minor bruising to more serious injuries such as organ damage.
In addition to physical injuries, there may be emotional trauma and financial losses associated with the accident. Of course, drunk driver accidents can and far too often do also result in fatalities. This is why it’s important to seek legal representation if you or someone you love has been involved in a drunk driver accident. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Damages You Can Claim
In an Illinois drunk driving accident injury claim, you may be able to claim a variety of damages, depending on the circumstances of your case. Some common types of damages that may be available in an Illinois drunk driving accident injury claim include:
- Medical expenses: These can include costs associated with hospital stays, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and other medical treatments.
- Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be able to claim lost wages for the time you were unable to work.
- Pain and suffering: This type of damage is designed to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.
- Punitive damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be available in drunk driver accidents in Illinois. These types of damages are designed to punish the defendant for particularly reckless or negligent behavior, and are meant to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
It’s important to keep in mind that the specific damages that may be available in an Illinois drunk driving accident injury claim will depend on the specifics of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your options and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Why Hire a Chicago Drunk Driver Accident Lawyer
There are several reasons why it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your drunk driving accident case. Some of the top reasons include:
- Expertise: An experienced personal injury attorney has the knowledge and skills to navigate the legal process and fight for your rights. They can help you understand your options and the likelihood of success and can work to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
- Resources: A respected personal injury attorney will have the resources to build a strong case including access to expert witnesses, investigators, and other professionals. This will also help you maximize your chances of success.
- Representation: An experienced personal injury attorney will work diligently to obtain the evidence necessary for your case to be successful, will represent you in court, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Competent representation is critical to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Support: A good personal injury attorney will be a valuable source of support and guidance throughout the process. They can help you understand what to expect and can provide emotional support during a difficult time.
Overall, hiring an experienced Chicago DUI lawyer to handle your drunk driving accident case is a no brainer. Doing so can help you get the compensation you deserve and can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the process.
If you have been involved in a drunk driver accident in Chicago, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Together, we can fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.