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What Do I Have to Prove After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver?

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Drunk drivers are some of the most dangerous drivers on the road. Alcohol impairs thinking and cognition, as well as reaction and response time. Drunk drivers may fail to see other drivers or pedestrians and bikers; may speed or swerve, and may perform a wide array of other dangerous behaviors.

When a drunk driving accident occurs, the damages suffered by victims of the crash are often severe. If you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, here’s what you need to know about what you’ll need to prove to hold the driver liable for your damages.

The Negligence of the Drunk Driver

The first thing you need to prove when bringing a suit against a drunk driver is the other driver acted negligently and breached the duty of care owed to you. Negligence can take many forms, such as speeding, swerving, following too closely, failing to yield, driving while distracted, and more. Note that you can hold a drunk driver liable based on a wide range of negligent acts; unlike a criminal case, you do not have to prove the drunk driver was actually intoxicated to the point of impairment – you only need to prove they did something outside of what a reasonable driver would do.

The Negligence Was the Proximate Cause of Harm

Second, you will need to prove the negligent action – such as running a red light, speeding, swerving, etc. – was the proximate cause of your harm. Another way to think about this is you will need to prove your accident and injuries would not have occurred but for the actions of the drunk driver. Depending upon the details of the case, this may be an easy element to establish.

That You Suffered Damages

Finally, you will have to prove the crash led to actual damages and that any damages you are claiming are related to the accident. Types of damages you can seek compensation for in a drunk driving accident claim, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage costs, and pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

You Do NOT Need Evidence of Blood Alcohol Content to Hold a Drunk Driver Liable

As mentioned above, a civil case and a criminal case are not the same, and you will not need proof that the driver’s BAC was at or above .08 percent in order to hold them liable for your harm; you’ll just need to establish the elements mentioned above. Proof of BAC can certainly be used as evidence in your claim, as could a criminal conviction, should the driver face criminal charges. Our lawyers can work to gather the right evidence to support your claim and ensure your right to compensation.

Call Our Auto Accident Lawyers Today

If you’ve been in a serious injury crash in Illinois caused by an intoxicated driver, you need a skilled Illinois auto accident lawyer on your side. Call the law office of Fisk & Monteleone LTD. today for your free consultation.