legal blog

Legal Options If A Drunk Driver Hits You

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents


A drunk driving accident can have devastating consequences. They frequently result in serious injuries, possibly even fatalities, and put a halt to your life as you know it. You didn’t cause the wreck by driving impaired, so you shouldn’t have to pay for the mistake.

Fortunately, the law gives you multiple options if a drunk driver hit you:

You Can File a Lawsuit Against the Drunk Driver

Illinois is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. That means that the at-fault driver must compensate the victim for all damages.

Drivers must have liability insurance to pay for accidents where they are at fault. However, some accident costs exceed the limit of those insurance policies.

Further, some insurance companies will refuse to pay when their insured was purposefully negligent by drunk driving. When that happens, you have a right to sue the drunk driver for your injuries.

But there is a time limit or statute of limitations to file a drunk driving lawsuit.

In Illinois, all personal injury lawsuits like these must be filed within two years of the accident. If you don’t file by that date, you forfeit any right to compensation from the drunk driver.

You Can File a Car Accident Insurance Claim

Another option in a drunk driving case is to file a standard car accident insurance claim. You can file with your own insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault driver.

While a drunk driver’s insurance company might deny your claim because the person willfully acted negligently, they may be forced to pay by a court if you include them in a lawsuit.

It’s best to work with an experienced lawyer who will help make a reasonable demand to the insurance company to recover the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement.

The insurer should act in good faith, but if the insurance company refuses to make a decent offer, you still have the option to file a lawsuit.

A Guilty DUI Verdict Can Help You

If the officer who responds to your accident scene finds that the other driver was drunk, they will probably arrest them. The at-fault driver will have to go to court and address these criminal charges.

If they plead guilty or are found guilty of a DUI, it will help your case. Drunk driving violates the law, which means the at-fault driver was not doing their due diligence while driving. Their actions were negligent.

This will support your case in court. A judge or jury is more likely to find the at-fault driver liable for your damages if convicted of a DUI.

But keep in mind, a conviction makes your case stronger, but it’s not a requirement. You should not wait until a DUI case is resolved to pursue compensation. Early intervention and effective representation can make demonstrate the impaired driver caused your injuries, even without a formal DUI conviction.

A Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help You

If you were involved in a crash with a drunk driver in Chicago, you shouldn’t shoulder the burden of your losses. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., knows how to get the most compensation for you during this time of need.

Call 312-236-2900 or use our contact form to reach out for a free consultation.

Free Consultation
(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
Skip to content