Springfield Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Springfield, Illinois

Talk to our car accident lawyers after a drunk driver causes you injury in Springfield

If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you deserve compassionate and dedicated legal representation to help you through this difficult time. Our team of experienced Springfield attorneys understands the devastating impact that drunk driving accidents can have on victims and their families, and we are here to provide you with the support and advocacy you need. We will pursue justice on your behalf, holding responsible parties accountable for their reckless actions and fighting to secure the maximum compensation available for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In one instance, we helped secure a multi-million dollar settlement for a motorcyclist killed by a drunk driver. Talk to us today.

How common are drunk driving accidents in Illinois?

According to the Illinois 2024 DUI Fact Book, driving under the influence is defined as:

…operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, other drugs, including cannabis (marijuana) prescribed for medical purposes, or intoxicating compounds and methamphetamine. In Illinois, you are legally considered to be under the influence if you: (1) have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more; (2) have a tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis) concentration (THC) of either 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of other bodily substance; (3) have used any other controlled substance; or (4) are impaired by medication.

They also report the following statistics regarding DUIs in 2022:

  • 292 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes (23% of total 1,268 crash fatalities)
  • 21,203 people were arrested for DUI
  • 91% of all drivers arrested for DUI lost their driving privileges
  • 86% of all DUI arrests are first-time offenders

What kinds of injuries result from drunk driving accidents?

Drunk driving accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries, varying in severity from minor to fatal. Some common injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents include:

  • Head injuries: These can range from concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), leading to long-term cognitive impairments.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Severe crashes can damage the spinal cord, leading to paralysis or other neurological issues.
  • Broken bones and fractures: Collisions can cause bones to break or fracture, ranging from minor to severe depending on the force of impact.
  • Internal injuries: Blunt force trauma can damage internal organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, or lungs, leading to internal bleeding or organ failure.
  • Burns: Fires or explosions resulting from collisions can cause burns, ranging from minor to life-threatening.
  • Emotional trauma: Survivors of drunk driving accidents may experience psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
  • Wrongful death: In the most tragic cases, drunk driving accidents can result in the loss of life for drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved.

These injuries not only have immediate physical consequences but can also lead to long-term disabilities, chronic pain, psychological trauma, and financial burdens for victims and their families.

What’s the difference between a criminal and civil DUI case in Springfield?

A criminal DUI case is brought by law enforcement authorities when a driver (the defendant) is suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If charged criminally, the case is prosecuted by the government. The focus of a criminal DUI case is to determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If found guilty, the defendant may face penalties such as fines, license suspension or revocation, probation, community service, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time, particularly for repeat offenses or cases involving aggravated circumstances.

On the other hand, a civil DUI case typically arises when someone injured by a drunk driver seeks compensation for their damages. In this scenario, the injured party (you, or the plaintiff) files a lawsuit against the intoxicated driver (the defendant) in civil court. The burden of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, usually based on a preponderance of the evidence, which means that your attorney must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that the defendant's actions led to your injuries. If you’re successful, the defendant may be ordered to pay monetary damages to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the accident.

It's important to note that drunk driving can lead to both criminal charges and civil liability. The criminal case addresses the violation of laws aimed at protecting public safety, while the civil case focuses on compensating individuals like you harmed by the defendant's actions. Additionally, while the outcome of a criminal DUI case can influence the civil case, the two are separate legal proceedings with different objectives and standards of proof.

Who is liable for my drunk driving accident injuries?

Potential parties who may be held liable for your injuries in a drunk driving accident include:

  • The drunk driver: The primary party responsible for the accident is typically the intoxicated driver, whose impairment led to the collision. They can be held liable for any injuries or damages resulting from their negligent actions.
  • Third parties: Depending on the situation, however, other parties may also share liability. For example, if the drunk driver was overserved alcohol at a bar or restaurant before the accident, the establishment might bear some responsibility under Illinois dram shop laws.
  • Vehicle owner: If the intoxicated driver was operating a vehicle owned by someone else (such as a friend or family member), the owner of the vehicle could potentially be held liable under certain circumstances, particularly if they knowingly allowed an impaired individual to drive their vehicle.
  • Employer: In cases where the drunk driver was operating a vehicle for work purposes at the time of the accident, their employer might be held liable under the legal principle respondeat superior, which holds employers responsible for the actions of their employees while on the job.
  • Auto manufacturers or maintenance providers: If a mechanical failure or defect in the vehicle contributed to the accident or exacerbated the injuries, the manufacturer or those responsible for maintenance could potentially be held liable.

Determining liability in a drunk driving accident can be complex, and it often requires a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Consulting with our qualified personal injury attorneys can help you understand your legal options and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

What’s the value of my Springfield drunk driving accident claim?

While it's difficult to provide an exact value without knowing the specifics of your case, some key factors that influence the value of a drunk driving accident claim include:

  • Medical expenses: This includes your past, current, and estimated future medical costs related to injuries sustained in the accident. Expenses may cover emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, therapy, and ongoing medical care.
  • Lost income and earning capacity: If the injuries resulted in missed work, reduced earning capacity, or inability to work in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and diminished earning potential.
  • Pain and suffering: This includes non-economic damages such as physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the accident and injuries.
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement: If the accident led to permanent disability, disfigurement, or loss of limb, you may be entitled to additional compensation to account for the long-term effects on your quality of life.
  • Property damage: This is compensation for the repair or replacement of damaged property, including your vehicle and any personal belongings inside it at the time of the accident.
  • Punitive damages: In cases of particularly reckless or egregious behavior on the part of the drunk driver, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future.
  • Other damages: This may include expenses related to home modifications for disability, transportation costs, loss of consortium, and other tangible and intangible losses resulting from the accident.

It's important to note that every case is unique, and the value of your claim will depend on the specific details of your situation and the severity of your injuries. Consulting with an experienced Springfield car accident attorney can help you assess the value of your claim and pursue fair compensation for your losses.

Glisson Law Team Members

Springfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers on your

If you've been injured in a drunk driving accident, our team of dedicated Springfield drunk driving accident attorneys understands the complexities of these cases and is committed to providing you with compassionate guidance and aggressive representation every step of the way. At Glisson Law, we will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident, gather evidence to support your claim, and work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Don't wait to seek justice for your injuries and losses – contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and take the first step towards securing the compensation and closure you need to move forward with your life. Call or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.