DeKalb County Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyers

DeKalb County Drunk Driving Car Accident LawyersCar accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how careful you are as a driver. Unsafe conditions, vehicle malfunctions, and distracted driving can all contribute to an accident. Any car accident can have severe consequences, but some of the most difficult are caused by drunk drivers. These accidents often cause significant injuries and impact the lives of the victims in countless ways. If you have been injured as the result of a DUI accident, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced DeKalb County drunk driving car accident lawyer can make the personal injury claim process easier to complete.

Personal Injury Law in Illinois

Personal injury law is the practice area that applies when an individual is injured and another person or entity is at fault. This can include cases such as slip and fall, wrongful death, and car accidents. There are strict laws and regulations in place to ensure that personal injury claims are handled properly.

Some of the most important aspects of personal injury law to be aware of in Illinois include:

  • Statute of Limitations: This is the limit that is in place for how long after an accident you can file a claim for compensation. In Illinois, you have two years following a car accident to file a personal injury claim. You also have five years to file a claim for property damage.
  • Damage Caps: If you have been injured or dealt with any type of loss following an accident, you are entitled to compensation. This compensation is referred to as damages. It could be used to compensate for medical bills, pain and suffering, or any other damages deemed appropriate. In many states, there is a cap on the amount of damages an individual can receive. However, Illinois currently has no cap on personal injury claims.
  • Fault System: This is the system that is used to determine who will file a claim following a car accident. An individual who was injured as the result of a car accident has three options when seeking compensation:
    • They can go to court and prove the other person was at fault.
    • They can get compensation from their own insurance company.
    • They can seek compensation from the other party’s insurance provider.

    Many people choose to file an insurance claim first to avoid a court case. However, it is important to understand that the legal option is available if necessary.

There are many aspects of personal injury law that can be difficult to understand. Working with an experienced DeKalb County injury attorney can make it easier, regardless of the type of injury claim you may have.

Common Personal Injury Cases

Injuries can happen at any time and under nearly any circumstances. No matter how careful you are, it is possible to be injured at work, at home, or while you are out in public. In many cases, injuries are purely accidental. However, in certain circumstances, another party is at fault. If so, you may be entitled to compensation. These cases are considered personal injury cases.

There are many types of claims that could be considered personal injury. Some of the most common claims are:

  • Slip and Fall: These cases involve an individual being injured by a fall that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Something may have been spilled in a store and not cleaned up, which caused someone to slip. A step was broken and not properly prepared, which caused an individual to fall down the stairs. In these instances, another person’s negligence led to a slip and fall injury. This could lead to a personal injury case.
  • Wrongful Death. This may be one of the more difficult claims to deal with from an emotional standpoint. In these cases, an individual’s death was caused by the negligence of another person. In some cases, wrongful death involves improper medical care, while in others it is the result of a car accident. The family of someone who died because of someone’s failure may have a personal injury claim.
  • Work Injuries: Injuries at work can happen to anyone. However, they are more frequent in jobs that require more physical labor, such as construction. Work injuries could be purely accidental, like when there is an equipment malfunction or some construction material falls. In other cases, it is the direct result of someone’s failure to act. Unsafe working conditions, improper safety equipment, or a lack of a safety plan that led to an injury could all be grounds for a personal injury claim.
  • Car Accidents: These are some of the most common personal injury cases. Car accidents can be caused by many different things. Distracted driving, reckless driving, excessive speed, and not paying attention to traffic signals are some of the most common things that cause car accidents. Another frequent reason for car accidents is drunk driving, which can be particularly deadly. A car accident that injures someone could be grounds for a personal injury claim.

Some accidents are unavoidable, even if you are as careful as possible. This is especially true for car accidents. If you drive as carefully and attentively as possible, you may still be struck by another driver. Those who drive under the influence are particularly at risk of causing these accidents. Drunk driving car accidents do not only have a significant impact on the life of the driver. They also affect the lives of the others involved in the accident.

The Impact of a Drunk Driving Car Accident

If you have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, there are likely countless ways that it has impacted your life. You may experience impacts to your health, your career, and your financial stability. Some of the most significant ways that a drunk driving accident can impact your life are:

  • Physical Impacts: Car accidents are jarring and can leave you in pain long after the accident is over. Some injuries are minor, such as bruises or soreness on your body. Others are much more serious, like broken bones or cuts that require stitches. You may face weeks or months of recovery to ensure that your body is healing well and able to function at its highest capacity. In other cases, you may face an injury that permanently alters the way your body is able to move and function. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, the time required to physically recover will likely be significant.
  • Legal Impacts: If you have been injured due to a drunk driving accident, you may choose to pursue legal action against the person who hit you. You may also have to be involved in a court case of some kind. This requires a significant commitment of time, attention, and energy. If you are simply involved in a court case, there will be times that you have to appear in court or submit certain information to the courts. If you are pursuing legal action yourself, there will also be a significant financial commitment as you complete the necessary legal processes. These challenges may be more difficult to face. You will also have to relive and recount the events of the accident multiple times before the case is completed.
  • Work Impacts: Following a drunk driving accident, you will likely need time away from work. In some circumstances, this time away is minimal if the accident was not severe. You may need a day or two off work to rest and recover. While taking minimal time away from work is ideal, it can still create frustration and a heavier workload when you return. In other cases, however, severe injuries could cause you to be out of work for weeks or even permanently. If you are unable to do the work you did prior to the accident, you may also be forced to find a new career path. These frustrations could also lead to financial strain. In other cases, however, severe injuries could cause you to be out of work for weeks or even permanently.
  • Financial Impacts: Many aspects of the aftermath of a drunk driving accident could place a financial strain on you and your family. If you were injured during the accident, then you will likely have medical bills to pay. Even with health insurance, these fees could be significant. Missing work or having to change jobs could also create financial difficulties. If you are out of work for any period of time, or if you find a new job at a lower salary, you will have to adjust to a lower income.

There are many challenges that come along with recovering from a drunk driving car accident. Your mental and emotional health may also be significantly impacted following an accident. If you have been injured as the result of a drunk driving accident, then filing a personal injury claim may be necessary to properly recover.

DUI Laws in Illinois

It is important to know and understand the laws associated with drunk driving. This can help you avoid driving while under the influence. It can also help you understand your rights and next steps if you are involved in a drunk driving car accident. There are a few key laws and regulations in place surrounding DUI and drunk driving in Illinois.

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC): This is the amount of alcohol that can legally be present in a driver’s system. To be driving legally, a driver must have a BAC that is below 0.08%. If an individual is caught driving with a BAC over this limit, they will face legal consequences. It is possible to receive a DUI conviction with a BAC below the legal limit, but only if their driving ability is severely impaired.
  • Implied Consent Law: In the state of Illinois, drivers automatically consent to breath, urine, blood, and bodily substance tests when they begin driving. An individual may be pulled over or involved in an accident. If law enforcement believes they may be impaired, they are required to administer a test. Refusal of the test by a driver may result in a fine of up to $500.
  • Conviction Penalties: The main penalty that a driver will face if convicted of DUI is the revocation of their license. The first offense will result in a revoked license for a year; the second in a revoked license for five years; the third in a revoked license for at least ten years; and the fourth in a permanent revocation. Other penalties may include fees, classes, and ignition interlock devices.

Understanding the DUI laws in Illinois can be helpful if you have been the victim of a drunk driving accident. It can provide you with the knowledge you need to ensure you move forward correctly and receive any necessary compensation.

The Personal Injury Claim Process

It can be difficult and confusing to file a personal injury claim. There are several steps that must be followed to ensure it is done properly. An experienced DeKalb County injury attorney can help guide you through the process.

The process that you will go through following a drunk driving car accident is:

  1. Receive Medical Attention: Whether you have minor or severe injuries, it is important to seek the medical attention you need immediately following the accident. This will also provide you with an opportunity to document your injuries as evidence for your claim.
  2. Consult an Attorney: Once you have started your recovery process, it is important to seek out an accomplished car accident attorney. They can advise you on the steps to take next, what evidence or documentation you need to gather, and what the ideal approach to your claim is.
  3. File a Claim: Once you have created a plan with your attorney, you will file your personal injury claim. This may simply be negotiations with the individual who hit you and their insurance company. If you can reach an agreement, then you will settle and not go through a court case. If you cannot reach a settlement, however, the next step is to file a claim.
  4. Discovery Process: When a claim has been filed, the next step is the discovery process. This is when both parties share the information and evidence that they have with each other. Mediation or further negotiations may also be attempted at this stage of the process to avoid a trial.
  5. Trial: Once the discovery process has ended, and any negotiations have been unsuccessful, the case will proceed to trial. This is when all necessary information is shared with a judge. Each party will be able to share their information, evidence, and arguments. Once all necessary information has been shared, the judge will hand down a verdict regarding the case. This means that they decide whether you deserve damages and, if so, how much you should receive in a settlement. The complexity of your case will determine the length of the trial process.

The process of filing a personal injury claim and completing a trial, if necessary, is time-consuming and can be difficult. Recovering from the physical, emotional, mental, and financial toll of a drunk driving car accident can make it more challenging. Although it is not required, working with an accomplished DeKalb County car accident attorney can be invaluable. They have the knowledge, experience, and resources to guide you through the entire process. They can fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. It is a significant investment, but certainly worthwhile.

Cost of a DeKalb County Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer

Estimating the overall cost of working with an accomplished personal injury attorney can be difficult. Every case is different, and each client will have specific needs and requests. Often, the cost of a Dekalb County drunk driving injury attorney will be determined by the specifics of each case they work. There are many factors that may impact the cost of an experienced injury lawyer.

Some common things to take into consideration when looking for an injury attorney who will meet your needs are:

  • Experience: A DeKalb County injury attorney with more experience is often more sought after than a new or inexperienced lawyer. Attorneys with extensive experience have likely worked with a variety of clients in every aspect of their practice area. This provides them with the knowledge to understand the most and least effective approaches. They will also be able to assess the specific details of each case to ensure their response is most successful. An attorney with years of experience may charge higher fees.
  • Education: Experienced and accomplished injury attorneys are well educated. That does not always mean that they attended the most prestigious school, but they have dedicated years of their lives to knowing and understanding the law. They are committed to their practice and stay up to date on any relevant changes to the laws in their practice area. This extensive education gives them the resources and knowledge to analyze each individual case and craft a unique, tailored approach. An attorney with extensive knowledge of personal injury law may be more in demand, so their fees could be higher.
  • Time Requirement: A case that is complex will require more time and attention than many others. If an accomplished DeKalb County injury lawyer must dedicate more time, attention, and resources to a certain case, then they may charge a higher fee. This could include cases against large or corporate opposition, last-minute cases, or cases with significant legal technicalities. Anything that requires an attorney to dedicate more time to a case could raise the overall cost.
  • Location: The geographic area where an attorney practices may have an impact on how much they charge for their services. Fees may be higher if the attorney practices in a large city or community, to adjust for the cost of living. The court fees in the county where the claim is filed may also raise the cost of legal services. Working with an injury lawyer who is local to your area is often ideal. They will be familiar with the specific laws and regulations in your area. However, demand in the area may also impact costs.
  • Types of Fees Charged: The method that an attorney uses to charge their clients will have a significant impact on the overall cost. Charging one flat fee is preferred for some attorneys, so clients will pay a single amount for their services. Others choose to charge by the hour. For clients of these injury attorneys, the cost of services will be higher if the case is more complex. It is also possible that an attorney will charge contingent fees. This means that clients are only responsible for paying the attorney’s fees if their claim is successful. It is important to consider the types of fees that your attorney charges when selecting your legal counsel.

There is no formula to establish the overall cost of working with an experienced, accomplished DeKalb County injury lawyer. The factors above, as well as several others, will have the most significant impact on the cost of legal services. Clients with more complex cases can anticipate higher overall costs. However, any client who works with a personal injury attorney in DeKalb County can expect to spend several thousand dollars throughout the course of their claim.

Any kind of injury, whether minor or debilitating, can significantly affect your life. Recovering from a drunk driving accident can be particularly difficult. There will be physical ramifications as your body has to recover from the injuries. Your income may be impacted if you must take time away from your job or are unable to work. The recovery process may take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Finally, you may face additional financial strain if you must replace your vehicle.

Contact Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley

Regardless of the severity of the accident, the recovery period will pose unique challenges. If you choose to pursue legal action, it is essential to have an experienced injury attorney on your side. They can guide you through the necessary legal processes. Your attorney can fight to ensure that you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. The team at Franks Gerkin Ponitz & Greeley can walk with you through your personal injury claim following a drunk driving accident. Contact the team today to get started.

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