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Drinking and driving is a crime, and it can lead to dangerous and deadly accidents. Although drivers know this, some still carelessly choose to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Different amounts of alcohol lead to different levels of impairment, but even the smallest impairment can lead to a crash. Other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists on Chicago’s roads face the risk of injury when they share the road with a drunk driver.
Severe injuries from a drunk driving accident sometimes force accident victims to miss work because of hospitalization and recovery. The lost income creates a financial burden for many households, especially as medical bills pile up. In the worst cases, drunk driving accident victims suffer permanent injuries that prevent them from returning to work.
If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving accident, a Chicago drunk driving accident lawyer can review your case and advise you on your legal options. Illinois law permits you to bring a claim against the drunk driver who harmed you to recover damages related to your injuries.
Contact one of our Chicago car accident lawyers at Zayed Law Offices today for a free consultation to discuss the details of your Chicago drunk driving accident, your injuries, and how they affected your life.
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Zayed Law Offices’ Results in Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Claims
The seasoned legal team at Zayed Law Offices has advocated for injured clients for more than a decade, including those who have suffered preventable injuries in Chicago drunk driving accidents. The firm’s ample experience in the negotiation, settlement, and litigation of accident injury claims has led to the recovery of millions of dollars from settlement agreements and court-awarded damages.
Case results range from $100,000 to more than $500,000, depending on the situation. However, we cannot guarantee a particular financial outcome for your Chicago drunk driving accident claim. Each accident injury claim has underlying facts and circumstances that impact its total value. You can count on the Chicago drunk driving accident lawyers at Zayed Law Offices to aggressively pursue the maximum compensation commensurate with your drunk driving accident injuries.
Chicago Drunk Driving Accidents Cause Severe Injuries
Some drunk driving accidents are minor fender-benders, and those involved walk away without injuries. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many drunk driving accident victims face moderate to severe injuries in one or more areas of the body. Major drunk driving accidents typically lead to complex claims that often require an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer. Examples of drunk driving accident injuries we handle at Zayed Law Offices include:
Many fractures heal entirely and do not lead to permanent injuries or disabilities, making them unlikely to be the source of an accident injury claim. However, some drunk driving accident victims suffer from multiple fractures or crushed bones.
Multiple broken bones, especially in a concentrated location, or certain types of breaks require one or more corrective surgeries. Doctors use screws, plates, and other surgical devices to reconstruct the bone, allowing new bone to grow. Although surgery can repair and restore lost function, some victims face lifelong discomfort. If you’ve broken bones in a drunk driving accident, it’s best to consult with a lawyer, especially if you’ve had surgery.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
All traffic accidents force a person’s head to move upon the impact of the crash. The faster vehicles travel when the drunk driving crash occurs, the more a person’s head moves. This sudden jolt can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, drunk driving accident victims also face a TBI from hitting their head on the windshield, dashboard, or seat in front of them.
Severe traumatic brain injuries lead to lifelong complications with cognitive functions, memory, communication, emotions, and more. In the most extreme cases, a drunk driving accident victim might fall into a coma or a permanent vegetative state (PVS). If you or someone you love suffered a TBI in a Chicago drunk driving accident, the legal team at Zayed Law Offices can help you take action against the drunk driver responsible for the injury.
Neck injuries are among the most common accident injuries. The same force that leads to a TBI also impacts the neck. Soft tissue damage, such as sprains and strains, is common after an accident. In minor crashes, soft tissue injuries often heal independently without intervention.
Major drunk driving accidents can impact the neck and cause more severe injuries, such as torn muscles or ligaments. A drunk driving accident can also fracture neck vertebrae and cause damage to the discs between the vertebrae. These severe injuries often require surgery. Even after surgery, many accident victims experience ongoing headaches, migraines, and pain in their necks and shoulders.
Severe traffic accidents, including those involving drunk drivers, often force bodies into a range of unnatural positions upon impact. Exact movement varies depending on the speed at which the crash occurred, whether victims were wearing seatbelts, whether airbags were deployed, the location of someone inside a vehicle, and the type of vehicle.
These movements can lead to debilitating back injuries such as broken vertebrae, severe soft tissue damage, and herniated discs. Even after surgery, those who suffer back injuries often find it challenging to find a comfortable position. Pain management becomes a permanent part of life for coping with injuries, making it difficult, sometimes impossible, to return to work.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is a neck or back injury, but its seriousness deserves special treatment. Unlike other cells in the body, spinal cord cells do not regenerate. Minor bruising of the spinal cord or swelling along the spinal column can lead to loss of functions for someone.
However, once a bruise heals, or swelling subsides, many regain lost function. More severe spinal cord injuries typically lead to permanent damage that causes permanent paralysis. The location of the injury along the spinal cord determines the paralyzed area of the body. Injuries that occur closer to the brain result in the most loss.
An injury in the part of the spinal cord that runs through the neck often results in tetraplegia, paralysis from the neck down. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a drunk driving accident, a Chicago drunk driving lawyer can help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering and costly medical treatment.
Severe drunk driving accidents sometimes cause amputation. This is especially true when a dangerous head-on crash occurs at high speeds. The speed upon impact sometimes crushes a driver’s and/or passenger’s limbs under a seat, dash, or steering column.
Crushed limbs have lost some or all blood flow. Sometimes paramedics or emergency room doctors can restore blood flow to the affected limb. However, if too much time goes by, doctors have to make the difficult decision to amputate to save an accident victim’s life. Failure to amputate a dead limb allows infections to spread through the body, ultimately leading to death.
Losing a limb comes with massive physical and emotional struggles. Amputees must cope with physical pain, and many face multiple challenges as they learn to use a prosthetic device. Additionally, amputation comes with a lifetime of costly doctor visits and physical therapy. Taking legal action after an amputation caused by a drunk driver can help provide funds for this lifelong care.
Third-Party Liability in Chicago Drunk Driving Accidents
If a drunk driver causes an accident, Illinois permits you to bring a lawsuit against the driver to recover damages. However, depending on the situation, you could have cause to bring a lawsuit against a third party. Illinois law allows drunk driving accident victims to bring a claim against an alcohol vendor who supplied alcohol to the drunk driver who harmed you. Vendors include bars, restaurants, nightclubs, liquor stores, and other places that sell alcohol throughout Chicago.
In some states, drunk driving accidents can bring a claim against social hosts who provide alcohol at a party or another type of social gathering. Illinois protects social hosts.
If the drunk driver who caused your injuries was drinking at a party or social event, you likely do not have a claim against the person or people who served alcohol. However, a third-party adult could be liable for damages if they pay for a hotel room for minors who consume alcohol, and one gets behind the wheel and causes an accident.
Compensation for Damages After a Chicago Drunk Driving Accident
If you sue the drunk driver and/or the vendor who served alcohol to the driver, you could receive compensation for damages from a settlement or court-awarded damages if you win your case. The actual damages you receive compensation for depends on the economic and non-economic loss you suffered due to your drunk driving accident injuries.
Examples of common damages that could result in compensation include:
- Medical treatment costs, including ambulance service, emergency room treatment, hospital stay, surgery, radiology, lab testing, follow-up visits, prescription medications, and transportation costs to and from the hospital/doctor
- Estimated future medical expenses if a Chicago drunk driving accident causes a permanent injury requiring continued medical treatment or long-term care in a nursing care facility or at home
- Rehabilitation costs, including specialized treatment such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, mental health services, or another specialized treatment that helps drunk driving accident victims face the physical and mental challenges associated with the accident and their injuries
- Lost wages from missing work due to the accident, hospitalization, treatment, and recovery
- Estimated future lost wages or lost earning capacity if drunk driving accident injuries prevent a victim from returning to their job or seeking gainful employment in the future
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse, if applicable
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Punitive damages in drunk driving accidents involving gross negligence, awarded to punish the defendant and deter future reckless behavior
If you suddenly lost a loved one because of fatal drunk driving accident injuries, you might recover losses related to their death by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver and/or the third party responsible for the accident.
Family members eligible to bring a lawsuit could recover some damages above and receive additional money for funeral expenses and cremation or burial costs if they win their case. Wrongful death claims also compensate family members for damage to relationships that occur because of the death of their loved ones.
For example, surviving children sometimes receive money for loss of parental support. Similarly, surviving spouses sometimes receive compensation for loss of companionship. Your Chicago drunk driving accident lawyer at Zayed Law Offices can answer any questions you have about bringing a wrongful death lawsuit after the death of a loved one.
A Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
The award-winning personal injury attorneys at Zayed Law Offices understand the challenging decisions you need to make in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. We can handle the details of your case, such as investigating the drunk driving accident, gathering relevant evidence to support your case, obtaining witness statements, and securing experts to testify on your behalf.
We want to build the strongest case possible against the drunk driver who caused your injuries to help you seek justice and receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Our dedication to client service and case preparation gives you time to focus on healing from your injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a Chicago drunk driving accident or a drunk driver caused the death of a loved one, you should not have to cope with the economic burden that comes with the physical pain and emotional grief you might be feeling.
Contact Zayed Law Offices at (312) 726-1616 or reach out to us online for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your Chicago drunk driving accident, your injuries, and the way they have impacted your life. One of our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can review your claim and advise you on the best path forward for your circumstances.
Chicago Drunk Driving FAQ
If you have been involved in a car accident involving a personal injury, you can facilitate the resolution of your case by seeking the following information:
- Full name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information of all parties to the car accident
- Observations pertaining to the accident such as whether a driver seemed under the influence of alcohol or if a brake light was out
- The full names, addresses, and telephone numbers for all passengers and pedestrians and potential witnesses
- Location, details, time and date of the car accident
In our legal system, victims of car accidents and car crashes are entitled to:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical expenses
- Future impairment of earning capacity
- Future pain and suffering
A Chicago car accident attorney will be able to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to recover.
After a car accident, you should always see a doctor. It is very common to walk away from a car crash feeling fine only to realize that you have suffered injuries days or months later. Even if you think you are alright, it is essential that you see a medical professional in the event of an Illinois car accident.
It is very common for individuals to “tough out” their injuries in the aftermath of a car accident. Postponing medical treatment can amplify injuries stemming from a serious injury, and a delay in treatment after a car accident can also jeopardize the strength of your personal injury claim.
In the event of a car accident, retaining the help of an Illinois car accident lawyer is an integral part of the recovery process. Attorneys serve as an advocate for your cause and your claim. You can count on an experienced personal injury attorney to look out for your interests at a time when it can be hard to find anyone on your side. However, you can trust an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney to guide you through this difficult time in your life.
If you are involved in a car accident, Zayed Law Offices can help you through every stage of the car accident personal injury process. You can strengthen your car accident case if you:
- Call medical services to the scene if necessary
- Call police
- Get the information of the other driver involved in the car wreck
- Notify your insurance carrier
- Make notes on the details of the accident
- Take photographs of the accident
- Get the information of any possible witnesses
- Stay at the scene of the car accident
Illinois requires that all drivers carry minimum levels of auto insurance. In the event that a motorist does not meet his obligation to carry mandatory car insurance, you can find yourself without financial recourse to redress your injuries. An experienced Chicago personal injury attorney will be able to take action to obtain compensation.
If you have been injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, a Chicago car, truck and motorcycle accident attorney at Zayed Law Offices can help you recover for your losses.
What should I do if I am contacted by the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident?
You should not talk to the insurance company of the person who caused the car accident. Claims adjusters working for insurance companies are experts at mitigating losses and hurting the valid claims of victims. You should retain an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you and counsel you through the personal injury process. Retaining the services of an Illinois car accident attorney will increase your recovery in the event of an injury from a car crash.
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At Zayed Law Offices, we are proud advocates on behalf of our clients’ interest. Our clients are usually going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives when they come to us for representation. Nothing pleases our team more than when our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their case.