Over the past several decades, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs has gone from an extremely dangerous but somewhat commonplace act to a serious and strictly enforced criminal offense nationwide. Even with years of warnings about its dangers and severe penalties awaiting them if they get hurt, far too many people in Illinois still choose to drive drunk—an immensely irresponsible act that sometimes has life-changing repercussions.
When you are injured in an auto accident that you believe a drunk or high driver was to blame for, you likely have grounds to demand civil compensation from them. Our skilled auto collision attorneys at The Kryder Law Group could provide vital help with your case. No matter what injuries you suffered or what types of losses you need to recover from after a drunk driving car accident in Palatine, our legal team could give you the guidance you need to obtain the financial restitution you deserve.
What Counts as “DUI” Under State Law?
In Illinois and every other state and territory in the country, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater is considered unlawful drunk driving. More specifically, this is considered per se driving under the influence (DUI), meaning someone can be charged with DUI automatically just for being measured with a BAC that high. Police officers can also arrest and charge people for DUI if they suspect they are “impaired” to any extent by alcohol and drugs. Officers can determine an individual’s level of impairment based on the person’s driving behavior, performance in field sobriety tests, and other relevant evidence.
It is worth emphasizing, though, that the outcome of criminal proceedings stemming from a drunk driving car crash in Palatine has no direct bearing on a civil claim based on that same accident. In fact, since civil and criminal cases have different “standards of proof” applicable to them, it may be possible to hold someone civilly liable for driving drunk and causing a collision resulting in injury even if they are not convicted criminally or even charged at all with DUI.
Proving that Someone Else was Drunk Behind the Wheel
Since drunk driving is against the law, anyone who engages in this behavior has “breached” the duty of care they owe to everyone on the road around them. That means, any wreck an intoxicated driver causes through their misconduct would open them up to civil liability for ensuing injuries and losses based on their legal negligence. Sometimes, proving that someone was “negligent” in the context of a drunk driving auto accident claim in Palatine is as straightforward as pointing out that they were arrested and charged with drunk driving in the aftermath of the wreck.
However, not everyone who drives drunk will necessarily face criminal charges over it, and it can be very helpful either way to have additional evidence on hand to prove it is more likely than not that their intoxication directly caused your injuries. Our experienced car accident attorneys at The Kryder Law Group could help you track down and preserve things like witness statements, debris and photos from the crash scene, purchase records from bars or liquor stores, and surveillance camera footage showing that someone was impaired while driving.
A Palatine Attorney Could Help Sue Over a Drunk Driving Car Accident
Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car while drunk is putting themselves and everyone around them in harm’s way, and they can and should be held responsible for any harm their actions cause to anyone else. Unfortunately, knowing someone else was driving drunk and proving that to a civil court’s satisfaction can be two very different things, as any experienced auto collision lawyer could tell you.
If you want a good chance at a positive case result in the wake of a drunk driving car accident in Palatine, you should make contacting and retaining seasoned legal counsel your top priority. Call today for a consultation.