Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatalities in car accidents and is a persistent problem in the United States. Despite the dedicated efforts of law enforcement to combat this problem, drunk drivers continue to pose a significant threat to all of us on the roadways. If you have lost someone you love because of a drunk driver, your world has been turned upside down. Though no amount of money can replace your loved one, a wrongful death claim may allow you and your family to secure the financial stability you deserve and hold the drunk driver accountable.
Wrongful Death Due to Alcohol-Impaired Driving
On average, there is at least one alcohol-related driving fatality every hour in this country and drunk driving accounts for over 30% of all motor vehicle accidents. In 2014 alone, there were 9,967 fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol.
Alcohol-impaired driving continues to result in fatalities at alarming rates in Illinois as well. The most recent data from Illinois shows that alcohol was involved in 39% of all fatal car crashes in 2013 resulting in 991 deaths. Illinois law makes driving a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or more a crime and more than 38,000 people are arrested for drunk driving every year in this state.
Fatalities that result from drunk driving accidents are particularly tragic because it could have been prevented had that person just chosen not to drive under the influence. Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a failure to exercise ordinary care, which means that a drunk driver can held liable for your loved one’s death in a fatal car accident. If your loved one was the victim of an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of future income, loss of consortium, loss of economic support, and emotional damages.
Under Illinois law, there are two potential types of claims in wrongful death cases. When an individual is killed by the negligence or wrongdoing of a third party, the victim’s family members may bring a claim to hold the responsible parties liable.
Specifically, the Wrongful Death Act at 740 ILCS 180/ allows for the surviving spouse or next of kin to bring a lawsuit against the wrongdoer to recover pecuniary (monetary) damages. For those circumstances in which your loved one’s death was not immediate, the Illinois Survival Act at 755 ILCS 5/27-6 preserves any cause of action the decedent may have had at the time of his or her death.
This statute allows you or your family members to seek compensation for personal injury damages such as medical expenses that were incurred between the time of the accident and when your loved one passed away.
Contact the Experienced Lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our skilled and knowledgeable team of attorneys have represented countless families throughout the Chicago area pursue wrongful death claims against drunk drivers. We will go over what a wrongful death claim is and what compensation you can expect to recover. If you decide to pursue a claim, we will provide guidance throughout the process so that you can get back to focusing on the needs of your family during such a difficult time.
We are experienced negotiators with a successful track record of obtaining the maximum compensation for our clients through settlements and jury awards. We are here to deal with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys so that you can start the healing process.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. works off a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not owe us money unless we are able to settle your case or resolve your lawsuit favorably. Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys.