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Personal Injury Services


The Seeking Damages Series: Drunk Drivers

Published on December 16th, 2020

Car Accident Lawyers

Every year, countless individuals drive while under the influence without any consequences whatsoever. This truth doesn’t take away from the fact that almost 30 people in the U.S. die every day in car crashes that involve a drunk driver. According to the NHTSA, that’s one person every 50 minutes. Over the course of a year, drunk driving accidents cause approximately $44 billion in damage.

While some costs associated with a car accident can be recuperated through insurance claims, injured parties may also have the legal right to seek financial compensation via a personal injury lawsuit. State laws dictate whether or not such a lawsuit can be filed against another driver who is found to be ‘at-fault’ for causing the accident.

Is Illinois an ‘At-Fault’ State?

Illinois is an ‘at-fault’ state with ‘comparative negligence’ laws governing car accident liability. This means that more than one individual can be found at fault of causing an accident, sharing a percentage of the blame up to 100%. When the other driver is more than 50% at fault for causing the accident, you may be able to collect damages.

Determining Fault in DWI Cases

When it comes to determining fault in personal injury lawsuits involving drunk drivers, Illinois law follows the negligence per se principle, which presumes that the intoxicated driver is at fault. This makes negligence cases including an intoxicated driver very different from other personal injury lawsuits, as the burden of proof falls on the defendant. This is an extremely challenging presumption to overcome in court.

Dram Shop Laws in Illinois

According to Illinois’ Dram Shop Act, those who have been injured by a drunk driver may also be able to sue the establishment which supplied alcohol to the intoxicated person. Though other states require that the person appear intoxicated before the establishment’s legal responsibility kicks in, this requirement does not exist in Illinois law.

The purpose of Dram Shop laws are to encourage bars, nightclubs, and other venues to take on a duty of responsibility towards their guests and those they may interact with after leaving. In Illinois, Dram Shop laws do not apply to private individuals who serve alcohol (i.e., those who host events at home).

Looking for an Auto Accident Lawyer Near Belvidere?

Being injured or having your property damaged due to the reckless actions of a driver under the influence can be a harrowing and frustrating process. At the American Law Firm, we’re dedicated to assisting our clients with filing personal injury lawsuits that will help them seek damages. To find if our auto accident lawyers near Belvidere are a good match for your case, schedule a free consultation with our office.

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Personal Injury Lawyer Rockford - American Law Firm, P.C.

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My Mom and I worked with Tyler and Brittany on a case where my Mom was injured in a car accident. American Law Firm was able to get my Moms medical claims paid by the other parties insurance, along with compensation for her regarding the injuries that she sustained in the accident.

Amy R.


Personal Injury Lawyer Rockford - American Law Firm, P.C.

Client Testimonials

There were many firms I could have gone to for help but I couldn’t of made a better decision with The American Law Firm and the help of Mark, Brittany and Tyler. Thank you all again!



Personal Injury Lawyer Rockford - American Law Firm, P.C.

Client Testimonials

Very nice people! Brittany was amazing! She was able to get my mother's lien for her hospital bills negotiated down to a very reasonable price. She was with us every step of the way. My mother got her settlement from her car accident within 3 weeks of hiring them. Highly recommended!

Drecko B.


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