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IL DUI lawyerYou probably already know that drunk drivers can be held liable for the harm they cause after an accident. Pursuing compensation from the drunk driver’s insurance company or the drunk driver personally is always an option after a DUI crash. However, you may have another option. Illinois has what are called “dram shop laws.” “Dram shop” is an outdated term for any establishment that serves alcohol on the premises, like bars and clubs. Under dram shop laws, you may be able to pursue compensation from the establishment that served the drunk driver who hit you. These laws are on the books both to hold drinking establishments responsible for overserving people who then go on to injure others due to their intoxication, and also to provide the victims of drunk drivers with an additional source of potential compensation. An attorney can help you understand how dram shop laws may impact your case.

What do Illinois’ Dram Shop Laws Say?

Generally, dram shops laws state that if an establishment serves alcohol to an individual who then goes on to hurt others due to his intoxication, the establishment can be held liable. To recover compensation from a drinking establishment, you will need to prove a few things. First, you must be able to show that the establishment sold or served alcohol to the drunk driver. This can be established by witness testimony, or by proof of a transaction.

Showing that the alcohol the defendant was served caused him to become intoxicated can be a little trickier. The bar may try to argue that the defendant kept drinking after he left, or did not drink enough there to become intoxicated. Witness testimony may play a major role.

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Signs That a Driver Is Impaired By Drugs

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

IL injury lawyerRight after a car accident, you may be under stress and not thinking clearly, especially if you are hurt. Even so, you will probably still notice immediately if the other driver is under the influence of alcohol. Drunk drivers typically smell like alcohol and may be stumbling or slurring their words. But what if the other driver is impaired by a drug other than alcohol? This may be less apparent, especially when you are still reeling from a crash. If you suspect that the driver who hurt you is intoxicated, you should mention this to the police when they take a report. Then, you should call a qualified attorney as soon as you can.

What Are Some Signs That a Driver is Impaired by Drugs?

Unlike a drunk driver, a driver who is “high,” or under the influence of another drug may be slightly less obvious. While alcohol - and cannabis - have distinctive smells that are easily recognizable to most people, this is not the case for all drugs. Prescription pain pills, for example, have no odor. Here are some signs that a careless driver may be under the influence of a drug:

  • Drowsiness - Drivers who were simply tired from lack of sleep or a long day usually seem wide awake after a crash. A driver who was using drugs will still appear drowsy, or even appear to be falling asleep after a crash.
  • Excessive Agitation - While it is not uncommon for sober drivers to be angry after a crash - even if they caused it - a driver who has been using stimulants, such as methamphetamine or cocaine, may seem excessively agitated or jumpy. Always keep your safety in mind when dealing with a person who is acting aggressively towards you.
  • Eyes and Nose - A lot of different things can cause red eyes and a runny nose, but combined with other signs of intoxication, this could indicate recent drug use. Some drugs cause pupils to dilate or shrink. Also, beware of drivers who are wearing sunglasses when it is cloudy or dark out - they may be concealing their eyes for a reason.
  • Resists a Police Report - An intoxicated driver may seem desperate to stop you from calling the police to come take a report because they fear being arrested for DUI. Police officers are trained to recognize signs of drug impairment and may notice signs the average person would miss. An intoxicated driver may even try bribing you to not call the police - do not accept. Always insist on filing a police report.

Call a Lake County Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured by a driver who may have been intoxicated, you should call a lawyer as soon as you can. The experienced attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. will work to determine whether the other driver’s impairment contributed to the crash. The sooner you speak to a Waukegan car accident attorney after a car crash, the better the evidence can be preserved, and the stronger your case could be. Call 847-662-3303 today for a free consultation and find out what kind of compensation you may be entitled to.

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IL injury lawyerDrunk driving accidents often result in catastrophic consequences. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol, you may be exploring your opportunities for financial compensation. You may already know that you have the option of bringing a claim against the at-fault driver. However, you may not be aware of an Illinois law that allows an injured person to bring a personal injury claim against a bar or restaurant. Under Illinois dram shop liability laws, you may be able to recover compensation by suing the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol.

Illinois Dram Shop Liability Laws

Illinois’ Dram Shop Act, also called the Liquor Control Act, allows a person injured by the actions of an inebriated person to bring a claim for damages against the bar, restaurant, or other establishment that served the intoxicated person alcohol. To bring a claim under dram shop laws, you and your attorney will need to prove that:

  • The establishment sold alcohol to the at-fault driver and the driver consumed it.
  • The alcohol provided by the establishment was the cause of the driver’s intoxication.
  • The driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
  • The injuries you sustained were caused by the driver’s intoxication.
  • You sustained damages as a result of the accident such as property damage, medical bills, or lost wages.

Personal injury claims brought under dram shop laws are most likely to be successful if it can be demonstrated that the establishment knew or should have known that the driver was already intoxicated when he or she was served alcohol.

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Waukegan drunk driving accident attorneysDriving under the influence of alcohol is against the law in all 50 U.S. states, but, unfortunately, many people choose to drive while intoxicated anyway. Sadly, nearly 30 people die every day in the U.S. in alcohol-related traffic accidents and many more are seriously injured. If you have been injured or you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore your options for compensation.  

When is an Intoxicated Driver At-Fault for an Accident?

The majority of personal injury claims involve a party who was negligent or reckless in some way. It is typically up to the claimant and his or her attorney to prove that the responsible party’s negligence caused the claimant’s damages. However, in most drunk driving accidents, the intoxicated driver faces criminal DUI charges and could be presumed to have been negligent. If the person who hit you was arrested, charged with, and convicted of DUI, the presumption is created that the driver was acting negligently. You will only need to prove that he or she violated a public safety statute that is intended to protect you and that this violation caused your injuries. It is important to note that a successful personal injury claim is still possible even if the driver was not formally charged with driving under the influence.

What Types of Damages Can I Collect?

The term “damages” is used to describe the compensation awarded to injured people and their families in a personal injury case. If you were seriously hurt in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your emergency room/hospital bills, ongoing and future medical treatment, lost income, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and more. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, as well as compensation for your own losses.

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st-patricks-day-drunk-driving-dangers.jpgIn just over two weeks, thousands of Illinois residents will flock to pubs and bars to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, some of these revelers will inevitably choose to drive home under the influence of alcohol. Because St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking days of the year in many communities, it is also one of the most dangerous days to be on the road. Sadly, it is estimated that a person loses his or her life in an alcohol-related car accident every 37 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day and countless more are injured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds St. Patrick’s Day partiers to arrange for a designated driver, taxi, rideshare, or other safe means of transportation if they plan on drinking.

Personal Injury Claims Against a Drunk Driver

People involved in drunk driving accidents may suffer broken bones, spine and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and more. These injuries can leave a person with enormous hospital bills and ongoing medical costs. The injured person may even be permanently disabled and never regain the quality of life he or she had before the accident. When a drunk driver causes an accident and someone is hurt or killed, a personal injury claim may help the injured person or surviving loved ones collect compensation for their damages. Civil claims for damages can be brought in concurrence with criminal DUI charges.

Dram Shop Liability Laws in Illinois

Illinois law also allows a person hurt in a drunk driving accident to pursue a claim against the bar or other establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol. Successful dram shop liability claims can be difficult to achieve, but they are possible. Four main conditions must be present in order for an injured person to receive compensation through a dram shop claim:

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