Drunk driving is still, unfortunately, a big problem in Chicago and the suburbs. If you were hurt in a car accident and the other driver was drunk, you might be wondering if this will be an automatic win in terms of going after the other driver for your injuries. Nothing is automatic and you will need proof not only that the driver of the car was drunk, but also that the accident was the cause of your injuries.
How will it be proven that the driver of the other car was drunk?
If you suspect that the driver was drunk at the time, hopefully the police were called to the scene and resulted in a DUI for the driver. Tests will likely then have been performed at the accident site by the responding officer. Blood tests showing the blood alcohol content are the most reliable in being able to prove legal intoxication (BAC or blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher). Field sobriety tests may have also been done, such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test where the police offer will move an object from side to side and watch the driver’s eyes to see whether or not the object can be smoothly followed, or if the eye movements are jerky which can be an indication of being drunk. In court, the tests must be admitted into evidence and the chain of custody has to be established, in order to succeed. What that means is that it must be shown exactly how and where the evidence was stored from the outset until the time of trial. If you are able to prove that the other driver was drunk in the accident, it will go a long way towards being able to prove that the driver was negligent or careless - a critical factor in all personal injury cases.
What am I entitled to once its been proven that my injuries were caused by a drunk driver?
Once it has been established that the accident was the fault of the drunk driver, your damages will be looked at. Damages are the components of your case that are taken into account when placing a dollar value on your case and include things like your medical bills, out-of-pocket costs like prescription medications, lost time from work, pain and suffering, etc. If you were hurt in a car accident where the other driver was drinking, or you were an injured passenger of a drunk driver, you should speak to an attorney immediately to find out what your rights are and how to best go about making a claim. We can help. Give us a call at O’Connor Cadiz Law for a confidential, no fee strategy session.