Open 24/7 for a FREE Consultation

Trial Attorneys
Drunk Driving Injuries Attorney

No Legal Fee Until You Settle or Win

Drunk Driving Injuries Attorney

bigstock-Do-Not-Drink-And-Drive-Drunk--452408621-min

Thousands of drunk driving car accidents occur in Illinois each year. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), 47% of Illinois car accident fatalities involve alcohol.

When a person chooses to drive while drunk in Illinois, they have no regard for the safety of others. At Nessler & Associates, our drunk driving accident lawyers hold negligent drivers accountable for driving while intoxicated and don’t take pushback from aggressive insurance companies that try to deny or reduce what you are owed.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a driver under the influence of alcohol, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, and even the wrongful death of a loved one.

About Drunk Driving Accidents

The National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration reports that 32 people die in drunk driving accidents every day; that is one person every 45 minutes. These accidents cost the U.S. $44 billion annually.

Underage drinking is a factor in a quarter of fatal accidents involving teen drivers. One in five children under the age of 14 killed in auto accidents is killed in drunk driving crashes. Drunk drivers are four times more likely than sober drivers to have a past DUI conviction.

Drunk driving is a misdemeanor, and convictions impose stiffer penalties for each offense, ranging from small fines to jail time, mandatory minimum fines, and community service. Convictions result in stiffer penalties if the driver’s blood alcohol content is twice the legal limit or if the driver has children under 16 in the car. The at-fault driver may be charged with aggravated drunk driving if:

  • The driver has two previous DUI convictions
  • The driver is operating a school bus with one or more passengers
  • The driver’s actions cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person
  • The driver has a previous conviction for reckless homicide related to substance abuse
  • The driver causes a crash in a school zone while the speed limit is 20 and causes bodily harm
  • The driver has no license or a suspended license
  • The driver knows the vehicle isn’t covered by liability insurance
  • The driver has a previous DUI conviction and has a child under 16 in the car
  • The driver causes bodily injury to a child under 16 in the driver’s car
  • The driver is transporting people in a vehicle for hire

Aggravated drunk driving is a felony, and subsequent convictions carry stiffer penalties.

How Alcohol Impacts the Ability to Drive

Alcohol impairs the brain’s functions. The higher the concentration of blood alcohol content, the higher the degree of impairment. The following are functions necessary for driving that alcohol impacts most.

Judgment

Alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs cognitive processes. This impairment means the driver can’t react to conditions around them and might be more prone to road rage.

Reaction time

Alcohol is classified as a depressant, and it slows your ability to react to changing conditions or emergencies.

Coordination

Alcohol intoxication affects your hand/eye/foot coordination. This impairment of motor skills can cause a driver to brake or accelerate improperly.

Comprehension

The impaired driver loses the ability to evaluate the situation around them and react accordingly. They might become confused by road signs or unable to read them.

Vision

Alcohol causes eye movement to be less coordinated than usual and can affect depth perception. Double vision and dizziness make attempting to drive hazardous.

A drunk driving accident attorney will ask you questions about the driver’s behavior at the accident scene. You may be able to observe some of these effects.

bigstock-Car-Accident-933780-min

Drunk Driving Legal Procedures

When a police officer arrives at the accident scene, they assess everyone for injuries before asking each person what happened. If they suspect a driver of drinking, they will follow procedure to gather evidence.

Who is considered a drunk driver?

Drivers of passenger vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, lawnmowers, tractors, scooters, mopeds, and bicycles can be considered drunk drivers if they are found to be intoxicated. The legal limit for alcohol is 0.08, which means you can’t legally drive if your blood is more than 0.08% alcohol. A blood alcohol content above 0.04% results in a DUI for commercial drivers.

Signs of impaired driving

You may suspect another driver of being intoxicated if you notice any of the following signs.

  • Swerving
  • No turn signal
  • Extremely fast or slow driving
  • No headlights
  • Failure to obey traffic signs and signals

Field sobriety tests

Police will conduct field sobriety tests to determine whether the driver is intoxicated. Common field tests include:

Nystagmus

Officers ask the driver to follow their finger looking for nystagmus or the driver’s inability to control eye movement.

Coordination

Officers will ask the driver to perform tests that require a high degree of motor control. These might include a one-leg stand test and a walk-and-turn. If coordination is impaired, they will suspect intoxication.

Breathalyzer

A breathalyzer tests the alcohol content in exhalation vapor. It is a quick and accurate way to determine if a driver is drunk. It doesn’t test for any other substances.

Medical treatment

If cops believe the driver to be intoxicated but not by alcohol or not just alcohol, they will take them to the hospital for a blood test.

Any injured person should seek immediate medical treatment to determine the severity of injuries and make proving the cause of injuries easier during the drunk driving accident claim process.

Accident report

The police will document the scene, interview all the witnesses, make diagrams, and compile all the necessary information in an accident report. This police report is essential for your claim.

Consequences and Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents

Drivers who ingest alcohol, marijuana, prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or illicit drugs that affect their ability to drive safely are liable for drunk driving accidents—driving while intoxicated is considered a negligent or reckless act.
These drivers can be charged with a crime and sued in civil court.

While the driver bears primary liability, the Illinois dram shop laws hold bartenders and servers liable for injuries and property damage caused by overserved patrons. In some cases of drunk teen drivers that were willfully allowed to consume alcohol, those adults might share liability.

Drunk driving accident cases may be brought against intoxicated drivers and, in some cases, the responsible parties who served them. However, the at-fault driver is the only one who will face jail time if the case is brought to criminal court.

Legal Options for Drunk Driving Victims

Drunk driving accident victims have two options for getting financial compensation for their injuries. They can hold the drunk driver liable by filing a claim with the driver’s insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit. People who have lost a loved one to a drunk driver may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Hiring a drunk driving attorney can help you get fair monetary compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer will know how to calculate a fair settlement based on financial losses, like medical bills, ongoing medical care, property damage, and lost wages.

They can also calculate non-economic damages like emotional distress, loss of ability to participate in everyday activities, and loss of ability to return to work following your accident.

In some accidents caused by a drunk driver, your lawyer may also help you pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages seek to hold the driver responsible for their actions and deter other people from driving while intoxicated.

Most non-economic damages are won after severe injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, organ damage, and severely broken bones. Injuries that affect your cognitive abilities, personality, and mobility negatively impact your life and are compensated accordingly.

bigstock-Emergency-crew-removing-a-vict-15688721-min

Hold Irresponsible Drunk Drivers Accountable for Their Actions

If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact Nessler & Associates. We will fight to get you compensation for medical expenses caused by a drunk driving motor vehicle accident, alongside non-monetary losses and punitive damages. We will seek to hold all at-fault parties accountable for your pain and suffering.

Nessler & Associates has been handling personal injury claims for more than 35 years. We aggressively pursue the maximum compensation our clients deserve, and we will do the same for you.

Contact a drunk driving attorney at Nessler & Associates at (800) 727-8010 for your initial free consultation and get fair compensation for your accident injuries and hold the alcohol-impaired driver liable.

Drunk Driving Injuries Attorney Near You

Personal Injury

Have You Been Injured?

Learn more about the legal services our team of injury lawyers provides.

The first step is to either call our office or submit a form.

We are standing by and ready to help.

HAVE A QUESTION FOR US?

First Name(Required)
Last Name(Required)

We've Secured Million Dollar Results

$3.5Million Awarded

in this medical negligence/ educational negligence action involving a 76 year-old victim of medical malpractice. The victim suffered severe a neurological and neuro-systemic injury after the radiologist implemented an incorrect contrast medium during myelogram.

$2.1Million Awarded

in a case where a bicyclist was struck by a state vehicle. The driver of the state vehicle had negligently taken his eyes off of the roadway to retrieve an object from the vehicle’s floor.

"A few years ago a drunk driver hit me so hard it flipped the car and broke my elbow. So I called the lawyers here and they got me the money I needed to get the surgery I needed to save my arm. Faster than thought was possible. I may not be able to move it today without their help."

- Matt

"Nessler & Associates are fair, honest and excellent at what they do to help people. I highly recommend them."

- Walt

$1.7Million Awarded

in a product liability case which involved a defectively designed seat belt in a vehicle. The victim suffered partial paralysis.

$1Million Awarded

in a slip and fall on ice outside a restaurant in Springfield, Illinois. The ice accumulated by reason of negligently routing water from a downspout.

$15 Million Collected

in a catastrophic injury case involving a 13 year-old plaintiff who suffered permanent brain injury in a rollover crash. There were negligent acts alleged of several Defendants.

$1.1 Million Awarded

in a case stemming from the death of a minor who fell into a mobile home park’s sewage treatment lagoon. An offer of $50,000 was made prior to trial.

$3.5 Million Awarded

in a medical negligence case due to the failure to appropriately diagnose stroke symptoms, resulting in severe and permanent disability.

$3.1 Million Awarded

in aggregate, to childhood victims of sexual abuse by a member of the Clergy.

$3.5 Million Awarded

in aggregate, to victims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

$1 Million Awarded

to minor victims of sexual abuse by a daycare worker. The daycare was charged with negligent hiring and retention of an employee.

$1.65 Million Awarded

in a medical negligence case due to a birth trauma, to a baby in delivery, resulting in significant cerebral palsy.

Awards

MDAF_logo
top_100_logo
NTL-top-40-member-logo
mmdaf_logo
Super-Lawyers-Logo-0311
TWS+ASLA+2015-Top-100-1024x791
workerscompchampaign-IL
ITLA+logo_blue
illinois state
av preeminent
Call Now Button