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Negligence Per Se in Illinois Drunk Driving Accidents

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

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:

  • The defendant violated a public safety statute.
  • The statute is intended to protect the plaintiff.
  • The statute is designed to prevent the plaintiff’s injury.
  • The defendant’s violation of the statute caused the plaintiff to sustain the injury.

Pursuing Compensation for Damages Caused by a Drunk Driver

Drunk driving causes the death of approximately 29 people every day in the United States. In 2016, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in accidents involving an impaired driver and thousands more were injured. Individuals who choose to get behind the wheel of a car when they are over the legal limit should be held responsible for the damage they cause. Through a personal injury claim, a drunk driver may be required to compensate you for damages like medical expenses and hospital bills, lost wages, your pain and suffering, and more.

Contact a Waukegan, Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

To learn more about how a “negligence per se” personal injury claim can help you recover damages after a car accident, contact an experienced Lake County car accident attorney from Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. Schedule a free, confidential consultation by calling us at 847-662-3303 today.





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