When you attended your boss’s annual New Year’s Eve party or drove across the state to spend Christmas with your in-laws, you never expected to end up spending the remainder of your holiday in the emergency room. However, that is exactly what may happen if you encounter a drunk driver.
The holidays are a time of celebrating and family, which translates into higher-than-usual rates of drunk driving collisions. Truthfully, people get intoxicated and drive home anyway every day, but there are some days that see a major increase in your statistical likelihood of encountering a drunk driver.
The major holidays, as well as the weekends around them, often see a spike in drunk driving fatalities each year. What are your rights if you got hurt by a drunk driver or lost a loved one in a crash this previous holiday season?
You likely have grounds for an insurance claim
Some people worry that insurance coverage won’t be available because the drunk driver broke the law. However, most liability insurance policies will pay for claims even if the policyholder ends up convicted of impaired driving.
Unfortunately, Illinois does not require very much insurance for someone to legally drive. The other driver could have as little as $25,000 to pay for your hospital bills and lost wages or just $20,000 to repair your vehicle. Sometimes, the person who caused the crash might not even have insurance as they should.
You can pursue a personal injury lawsuit
Regardless of whether or not the drunk driver ends up prosecuted for their behavior, the documentation showing that they were under the influence at the wheel can be enough to convince the civil courts that they are negligence or misconduct is responsible for your family’s losses.
There may also be circumstances where you can pursue a claim against secondary parties that may have partial responsibility for the crash, including businesses that employed the drunk driver or served them too much alcohol. Given that the actions of another party could have devastating consequences for your family, it is crucial that you carefully look into each of your options for compensation.
Holding someone accountable for a drunk driving crash may require assertive negotiation of your insurance claim or the decision to go to civil court.