A person who drives after consuming alcohol is guilty of breaking the law, a term that the State of Illinois refers to as driving under the influence, or DUI. To be convicted of a DUI in Illinois, your blood alcohol content (BAC) must be at .08% – usually the equivalent of 1 serving of an alcoholic drink – or higher. However, any percentage BAC over 0% will still result in a fine and potentially other negative consequences, depending on the circumstances.
Our Rockford DUI lawyers at Tuite Law know that driving while under the influence is an act of dangerous irresponsibility and negligence. No matter how drunk a driver is, if he or she gets behind the wheel and causes an accident that injures other innocent travelers, those victims have rights and can file charges against the driver for compensation. If you have been hit by a drunk driver in Rockford and need monetary means to recover from your injuries, loss of wages, and pain and suffering, we are ready to represent you.
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVE IN A DUI CASE?
It is important to note that there are two types of cases that can be brought against a drunk driver if he/she causes an accident that results in damages. The first type of charge is a criminal change and the second is a personal injury charge. Both of them require different corroborative evidence to demonstrate burden of proof, but both require legal processes where victims will want to seek legal representation to streamline the process.
In a criminal case, one must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was in violation of the law, such as is done when the police require a drunk driver to take a breathalyzer test, which is a fairly standard procedure when alcohol is expected to have caused the accident. In a personal injury suit, you must gather the right evident that the driver caused injuries due to their irresponsibility. Usually any demonstration of negligence is enough for the courts to hold impaired drivers liable for their injuries, which makes negotiating compensation settlements a much faster process. As your representation in a DUI accident injury situation, we will take all of the legal steps necessary to prove your guiltlessness in the DUI accident and make sure justice is serviced accordingly.
There are several things we do as your attorneys to help you get compensated as a victim in a DUI accident. Our process approaches every angle of the law to ensure you receive fair compensation and justice is brought to the drunk driver who caused the accident. In general, we will follow a process similar to the following to get you the best results possible from your case:
- Advise you to get medical treatment: The first and most crucial step in a DUI accident injury claim is to demonstrate that injury has actually occurred. If any time lapses between the accident and when you seek medical treatment, the authority of your claim with the insurance companies, the defendant’s legal representation, and the court will begin to diminish. It is also important to seek medical treatment as your health is number one priority, and we care about your well-being. Don’t worry about escalating doctor’s or hospital bills – our process in your claim will ensure you receive all the compensation you need for these things when you file your personal injury claim.
- Collect all medical bills and receipts of other damages: During the ongoing process of your healing, we will establish connection with your medical providers to get reports and statements on procedures and their costs. We also assess all damages caused to others injured in your accident and to your personal property, collecting assessments from mechanics and body repairmen and any other necessary contractor.
- Gather evidence to prove guilt: After we are able to gather enough evidence to demonstrate the extent of damages, we will also gather any other information to show the drunk driver was at fault, including police reports, witness statements, a statement on the negligent driver’s BAC, photos, and any other useful piece of information that will demonstrate their guilt.
- Build a fair compensable rate: After we gather all the evidence we need to build a strong case, we will come up with a figure that we feel fairly represents the ends of your case. We will take into consideration all of your medical bills, projected hospitalizations, physical therapy costs, loss of wages, permanent/chronic injuries, and your emotional pain and suffering. If you hire us on behalf of a family member who will killed in a DUI wrongful death situation, we also consider funeral costs and other damages families may be able to claim.
- Open claims with insurance companies and work with insurance adjusters: We personally represent you with insurance companies and their adjusters. We have years of experience working with Illinois/Rockford law, so we know how to hold insurance companies responsible for the damages the occurred. We will present our suggested compensable rate with them and negotiate terms to get you the best possible deal.
- Represent you in court if insurance lawsuits are not settled satisfactorily: If insurance do not accept our terms or are unwilling to negotiate, we will go to court on your behalf, where we also have a lot of experience litigating.
- Stay in contact with you: During the entire process from the time you first hire us to when you are awarded your compensation amount, we will stay in contact with you and be available for any questions you have. This ensures that you know we are personally involved in your case and that you have the opportunity to work with use one-on-one. It also ensures we are establishing contact with you in case we need signatures or other legalities form you.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER IN CIVIL COURT?
If you decide to file a civil action against a DUI driver, you can seek damages for all of your losses. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Compensation for all of your present and future medical expenses
- Your present and future lost wages
- Your present loss of earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish or/and psychological injuries
- Andy other economic and noneconomic losses.
Remember, in order to recover damages, you will have to prove both that you suffered the full extent of damages that you are claiming, and that your damages would not have been incurred but for the actions of the defendant.
CONTACT OUR LAW FIRM FOR A FREE CASE CONSULTATION TODAY
At the offices of Tuite Law, we believe that those who drink and drive should be penalized to the full extent of the law, in both criminal and civil court. While we cannot help you with a criminal case, we can aid you in pursuing civil charges and recovering the compensation that you deserve.
If you are injured by a drunk driver, do not hesitate to take action. Use our online form or call our offices directly to schedule a free case consultation with our talented DUI accident attorneys in Rockford, IL.