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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe vast majority of personal injury cases revolve around the concept of negligence. The term "negligence" refers to a party’s failure to act with an appropriate level of care. Anyone driving on public roads has a duty to drive responsibility and avoid injuring other drivers or pedestrians. An individual who drives with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more is breaking the law by driving under the influence (DUI). If a drunk driver causes an accident in which someone was injured or killed, the driver can be considered “negligent per se” and held legally responsible for the damages caused by the accident.

Understanding Negligence Per Se

In a typical personal injury claim, the injured individual and his or her legal counsel have the burden of proving how the defendant’s actions or inactions caused the injury. Generally, to win a personal injury case, the plaintiff must show:

  • The defendant had a “duty of care” to the injured person.
  • The defendant failed to uphold the duty of care.
  • The plaintiff was injured.
  • The plaintiff’s injury was caused by the defendant’s failure to uphold his or her duty.

Personal injury claims involving illegal actions like driving under the influence of alcohol are slightly different. “Negligence per se” refers to actions which are negligent because they break the law. If you bring a personal injury claim under the umbrella of negligence per se, you must only prove that that defendant broke the law and that the violation of the law caused your injury. Under the doctrine of negligence per se, a defendant is considered negligent if the following elements are present:

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Lake County DUI lawyerUnderage drinking tends to rise in May and June due to graduation parties and other celebrations that mark the end of the school year. Unfortunately, intoxicated minors often make risky choices, which can result in catastrophic injuries from falls or car crashes. These young people may injure not only themselves but also other people, particularly in drunk driving accidents. These accidents can cause substantial financial and emotional damage as well as physical injury. Everyone looks for someone to hold liable for these damages.  

Most people have heard of dram shop laws, which make a licensed liquor seller who overserves a visibly intoxicated customer financially liable for injuries caused by that impaired customer, typically in a drunk driving crash.

What many people do not realize is that Illinois also has a set of social host liability laws that apply to parents and other adults. In specific situations, an adult who contributes to the impairment of a minor by alcohol or illegal drugs can be held liable for injuries resulting from that minor’s impairment.

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Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Lake County drunk driving accident lawyer

Here in the state of Illinois, every year, thousands of drivers make the reckless and dangerous decision to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drinking during or prior to operating a motor vehicle can severely impact a person’s reaction time, vision, and decision-making. Due to the inherent dangers of drunk driving, law enforcement officers throughout the state are constantly on the lookout for inebriated drivers. 

If you or a loved one were injured in a collision with a drunk driver, you deserve injury compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In the event of an accident, speak with an attorney immediately. 

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Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Lake County Injury Lawyer

On January 21, a Markham woman fatally injured an off-duty Cook County Sheriff's deputy. The accident occurred when the 21-year-old woman was backing out on a busy street and crashed into the 33-year-old deputy’s vehicle. The deputy was quickly rushed to Christ Medical Center, but the medical team was unable to successfully treat his numerous injuries. As authorities arrived at the scene of the accident, the cause quickly became clear: the female driver was drunk and now faces multiple felony charges. 

Unfortunately, in Illinois and throughout the United States, drunk driving remains common. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), more than 300 Illinoisans died in accidents involving drunk drivers during a recent 12-month study. Still, strict enforcement of DUI laws has helped reduce inebriated driving deaths by 43 percent since 1997. 

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Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer

On New Year’s Eve, a 25-year-old woman was arrested on DUI charges after crashing her vehicle into Riverside Brookfield High School. The collision, which occurred around 2:40 a.m., was one of only a handful of drunk driving collisions in the greater Chicago area during the recent holiday season. For law enforcement officials and the public, the low number of drunk driving accidents represented a victory for anti-DUI initiatives. 

Holiday Drunk Driving

The holiday season brings celebrations, and many of those involve the consumption of alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of American adults admit to drinking more during the holidays. It should come as no surprise that more than 33 percent of all December traffic fatalities occur between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

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