If a Drunk Driver Caused Your Car Accident Injuries, Call a Cook County Car Accident Lawyer Today.
According to research from Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, the Chicago Police Department made 3,395 DUI arrests in 2013. The Illinois State Police made an additional 9,30 DUI arrests during the same year. With nearly 10 DUI arrests happening per night in Chicago, drivers need to know how they can protect themselves after drunk driving causes a car accident. A Cook County car accident lawyer can help secure financial compensation.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly increases the risk that an accident will cause injury or death. In 2013, 991 people died in automobile accidents. Of those, 317 were killed in crashes that involved alcohol. That indicates that alcohol contributes to nearly one-third of the state’s crash fatalities.
These statistics raise serious concerns about the safety of sober drivers. Given the rather high rate of DUI arrests and accidents in Chicago and the surrounding area, it makes sense for drivers to know how they can pursue financial compensation in civil court. Having an experienced lawyer could make a big difference in the amount of money victims receive.
Common Injuries Caused by DUI Accidents
Driving under the influence makes it difficult for people to operate their vehicles. Depending on the driver’s level of intoxication, he or she may:
- Fall asleep at the wheel;
- Miss traffic signs and signals;
- Swerve out of the traffic lane; and
- Drive at reckless speeds
This can lead to serious injuries that may result in long-term disability or death. Some of the common injuries victims of DUI accidents sustain include:
- Extensive bruising;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Broken or fractured bones;
- Whiplash; and
- Herniated disks
Accident victims should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even victims who do not show signs of injury should visit a nearby emergency room since some injuries are internal and difficult to notice without a medical exam.
Preparing for a DUI Injury Lawsuit
If you’ve been hurt in a drunk driving car accident, you will need to pursue compensation in civil court. This process happens outside of criminal court, although a criminal conviction may support your case.
Having the proper documents and evidence can help secure the financial compensation you deserve. When you contact your Cook County car accident lawyer, it often helps to have:
- Copies of the police report;
- Copies of your medical evaluation and hospital bills;
- The contact information of eyewitnesses; and
- The name, contact information and insurance information of the drunk driver
If you do not have these items, your lawyer can help get the evidence you need.
Pursuing Financial Compensation after an Auto Accident
Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations for injuries caused by auto accidents. Victims must start their lawsuits within two years of the accident. Waiting even one day too long will force the court to dismiss your case. That makes it nearly impossible for victims to get the compensation they deserve.
You and your lawyer will need to name defendants when filing your lawsuit. The lawsuit will almost always name the drunk driver as a defendant. Other defendants in the case might include your insurance company and the drunk driver’s insurance provider. The defendants named in the suit will depend on the details of your case.
If someone died from injuries sustained in the accident, someone will have to represent that person’s estate. Talk to your lawyer about whether you or someone else should represent the estate.
Civil suits involving drunk driving accidents are quite common, but details make each case unique. Contact Buttafuoco & Associates to learn more about how you can pursue compensation after an accident. Compensation often includes money that covers lost property, medical expenses and lost wages as well as your pain and suffering.