Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Springfield, IL
Did a Drunk Driver Cause Your Car Accident in Illinois? Call Our Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Springfield, Illinois for Help
Drunk driving is one of the most preventable causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States and in Illinois. Unfortunately, statistics reveal that drunk driving continues to happen and is even increasing in certain parts of the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year roughly 12,000 people are killed in traffic accidents involving a drunk driver or impaired driver. This means that drunk driving kills approximately 32 people each day and accounts for almost one-third of all traffic fatalities when considering all causes of crashes. Right here in Illinois, statistics demonstrate that there were roughly 1,200 total traffic accidents involving a drunk driver which resulted in over 250 fatalities. These state statistics place Illinois higher than the national average when it comes to the percentage of alcohol-related traffic fatalities as compared to all traffic fatalities. If you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver, call the experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Springfield, Illinois for help at (217) 414-8889.
Here at the Noll Law Office, their lawyers offer FREE consultations and case evaluations to personal injury accident victims and their families. This allows victims to ask questions and get answers related to their crash and their right to compensation under Illinois law, without having to pay anything upfront. In fact, the experienced drunk driving accident lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office also only get their fees paid after they recover compensation for you or a loved one in a settlement, verdict, or another type of award. That means there is also no risk to beginning working with their bodily injury law firm. To learn more about your rights to compensation, call to schedule your free case evaluation.
Why You Need to Hire a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Instead of Just Any Other Type of Car Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving accidents are different than regular car accidents. Although some people (and lawyers) may consider drunk driving cases to be “slam dunks,” they are not. There are many different pitfalls that could affect how a case unfolds and what compensation a victim may be entitled to.
This is notable because there is a criminal case that can affect what happens in the civil case. The criminal case is brought by the People of the State of Illinois and is brought against the defendant for violating the law. The defendant is facing criminal penalties which include incarceration, fines, and other related penalties. Because of this, a defendant has certain constitutional rights such as the right against self-incrimination.
Thus, in a civil case brought by the victim of a drunk driving car accident, the defendant may “plead the fifth” or refuse to give deposition/EBT testimony until the criminal case is concluded. That means that the victim may not be able to proceed with his or her civil case until the criminal case is resolved. It may also limit what evidence a victim may be entitled to receive and inspect before the criminal case is resolved.
If an inexperienced lawyer tries to push the civil case forward anyway, these issues could limit liability and damages that a victim may be entitled to. Therefore, it is very important that a victim of a drunk driving accident in Illinois call and hire an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Springfield, such as one of the lawyers at the Noll Law Office who understand both criminal law and personal injury law.
Common Types of Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois
A driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time can be affected by alcohol consumption. This can, in turn, affect many different facets of operating a motor vehicle. This includes not just safe operation, but also following signage and roadway markings, staying in lane, and remaining alert for hazards on or off the road.
Some of the most common types of accidents caused by drunk drivers in Illinois include:
- Head-on collisions, particularly when the driver passes out or falls asleep at the wheel, veering into oncoming traffic
- Alcohol can reduce a driver’s vision, ability to judge distance, and reaction time, which can often cause rear-end collisions.
- Impaired drivers may not see a pedestrian, particularly at night. When a pedestrian is hit, he or she may suffer catastrophic injuries or death.
- Wrong-way accidents can occur when an impaired driver is unable to comprehend traffic signs.
- Rear-end collisions, particularly when driving too fast, following too closely, or failing to brake in time.
- Improper left turns, especially at stop sign intersections where drivers must yield the right-of-way.
- Sideswipe accidents, since drunk drivers have trouble gauging distance.
- Highway and multi-lane accidents where drunk drivers have difficulty staying in lane.
Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident in Illinois
Generally, under Illinois law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if the driver’s BAC is .08 percent or higher. The exceptions to that are for commercial drivers who must maintain a BAC under .04, and for drivers under the age of 21 who must maintain a BAC of zero. This is codified into statutory law or legislatively-made law. A drunk driver that violates this law may be found automatically liable under the doctrine of negligence per se.
The doctrine of negligence per se is a legal shortcut for a victim of a drunk driving accident. This doctrine allows a personal injury victim to take the violation of a statute and use it to establish fault. In order to do this, the statute must be one which was meant to protect the victim from the very harm that occurred. In a drunk driving accident, the Illinois drunk driving laws are meant to protect victims from accidents with drunk drivers. This means that the doctrine of negligence per se is usually applicable in these types of cases.
But it is important to realize that, even where a defendant is not above the legal limit, he or she may still be liable for a drunk driving accident under the common law (or judge-made law). This is because a driver could still be found to be driving with ability impaired. A defendant who is driving with his or her ability impaired is below the legal limit but still showing that he or she should not be driving a car. Some signs include swaying, slurring words, lacking coordination, poor balance, and other factors which demonstrate that he or she is intoxicated. Because this is both a factual and credible assessment as to whether a defendant is showing signs of intoxication, victims need to hire an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Springfield to represent them.
Common Personal Injuries in a Drunk Driving Accident
A drunk driving accident—like any vehicle collision—can injure any part of your body. Whether you were in another vehicle or a passenger in a drunk driver’s vehicle, there are many different types of personal injuries that a victim could sustain in a drunk driving accident. Some of these injuries may cause temporary disability, whereas other injuries may result in permanent, disabling, and even catastrophic or life-threatening injuries.
Some of the most common types of personal injuries include the following:
- Brain injuries including TBIs, concussions, and other head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs), including paralyses such as paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Broken bones or fractured bones
- Back injuries or neck injuries
- Amputations or the loss of a limb or limbs
- Significant scarring, disfigurement, or burn injuries from a fire or explosion
- Dislocations or separations
- Joint injuries, including to the knee, hip, ankle, wrist, elbow, or shoulder
- Internal organ injuries and damage
- Crushing injuries
- Torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- Wrongful death, and
- Other serious or catastrophic personal injuries that should be reviewed by the experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Springfield at the Noll Law Office.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Injured by a Drunk Driver?
If you are able, you should contact the police and call 911. You should also take photographs and videos of the accident scene, road signage, debris, and other relevant aspects of your injuries and accidents. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you should obtain medical attention for your injuries. Then, it’s important to speak to a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer in Springfield who is experienced in helping drunk driving accident victims. The lawyers at the Noll Law Office will know what to do to protect your future and help you rebuild after this devastating event.
What is the Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim Process?
If the impaired driver has insurance, you will file a claim for damages. In most cases, your attorney will handle this claim, negotiating a fair settlement. Your attorney will help you submit a comprehensive claim that covers your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring, and more. If the claim is denied, or “low-balled,” the next step is to file suit. The experienced drunk driving accident lawyers in Springfield, IL at the Noll Law Office are experienced, local attorneys who are able to litigate the case on your behalf.
Do I Have a Drunk Driving Accident Injury Claim?
Most likely, yes. The Noll Law Office will help you determine whether you have an injury claim. As a drunk driving accident victim, you may be able to file a claim against the driver and/or his or her insurer. If they were uninsured or did not have insurance to cover your injuries the Noll Law Office may be able to file an uninsured or underinsured claim through your own insurance policy. The attorneys at the Noll Law Office work to solve your problems while keeping you up to date so you understand what is happening. They have consistently achieved positive outcomes for their clients following accidents caused by the negligence of others.
What Is My Car Accident Injury Worth Following a Drunk Driving Accident in Illinois?
The extent of your injuries and the circumstances of your accident will determine the damages you are entitled to receive. Medical expenses (current and future), lost wages (current and future), and pain and suffering make up a large portion of the compensation you can expect. You may also be entitled to lost wages and lost future earnings. In some instances, you and your family (particularly your spouse) may be entitled to loss of consortium, which is the loss of society, friendship, and relationship caused by an accident.
How Can the Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office Help Drunk Driving Accident Victims in Illinois?
Drunk driving accident victims are in a very vulnerable place, requiring immediate legal assistance. The attorneys at the Noll Law Office understand these are extremely trying times. You will work directly with an experienced, local attorney throughout the claim process who will be available when you need them. It is always free to speak to them about your accident and they do not charge you unless they are successful. Contact the Noll Law Office today to learn more about how they can help you and your family.
Case Illustration of a Drunk Driving Accident in Illinois
Drunk driving causes many accidents that lead to serious injuries and death. While those who drink never intend to cause an accident, accidents occur quite frequently. Drunk driving accident victims need serious assistance—and they need it quickly. Consider the following case illustration of a drunk driving accident:
Zoe, a paralegal at a local law firm, meets friends at a local tavern after a long, stressful work week. Zoe has several drinks, enjoying her friends and feeling her stress melt away. When it is time to leave, several friends offer to drive Zoe home. Believing she is not “drunk” and unwilling to have to pick up her car in the morning, Zoe elects to drive herself home. Her home is not far, and it is very late, so she thinks there won’t be much traffic.
On the way home, Zoe accidentally knocks her sunglasses off the seat. She bends down to pick them up, and when she looks back at the road, she is in the wrong lane with another car headed toward her. Although Zoe jerks the wheel, her response time is dulled by the alcohol. The two cars collide, and Sandra, who is driving the other car, is seriously injured.
Sandra is rushed to the hospital where she is diagnosed with a brain injury, multiple broken bones, and damage to her liver and spleen. Zoe has minor injuries and is arrested for DUI and booked at the local jail. Sandra will spend the next weeks, months, and years recovering from her injuries and trying to reclaim her life. Zoe will probably be prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol.
If you, like Sandra, have suffered a serious injury due to a drunk driver in Central Illinois, you need competent, experienced legal assistance. Holding the drunk driver responsible for your injuries is crucial to getting the help you need to recover. The attorneys at the Noll Law Office will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.
If You Were Hurt in a DUI Crash, Call Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Springfield, IL
The experienced drunk driving accident lawyers at the Noll Law Office provide free consultations and offer personalized, dedicated, and experienced legal representation to victims and their families. They will not settle your case just to churn and burn your file like some other largest law firms in Illinois will do. Nor will they farm out your file across Illinois to a new associate. Rather, the personal injury lawyers at the Noll Law Office handle their cases in-house. You can call their office to discuss your case with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney in Springfield that is actually handling your case – not some paralegal or young associate.
To learn more about how the Noll Law Office can help you and your family, please call to schedule your FREE consultation. They can help you and your family recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact the Noll Law Office today.