When it is serious, a car accident injury will not only result in expensive emergency care and a lengthy hospital stay, it can have tremendous short- and long-term financial and physical impacts. A serious injury may keep you away from your job for an extended period, or even make it impossible for you to resume your job. It may require extended care, such as costly home-care from a professional care-giver or therapist.
It can require expensive medical equipment. As a result, many vehicle accident victims can also expect to be out of the use of a car, and will need to confront the additional stress and expense of having to purchase another one. Consequently, with all these burdens, even car accidents with injuries from which you can fully recover can be financially devastating not only to you, but to family members and others that may rely upon your financial support.
Although many people believe they can rely upon insurers to provide them with adequate compensation, unfortunately, this is not always true. While most people show more responsibility and purchase insurance coverage above these limits, your accident may involve one of the less responsible motorists. Even worse, despite the mandatory insurance law, some Illinois drivers operate without any car insurance at all. If you are involved in a car accident caused by one of these uninsured drivers, there will be no insurance coverage from the at-fault driver to pay for any of the damages you suffer.
If you have been wise enough to purchase adequate Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage on your own policy, then you will need to pursue a claim against your own insurer. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident as the result of a negligent driver, our attorneys are prepared to handle all of your concerns, including evaluating and investigating issues such as who was involved and who is at fault, the amount of coverage afforded by the insurance policies of the party or parties involved, and calculating your out-of-pocket expenses, from medical care and lost income to your non-economic costs and long-term needs.
Bear in mind that obtaining help from a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer may be critical, especially when an injury is serious. If your injury causes you to delay too long in following up with your claims, or if you fail to fully understand what you are entitled to, important rights may be lost, and important evidence may be forgotten, damaged, or destroyed. We know that when you are seriously injured, it is difficult to carefully and immediately assess how the accident occurred, to gather information, to speak to and identify witnesses and other drivers involved, or to talk to emergency personnel who were at the scene.
Your attorney can shoulder that burden for you. Your consultation is free, and we will not charge you any fees unless we recover for you. We will independently investigate your accident, and do what is necessary to help you recover, while you concentrate on the important and difficult task of healing and getting your life back in order.
A Chicago area driver failed to yield coming out of a stop sign, hitting our client's vehicle. The plaintiff had to undergo surgeries to repair a herniated disc. A passenger was killed in a contested liability car accident. Resolved accident claim for local resident who sustained two herniated discs after being struck by a drunk driver. Reached a policy limits uninsured motorist claim settlement for two minor children that were fatally injured in a north suburban car accident.
The at fault driver was DUI and crossed the center line. Resolved a case for a Chicago Area resident who was hit by an uninsured driver. The plaintiff suffered a herniated disc and had surgery. Our law firm made an uninsured motorist claim for him and we were able to collect the insurance policy limits. People injured in car accidents often have lots of questions about their legal rights. Car accidents cause high stress. Having a plan for what you should do if you ever find yourself in a wreck can help you make good decisions. Here are some steps we recommend taking:.
Under Illinois law , as a general proposition, the party that caused a car accident has legal liability for paying damages to anyone harmed in the accident. That does not mean, however, that the party or parties with legal liability will automatically pay. The parties with potential legal liability may deny they caused an accident. It often takes the skills of an experienced car accident attorney to convince those with legal liability to pay what they owe. There is no single answer to this question.
Every car accident, and every car accident victim, is different. An experienced car accident attorney will often work with a client to calculate the amount of damages the client can realistically hope to recover by taking legal action. In this case, you may turn to your own insurance company for compensation, if you carry an underinsured motorist rider to your insurance policy. If you do not carry uninsured motorist coverage, you may still have hope of recovering damages. With the help of an experienced Illinois car accident lawyer you may find that other parties, aside from the other driver, have legal liability to you for causing an accident.
For example:. Many accident victims worry that hiring a lawyer will place more burden on an already stretched budget. That is an understandable concern.
The good news is that most car accident attorneys represent clients on a contingency fee basis in which the attorneys only receive fees if the client recovers compensation as a result of their work. Any injury sustained in a car accident counts as a car accident injury. A police officer in the United States must have Probable Cause to make an arrest for driving under the influence. In establishing probable cause for a DUI arrest officers frequently consider the suspect's performance of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA established a standard battery of three roadside tests that are recommended to be administered in a standardized manner in making this arrest decision.
In the US, field sobriety tests are voluntary; however, some states mandate commercial drivers accept preliminary breath tests PBT. While the tester provides numerical blood alcohol content BAC readings, its primary use is for screening and establishing probable cause for arrest , to invoke the implied consent requirements. In US law, this is necessary to sustain a conviction based on evidential testing or implied consent refusal.
Refusal to take a preliminary breath test PBT in Michigan subjects a non-commercial driver to a "civil infraction" penalty, with no violation "points",  but is not considered to be a refusal under the general "implied consent" law. Different requirements apply in many states to drivers under DUI probation, in which case participation in a preliminary breath test PBT may be a condition of probation.
Some US states, notably California, have statutes on the books penalizing PBT refusal for drivers under 21; however the Constitutionality of those statutes has not been tested. As a practical matter, most criminal lawyers advise not engaging in discussion or "justifying" a refusal with the police.
In the recent wake of legalized marijuana, law enforcement has sought a method of breath testing to determine the content of THC present in an individual.
Law enforcement efficiently combats driving under the influence with tools like breathalyzers during field sobriety tests. Excluding edibles, a THC breathalyzer has the potential to measure how "high" an individual may be at the time. The legality of marijuana does not entail safety on the road, and accurate methods have become required to determine driver impairment. A THC breathalyzer could revolutionize roadside sobriety testing for drivers suspected of impairment. In the US state of Colorado, impaired drivers may potentially be charged with child endangerment if they are arrested for DUI with minor children in the vehicle.
The laws relating to drunk driving vary between countries or subnational regions e. The specific criminal offense may be called, depending on the jurisdiction, "driving under the influence" [of alcohol or other drugs] DUI , "driving under the influence of intoxicants" DUII , "driving while impaired" DWI , "operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs" OVI , "operating under the influence" OUI , "operating while intoxicated" OWI , "operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated" OMVI , "driving under the combined influence of alcohol or other drugs", "driving under the influence per se" or "drunk in charge" [of a vehicle].
Many such laws apply also to motorcycling, boating , piloting aircraft, use of mobile farm equipment such as tractors and combines, riding horses or driving a horse-drawn vehicle , or bicycling, possibly with different BAC level than driving.
In some jurisdictions there are separate charges depending on the vehicle used, such as BWI bicycling while intoxicated , which may carry a lighter sentence. Some jurisdictions have multiple levels of BAC for different categories of drivers; for example, the state of California has a general 0. Some jurisdictions have judicial guidelines requiring a mandatory minimum sentence.
DUI convictions may result in multi-year jail terms and other penalties ranging from fines and other financial penalties to forfeiture of one's license plates and vehicle. In many jurisdictions a judge may also order the installation of an ignition interlock device. Some jurisdictions require that drivers convicted of DUI offenses use special license plates that are easily distinguishable from regular plates. These plates are known in popular parlance as "party plates"  or "whiskey plates".
In many countries, sobriety checkpoints roadblocks of police cars where drivers are checked , driver's licence suspensions, fines and prison sentences for DUI offenders are used as part of an effort to deter impaired driving.
In addition, many countries have prevention campaigns that use advertising to make people aware of the danger of driving while impaired and the potential fines and criminal charges, discourage impaired driving, and encourage drivers to take taxis or public transport home after using alcohol or other drugs. In some jurisdictions, a bar or restaurant that serves an impaired driver may face civil liability for injuries caused by that driver. In some countries, non-profit advocacy organizations, a well-known example being Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD run their own publicity campaigns against drunk driving.
In Argentina, it is a criminal offence to drive if one's level of alcohol is 0. At the Cordoba State highways and routes, a zero-tolerance police is enforced by Cordoba State Highway Patrol and it is an offence to drive with an alcohol level greater than 0. In Australia it is a criminal offence to drive under the influence of alcohol if one's level of alcohol is 0.
People found to have excessive alcohol or any banned substances are taken to either a police station or a random breath testing station for further analysis. Those over 0. The Federal government of Canada has adopted truth in sentencing laws that enforce strict guidelines on sentencing, differing from previous practice where prison time was reduced or suspended after sentencing had been issued.
In Canada, refusal to blow into a blood alcohol testing device provided by a police officer carries the same penalties as being found guilty of drunk driving. Some sources, especially official ones, indicate that the SFSTs are mandatory,    whereas other sources are silent on FST testing.
There are some reports that refusal to submit to an SFST can result in the same penalties as impaired driving. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether there has ever been a prosecution under this interpretation of "failure to comply with a demand" as applied to SFSTs. In Republic of Korea, it is crime to drive if one's level of alcohol is.