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Lake County Personal Injury LawyerDrunk driving continues to be a major problem in the Waukegan area and throughout Illinois, leading to thousands of injuries and deaths every year. Although it is against the law, drivers still get behind the wheel when they are too impaired to drive safely.

Many DUI offenders are arrested by police and subject to criminal penalties. However, even if a DUI offender is caught and formally charged, this does not address the harm they have caused to the victims of their reckless behavior.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver or even from the establishment that sold them alcohol. The amount of damages you are eligible for depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the economic losses you have incurred due to medical bills and lost wages, and the effect your injuries had on your life.


Spooky Halloween Drunk Driving Facts

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Lake County Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Halloween can be fun for children, teenagers, and adults alike. Children may look forward all year to the night they dress up in a costume and roam their neighborhoods, collecting candy. Teenagers and adults may look forward to Halloween costume parties, where alcohol tends to flow freely. While “responsible sober driver” may not be the most fun Halloween costume ever, it is essential that a member of each group takes on this role unless public transportation is an option. The combination of drunk drivers and droves of children outdoors after dark can create an extremely dangerous situation. It is almost impossible to avoid drunk drivers around Halloween, as they are everywhere. If you are injured in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver, you are likely entitled to compensation. An attorney can help you pursue the compensation you are due after suffering harm at the hands of a drunk driver over the holiday.

Facts and Statistics About Drunk Driving on Halloween

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for everyone on the roads, largely due to the ubiquitousness of drunk driving. Driving while wearing a mask that obscures one’s vision may be another problem, but drunk driving is generally a far greater danger.


Il injury lawyerThere is a very good reason that drunk driving is against the law - it is incredibly dangerous for everyone on or near the road. Drunk drivers can be incredibly erratic in their behaviors and movements. They may swerve across multiple lanes wildly, drive the wrong way down a one-way city street, or blow through a red light. It is no surprise that accidents caused by unpredictable intoxicated drivers can be very bad indeed. Sober drivers may not even be able to see a drunk driver hurtling toward them until it is far too late to get out of the way. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you will likely be able to recover compensation either through insurance or from the driver themself. An attorney can help you fight for the highest possible settlement.

What Are Negligence Per Se Laws and How Do They Affect Drunk Driving Crash Claims?

Negligence per se laws are a sort of legal shortcut to prove that the person who caused your injuries was negligent. In most cases, you have to prove that the other driver was behaving carelessly when they caused your accident. One way to do this is through negligence per se.

If you can show that the driver who hurt you was breaking a law that was in place to keep the public safe and caused exactly the type of harm that the law was meant to protect the public from, negligence is established automatically. In a drunk driving case, the driver was breaking laws against drunk driving. This law is in place to keep people safe by preventing drunk drivers from crashing into people and hurting them. Because the defendant drove drunk and crashed into you, causing injuries, your lawyer can show that they were negligent per se.


IL DUI lawyerYou probably already know that drunk drivers can be held liable for the harm they cause after an accident. Pursuing compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance company or the drunk driver personally is always an option after a DUI crash. However, you may have another option. Illinois has what are called “dram shop laws.” “Dram shop” is an outdated term for any establishment that serves alcohol on the premises, like bars and clubs. Under dram shop laws, you may be able to pursue compensation from the establishment that served the drunk driver who hit you. These laws are on the books both to hold drinking establishments responsible for overserving people who then go on to injure others due to their intoxication, and also to provide the victims of drunk drivers with an additional source of potential compensation. An attorney can help you understand how dram shop laws may impact your case.

What do Illinois’ Dram Shop Laws Say?

Generally, dram shops laws state that if an establishment serves alcohol to an individual who then goes on to hurt others due to his intoxication, the establishment can be held liable. To recover compensation from a drinking establishment, you will need to prove a few things. First, you must be able to show that the establishment sold or served alcohol to the drunk driver. This can be established by witness testimony, or by proof of a transaction.

Showing that the alcohol the defendant was served caused him to become intoxicated can be a little trickier. The bar may try to argue that the defendant kept drinking after he left, or did not drink enough there to become intoxicated. Witness testimony may play a major role.


Signs That a Driver Is Impaired By Drugs

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

IL injury lawyerRight after a car accident, you may be under stress and not thinking clearly, especially if you are hurt. Even so, you will probably still notice immediately if the other driver is under the influence of alcohol. Drunk drivers typically smell like alcohol and may be stumbling or slurring their words. But what if the other driver is impaired by a drug other than alcohol? This may be less apparent, especially when you are still reeling from a crash. If you suspect that the driver who hurt you is intoxicated, you should mention this to the police when they take a report. Then, you should call a qualified attorney as soon as you can.

What Are Some Signs That a Driver is Impaired by Drugs?

Unlike a drunk driver, a driver who is “high,” or under the influence of another drug may be slightly less obvious. While alcohol - and cannabis - have distinctive smells that are easily recognizable to most people, this is not the case for all drugs. Prescription pain pills, for example, have no odor. Here are some signs that a careless driver may be under the influence of a drug:

  • Drowsiness - Drivers who were simply tired from lack of sleep or a long day usually seem wide awake after a crash. A driver who was using drugs will still appear drowsy, or even appear to be falling asleep after a crash.
  • Excessive Agitation - While it is not uncommon for sober drivers to be angry after a crash - even if they caused it - a driver who has been using stimulants, such as methamphetamine or cocaine, may seem excessively agitated or jumpy. Always keep your safety in mind when dealing with a person who is acting aggressively towards you.
  • Eyes and Nose - A lot of different things can cause red eyes and a runny nose, but combined with other signs of intoxication, this could indicate recent drug use. Some drugs cause pupils to dilate or shrink. Also, beware of drivers who are wearing sunglasses when it is cloudy or dark out - they may be concealing their eyes for a reason.
  • Resists a Police Report - An intoxicated driver may seem desperate to stop you from calling the police to come take a report because they fear being arrested for DUI. Police officers are trained to recognize signs of drug impairment and may notice signs the average person would miss. An intoxicated driver may even try bribing you to not call the police - do not accept. Always insist on filing a police report.

Call a Lake County Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured by a driver who may have been intoxicated, you should call a lawyer as soon as you can. The experienced attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. will work to determine whether the other driver’s impairment contributed to the crash. The sooner you speak to a Waukegan car accident attorney after a car crash, the better the evidence can be preserved, and the stronger your case could be. Call 847-662-3303 today for a free consultation and find out what kind of compensation you may be entitled to.


Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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