Can Injured Passengers Recover Damages From a Drunk Driver?
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Can Injured Passengers Recover Damages From a Drunk Driver?

Posted on in Personal Injury
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Bloomingdale Personal Injury AttorneyWhen a person chooses to drive drunk, everyone around them is at risk of serious injury or death, including the driver themself, their passengers, and the occupants of other nearby vehicles. If you are injured in a collision with another driver who was drunk, you may pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.

However, according to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a significant portion of serious drunk driving accidents are single-vehicle crashes. If you are injured in a single-vehicle accident while riding with a drunk driver, can you still recover compensation? In many cases, the answer is yes.

Serious Injuries in Single-Vehicle Drunk Driving Crashes

Drunk drivers can cause serious accidents whether or not there are other vehicles around. Alcohol impairment can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and veer off the road, which may cause a rollover. In other cases, a drunk driver may collide with a tree, utility pole, barricade, or another stationary object at high speed. Depending on the severity of the accident, the driver and passengers can suffer severe trauma to the head, spinal cord, limbs, and internal organs.

Determining Liability

Passengers injured in a single-vehicle crash may be able to recover compensation from the driver if they can demonstrate that their injuries were caused by the driver’s negligence. In a case involving drunk driving, an injured passenger may need evidence that the driver’s abilities were impaired by alcohol, which can come from police reports, BAC test results, and witness testimony. They may also need evidence that the accident happened because of the driver’s intoxication, rather than some other cause.

In some cases, the injury victim’s own fault in the accident may come into question. For example, you may find it more difficult to recover full compensation if there is evidence that you knew of the driver’s intoxication and willingly got in the car with them anyway. On the other hand, if you had no knowledge of the driver’s intoxication, or if the driver misled you about their condition, you may have a stronger claim.

If you were riding with a drunk driver in a multi-vehicle accident, liability may be more complicated. Both the driver of your vehicle and the other driver may be at fault, depending on the circumstances. If so, you could file a personal injury claim against both of them.

Contact a Lombard, IL Car Accident Attorney

At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we know that the actions of a drunk driver can forever change your life. We can help you determine how to go about getting the compensation you deserve and represent you throughout your claim. Call us today at 630-932-9100 for a free consultation with an experienced DuPage County personal injury lawyer.

Sources:

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812864

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073500050K2-1116

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