Accidents Caused By Drunk Drivers
Alcohol related car accidents cause personal injury every 2 minutes and a wrongful death every 31 minutes. Car crashes caused by drunk drivers has become a major problem. The lawyers of VanDerGinst Law have over twenty years of experience handling injury and death cases related to drunk driving.
Each state has its ‘own laws and nomenclature regarding drunk driving. In some states it is called “Driving under the influence” (DUI). In other states it is called “Driving while intoxicated” (DWI). In still others it is called “Driving while impaired”. Regardless of what it is called, there is financial compensation available for those hurt by the reckless behavior of a drunk driver. Just like any driver guilty of negligence, a drunk driver can be held liable for damages caused by his or her careless driving, including medical bills, lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, disability, out of pocket expenses; and in the event of a wrongful death can also be liable for funeral expenses and compensation for the family of the deceased.
Intentional and Accidental Injuries Caused By Intoxicated Persons
Drunk driving is not the only way intoxicated persons injure other people. Bar fights are common occurrences. Quite often an intoxicated patron will get into an argument with someone else and their “beer muscles” will prompt them to get into a fight. Unlike drunk driving, which is usually a negligence case, bar fights and other scuffles that involve intoxicated persons, are usually intentional actions. This distinction is important because of insurance issues. There is typically no insurance available to cover a loss caused by an intentional action. Accidents caused by the negligent behavior of an intoxicated person are insurable. (E.g. car crashes or a non-intentional drunken action that causes injury.) Of course, just because an action is “insurable” does not mean that insurance is available. Again, that means that it is important to contact the lawyers of VanDerGinst Law so that we may investigate all possibilities to see if reasonable compensation can be secured from some source.
Ordinary negligence claims typically seek “compensatory” damages. That is, money to compensate the injured party for their losses, including pain and suffering. However, intentional actions and drunk drivers may also be liable for “punitive” damages. Those are damages designed, not to compensate the victim, but to punish the offender. Even though punitive damages are not usually covered by insurance, they are also not usually dischargeable in bankruptcy. That means that the responsible party may have to pay off a punitive damage claim over the course of many years until it is satisfied.
Dram Shop Laws
Dram shop laws hold bar owners and others responsible for the actions of persons who were “over-served” in their establishments. In Illinois, Iowa and many other states, those who provided alcohol may be considered negligent and liable for damages caused by an intoxicated person.
In some states, even non-businesses may incur liability for supplying liquor to a driver who subsequently has an accident if their intoxication is the cause or a contributing factor towards their negligence. This legal theory is called “social host liability.” Where applicable, the host of a party may be held liable if he or she continues to allow a guest to imbibe after the guest is obviously intoxicated or nearly intoxicated.
If you or someone you love has suffered personal injuries or wrongful death due to someone else’s intoxication please contact the personal injury lawyers of VanDerGinst Law for FREE, no obligation consultation. If we don’t win your case there is NO ATTORNEY FEE. You can contact us by clicking here or call 309-793-1161 or TOLL FREE at 866-654-8782.
Our lawyers serve the Quad Cities and surrounding area including but not limited to the following towns and counties: Rock Island County, Scott County, Henry County Whiteside County, Knox County, Carroll County Jo Davies County, Henderson County, Warren County, Stark County, Bureau County, Jackson County, Clinton County, Muscatine County, Cedar County, Johnson County, Linn County, Moline, Silvis, Muscatine, Galesburg, Macomb, Monmouth, Kewanee, Rock Island, Moline, Davenport, Bettendorf, East Clinton, Camanche, Wapello, New Boston, Columbus Junction, Fruitland, Wilton Aledo, Andalusia, Atkinson, Barstow, Blue Grass, Buffalo, Cambridge, Carbon Cliff, Coal Valley, Sterling, Rock Falls, Morrison, Mt. Carroll, Sabula, Colona, Cordova, Coyne Center, Dewitt, Dixon, Donahue, Durant, Edgington, Eldridge, Eliza, Erie, Galva, Geneseo, Hampton, Illinois City, LeClaire, Long Grove, Milan, McCausland, Montpelier, New Liberty, Oak Grove, Orion, Osco, Parkview, Pleasant Valley, Preemption, Princeton, Riverdale, Sherrard, Stockton, Taylor Ridge, Walcott, Welton, Joy, , Morrison, Port Byron, Grand Mound, Miles, Preston, Delmar, Maquoketa, Dubuque, Geneva, Galena, Bellevue, Dyersville, Knoxville, Oquawka, Alexis, Keithsburg, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Illinois and Iowa.