Despite efforts by law enforcement authorities and legislators nationwide to discourage people from driving under the influence, hundreds of thousands of drivers each year make the unfortunate choice to drive drunk. Intoxicated driving results in more than ten thousand deaths per year and almost 300,000 injuries per year.
If you were hurt in a drunk driving car accident in Bloomington, you could have grounds to file suit against the person responsible for that wreck and seek substantial compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer could confidentially explain your options to you and work diligently on your behalf to maximize your compensation for your injuries.
Does a DUI Charge Result in Civil Liability for a Wreck?
No matter what specifically leads to an auto accident in Illinois, the legal basis for a civil lawsuit is almost always an allegation of legal negligence. A person is negligent if they violate a duty of care owed to someone else and, as a direct consequence of that careless act , cause an accident to occur that results in damages to an injured party.
In addition to obeying traffic laws and paying attention to their surroundings, the duty of care applicable to everyone who operates a motor vehicle in Illinois requires them to remain physically capable of driving safely within their reasonable ability to do so. This means that if someone is in physical control of a vehicle while they are drunk, high, or impaired by prescription or over-the-counter medicine, they are breaching the duty they owed to the other people involved in the collision.
Accordingly, if an accident occurs involving the intoxicated individual, they would likely be found at fault for ensuing injuries and losses caused by their decision to drive under the influence. A qualified Bloomington attorney could explain in further detail how liability works in cases based on drunk driving car accidents, as well as help collect relevant evidence of fault like police reports, surveillance footage, witness testimonies, and even receipts from restaurants or bars showing recent consumption of alcohol by the defendant.
Recovering Damages in Bloomington
After establishing that a drunk driver was at fault for a motor vehicle accident, a person injured in that wreck could hold the negligent driver accountable for their accident related damages. Compensable damages include both economic and non-economic losses. Specific damages that a plaintiff could potentially recover in a DUI car crash claim in Bloomington include:
- Costs of past and future medical treatment
- Lost current and future wages
- Disfigurement and disability
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Car repair/replacement expenses
- Physical pain and suffering and mental anguish
Furthermore, if the court hearing this kind of case decides that the defendant engaged in willful and wanton behavior, they may impose punitive damages against the defendant specifically as a punishment for their egregiously reckless actions. However, these damages generally only play a role in rare situations.
Talk to a Bloomington Attorney After a Drunk Driving Car Accident
After a collision with a drunk driver, reviewing your legal options may understandably take a backseat to addressing your injuries and reshaping your life around this unexpected incident. However, with help from a legal professional, you could focus on your and your family’s needs while still protecting your financial best interests through a comprehensive settlement demand or lawsuit.
Speaking with an attorney should be a high priority after a drunk driving car accident in Bloomington. Call today for a free consultation.