In 2011, 40% of all automobile accident fatalities were alcohol-related accidents. While the number of alcohol related fatalities is on a steady decrease since records started being compiled in the 1980’s, 40% is still an alarming statistic. The fact of the matter is, drunk driving continues to plague us as a nation, and is a significant cause of injuries and fatalities.
When you or a loved one is hurt in an automobile accident involving an intoxicated driver, you should absolutely contact an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer in Chicago who is familiar with the drunk driving laws as they pertain to personal injury actions.
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DRAM SHOP ACT IN ILLINOIS
At the personal injury law firm of Boudreau & Nisivaco, LLC, we are fully trained and extremely knowledgeable in how the laws of Illinois relating to drunk driving and automobile accident injuries interplay with each other. There are various circumstances which may give rise to other defendants being liable in your case, such as a bar, restaurant, or other establishment that sold alcohol to the drunk driver.
The Illinois Liquor Control Act states that a commercial vendor may be held liable for the injuries of a plaintiff in a case caused by an intoxicated person if:
- The vendor sold or provided alcohol to the person that caused the plaintiff’s injury;
- The alcohol sold by the vendor caused or contributed to the defendant’s intoxication; and
- The defendant’s intoxication was the proximate cause of the victim’s injuries.
The act actually also holds liable the person who sold or provided the alcohol to the intoxicated defendant, and the owners, renters, or lessors of the property where the drinks were served. In fact, the law imposes liability on anyone over the age of 21 who rents a motel room for any minors that the adult knows will be drinking alcohol for any injuries or damages caused by those intoxicated minors.
Issues arise that create a complicated web of laws and their application when the act of serving the intoxicated person happens in one state, and then the traffic accident occurs in a different state. If an intoxicated driver who was served by an establishment while he was in Illinois, thereafter has an accident in Michigan, the liability of the Illinois vendor depends on the laws of Michigan.
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As Chicago personal injury attorneys, we are always keeping up to date on the laws of Illinois and other states, in order to best serve our clients and prospective clients in the future. These issues of conflict of laws from state to state can be very convoluted and complex. It is always best to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can represent your legal interests and maximize your financial recovery in these cases.