Can I Sue a Bar or Restaurant for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Web Admin - Thursday, April 18, 2019
Des Plaines drunk driving accident attorneyWhen a drunk driver seriously injures another person, the injured person can sue the drunk driver for compensation under Illinois’ personal injury laws. If the at-fault driver became intoxicated in a bar, the injured person may also sue the owner of that bar under state liquor liability laws, also known as dram shop laws. 

What Are Dram Shop Laws?

When a bar serves enough liquor to a patron to cause their intoxication, dram shop laws make the bar owner strictly liable to any person injured by the intoxicated patron. 

What Is the Illinois Liquor Liability Law?

Illinois is one of 38 U.S. states with dram shop laws. The Illinois Liquor Control Act (235 ILCS 5/6-21) states that anyone who is injured in Illinois by an intoxicated person can sue the establishment responsible for that person’s intoxication. That is, the injured person can sue the bar that sold or gave alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. 
The intoxicated person himself, however, cannot sue the liquor-serving establishment for injuries to himself or his own property, nor can their family make a claim for the loss of the intoxicated person’s support or society.

The Liquor Control Act also specifies limits on the amount of damages that an injured person can claim. These limits are updated annually based on inflation. For incidents occurring on or after January 20, 2019, the maximum compensation is $70,091.09 per person injured. The injured person’s immediate family can also claim loss of support or loss of society up to a maximum of $85,666.89. Each establishment holding a liquor sales license is required to have liquor liability insurance of at least $225,849.07.

What Do You Have to Prove to Win a Liquor Liability Case?

If you have been injured in a car crash caused by a drunk driver, you will need to prove three key points in order to obtain compensation under Illinois’ liquor liability laws:

- The person who injured you was served liquor at a specific bar.
- That person was served enough liquor at that bar to become intoxicated.
- That person, while still intoxicated, caused the car accident in which you were injured.

An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to investigate your case and gather the necessary evidence. 

For example, when police suspect that intoxication contributed to a car crash, they will typically order immediate blood-alcohol testing of the at-fault driver. That will establish the level of that driver’s intoxication. The police may also obtain verbal testimony from the at-fault driver and any passengers they were transporting, which could reveal where they had been drinking and how much alcohol was consumed.

If the police investigation does not reveal where the at-fault driver became intoxicated, a private investigation led by an experienced lawyer may turn up this information. For example, a drunk driver’s alcohol consumption in the hours just prior to a car crash could be documented through credit card transactions, cell phone tracking, security camera video, or eyewitness testimony from other patrons of the bar.

Consult an Aggressive Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a member of your family have been injured or killed in a car crash involving a drunk driver, you may be able to claim compensation from more than one source. For a free initial consultation on your case, call an experienced Schaumburg personal injury attorney. Contact the law offices of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC at 847-934-6000.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


The Dangers of Serious Injuries in Rollover Accidents

Web Admin - Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Schaumburg rollover accident attorneyAny type of motor vehicle crash is dangerous for drivers and passengers, but rollover accidents can be especially hazardous. In fact, while these accidents only make up 2.2% of all motor vehicle collisions, they account for nearly one third of the fatalities which occur in car accidents. In the 220,000 rollover accidents which occur in the United States each year, there are 9,000 deaths, 14,100 serious injuries, and 224,000 minor/moderate injuries. If you are involved in a rollover accident, it is important to understand your options for recovering compensation from the party or parties who were liable for your injuries.

Causes of Rollover Accident Injuries

Rollover accidents are particularly dangerous for the occupants of a vehicle, because standard safety systems such as seat belts and air bags may not provide sufficient protection from the type of damage which can occur. Injuries in rollover accidents are often caused by:

- Roof intrusion - When a vehicle’s roof is impacted, parts of the vehicle’s structure can impact a person’s body, or a person may be crushed, causing severe injuries such as broken bones, brain injuries, and internal bleeding can result.

- Uncontrolled movement - The violent motion of a rollover accident may cause drivers and passengers to be thrown about the inside of a vehicle, and they may collide with doors, windows, steering wheels, or other parts of a car. This can result in serious bodily damage, including back and neck injuries, sprained joints, or strained muscles.

- Complete ejection - A person may be thrown from a vehicle during a rollover accident, which can lead to severe head and spine injuries.

- Partial ejection - Parts of a person’s body may come in contact with surfaces outside the vehicle, and they may be crushed between the car and the road or ground. This can lead to severe limb injuries that may require amputation.

Rollover accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but they are more common in larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks than in passenger cars. Drinking and driving, driving with a large number of passengers, and driving at excessive speeds are often factors in these types of crashes.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Rollover Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a rollover accident, you should contact a Barrington personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine your options for recovering compensation for your injuries. Multiple parties may be liable for your injuries, including the driver of the vehicle that rolled over, other negligent drivers, manufacturers of defective auto parts that caused the crash, or a city or state government which did not maintain safe road conditions. Call our office at 847-934-6000 to arrange a personalized consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Facebook Live is Causing Accidents and Reckless Driving Issues Throughout the Nation

Web Admin - Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Just months after Snapchat received extreme scrutiny for their speed application, Facebook Live began to make headlines for its own connection to distracted driving accidents and reckless driving incidents. Learn more about the string of car crashes and dangerous incidents associated with the application, and how it could impact the pursuit of compensation for victims of distracted driving

Facebook Live and Distracted/Reckless Driving

Distracted driving is a serious problem in the United States. In fact, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) determined that, at any given moment, some 660,000 drivers are somehow manipulating or using their phones while behind the wheel. Of course, many of them were using their devices long before Facebook Live became available. Still, the addition of livestream options only further tempts drivers to practice and engage in dangerous behaviors. 

For example, two girls were recently killed just moments after the driver went on Facebook Live. Another driver - a young man - miraculously survived a Livestream crash in which he showed himself weaving through traffic as he recklessly sped up to 116 miles per hour. Others have been caught and jailed for their behaviors - one girl allegedly driving intoxicated and using Periscope, another live streaming application, and three men who were allegedly driving and using Facebook Live to brag about a recent burglary. 

When Distracted Driving Causes Death or Injury to a Victim

While some might be willing to leave distracted drivers to their own devices, convinced they will eventually “pay” for their bad behavior, the truth is that it is not a victimless crime. In fact, distracted driving results in the death or injury of thousands of drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists each year. What is even worse is that many victims may never know that distracted driving was the cause of their injuries or the death of a loved one. This is because social media and cellular phone records are not always investigated after a crash. There is a way to find out, however. An experienced attorney can ensure a full investigation is done, and they can help victims pursue fair compensation for their losses. 

If you or someone you love has been injured or wrongfully killed in a crash, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Skilled and experienced, our Des Plaines personal injury lawyers will fight to protect your rights and will always pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Call 847-934-6000 to schedule your consultation with us today.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


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