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Winnebago County personal injury attorney drunk driver

Have you ever been to a bar or a party and witnessed someone having too much alcohol to drink? It is a common occurrence for individuals who are underage or who have just recently turned 21 to drink a few too many. When alcohol is involved, accidents with injuries can occur. When you are the injured party, you may be able to hold multiple parties responsible. Illinois has two laws that address the danger that overconsumption can place on others. If you have been injured on account of someone’s level of alcohol consumption, you may be able to prove that the serving party is liable.

Dram Shop Laws

Illinois law provides legal protection to those who have been injured by an intoxicated party. For instance, someone who gets pushed and injured by an intoxicated person at a bar or someone who is hit by a drunk driver may wish to press charges against the intoxicated individual and the bar itself. The person who causes the injury, aka the drunk individual, cannot use Illinois’ dram shop law to his or her benefit. This law is solely for the purpose of providing compensation to the sober, injured individual to make up for any medical costs, time away from work, and emotional distress that the accident may have caused.

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Winnebago County dram shop liability attorneysWhen a person considers the health risks of excessive alcohol consumption, he or she may think about problems like liver disease or high blood pressure. However, diseases like these are only some of the many ways in which alcohol use can cause injury or death. Alcohol-related injuries, including those caused by falls, car accidents, drowning, or violence, are extremely common. It is estimated that 3.2 percent of worldwide deaths are caused by alcohol.

When a person is injured in an alcohol-related accident, he or she may choose to bring a personal injury claim against the person whose intoxication caused the accident. In some cases, it is also possible to bring a personal injury claim against the establishment that served the intoxicated person alcohol. Injury claims brought against alcohol vendors fall under the umbrella of dram shop liability.

Illinois Dram Shop Laws

In certain situations, Illinois law permits an injured person or the representative of a deceased person to bring a personal injury claim against an alcohol vendor such as a restaurant or bar. In order to bring a successful personal injury claim under the state’s dram shop liability laws, you and you attorney will need to prove that:

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneyMost personal injury lawsuits are brought against an individual whose negligent or intentional wrongdoing caused another person injury or death. For example, if a driver who is too busy texting and driving to watch the road causes an accident, a person injured in the accident may sue the driver. Many personal injury lawsuits involve drunk drivers. An individual who is driving under the influence of alcohol and gets in a car crash may be held liable for damages caused by the accident.  However, you may be surprised to learn that a personal injury claim can also be brought against a vendor who sold alcohol to an individual who causes you injury. These claims are called “dram shop liability” claims.

Illinois Law Regarding Dram Shop Liability

Illinois statute allows a person injured by someone under the influence of alcohol to bring a claim against the vendor who supplied the intoxicated person alcohol. The claim may be in response to personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage. 

Consider the following example: A man visits a bar where he consumes several alcoholic drinks. His blood alcohol is over the legal limit but he decides to drive home anyway. On the way home, he crashes into another vehicle causing the other driver to suffer several major injuries as well as substantial vehicle damage. The driver injured in the crash may sue the drunk driver himself or the bar that supplied the man with alcohol. A bar, restaurant, or other establishment that serves alcohol does not have to continue to serve a patron past the point of intoxication in order to be potentially liable under Illinois dram shop liability laws. For a dram shop claim to be successful, the following conditions must be present:

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