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Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

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Jonathan Rosenfeld


  • Over $450 Million worth of case results

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  • Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Suffering an injury at the hands of a drunk driver can catastrophically affect your health, mobility, and finances. Oftentimes in these accidents, the intoxicated driver walks away unscathed, leaving you and your loved ones to face long-term debilitating injuries—even fatalities.

Victims of a drunk driving accident may be entitled to compensation from the driver and/or their insurance company because of civil liability laws. There are also certain laws that could potentially increase the reach of liability to parties other than the drunk driver. 

What Is Considered Drunk Driving?

Drunk driving, legally referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) (or Operating While Intoxicated in some places, like Wisconsin), is typically defined as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. 

In most states, a DUI charge can also occur even when a person’s BAC is below 0.08% if there are signs of impairment affecting a driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely. 

In these situations, law enforcement officers may use observations of erratic driving behavior, field sobriety tests, or other evidence of intoxication like slurred speech and the smell of alcohol to alert them to a drunk driver.

When arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, police officers will typically conduct a breathalyzer test to officially measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This criminal offense can lead to severe legal consequences for the driver.

Commercial vehicle drivers are held to stricter legal limits due to the potential risks posed when operating large vehicles on public roadways. In Illinois, for instance, commercial truckers are subject to a lower BAC limit of 0.04%.

Other states like Wisconsin have even more stringent regulations, where a commercial driver’s BAC cannot be over 0.00%, even when driving their own personal vehicles, or they could risk losing their CDL, or they risk losing their commercial driver’s license.

What Should You Do If You’re in an Accident With a Drunk Driver?

If you find yourself in a drunk driving accident with a drunk driver, taking appropriate steps can protect your safety and strengthen any potential legal claims:

  • Call 911: An immediate response from law enforcement documents the incident and allows any injured parties to seek medical assistance right away.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine it’s important to get checked out by a professional as sometimes injuries don’t appear immediately because of adrenaline and shock. 
  • Document The Scene: Taking photos of the scene clearly documenting vehicle damage or injuries provides essential proof for insurance claims or legal purposes.
  • Gather Information: Collect details from all parties involved like names, contact information, insurance information, license plate numbers, and vehicle descriptions.
  • Avoid Admitting Fault: Be cautious of what you communicate at the accident scene to other drivers or police; refrain from apologizing, as these comments could be construed as you admitting fault. 
  • Consult a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer: Before providing statements or signing documents from insurance companies, consult with a personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and you’re taking the right steps towards fair compensation.

How Can Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Help You?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers who specialize in representing drunk driving accident victims. Our involvement starts with giving you the knowledgeable counsel you need to understand your legal options and rights following an unfortunate incident like this. 

By thoroughly investigating, gathering evidence (photos, video surveillance footage, police reports), and relying on expert witness testimony and reports, we are able to build a solid drunk driving accident case for our clients seeking compensation.

We also bring forth decades of experience negotiating claims against insurance companies, always aiming for fair settlements that compensate our clients appropriately. 

In instances where negotiations falter, we are ready to prove liability in court before a judge or jury, ensuring you get everything you’re entitled to.

Navigating the aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be an arduous journey. With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers by your side, navigating this challenge becomes easier. 

How Much Compensation Could I Receive?

The amount of compensation received after a drunk driving accident with an intoxicated driver varies based on factors like the extent of your injuries and damages. Here are the potential types you might be awarded:

  • Economic Damages: These include measurable losses such as medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages from missed work.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These cover the more intangible consequences such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life due to injuries sustained.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where it is determined that an offender’s actions were particularly egregious–as could certainly be the case in a drunk driving accident–punitive damages can be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. 

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we are proud of our track record in obtaining substantial settlements for clients who have experienced car accidents–some for hundreds of thousands of dollars and some even into the millions–showcasing our commitment to advocating for rightful compensation.

What to Consider Before Hiring a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

When seeking legal representation after being involved in an accident with a drunk driver, there are several considerations to keep in mind to make sure you choose the right drunk driving accident lawyer for your situation. 

  • Experience and Track Record: You’ll want a lawyer with a proven history of handling drunk driving cases successfully. Their past achievements in court or through settlements can be indicative of their capability to manage your claim effectively.
  • Communication and Availability: Clarity in communication and easy accessibility are fundamental characteristics of a good lawyer, so look for a legal team willing to provide you with updates consistently throughout your case without requiring continual prompting.
  • Expertise on Medical Issues: Working with DUI accident attorneys familiar with the complexities of injuries common in drunk driving cases is crucial for ensuring accurate representation of your medical needs and costs. Make sure they have a network of medical experts they work with who can provide testimony or develop reports that strengthen your case.
  • Client Reviews and Testimonials: The experiences previous clients have had can offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of a drunk driving accident lawyer, commitment to their clients, and overall ability to deliver a satisfactory settlement or court ruling.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers encapsulates these essentials when seeking a DUI accident attorney after a drunk driving accident—drawing on two decades of dedicated service to clients, with recoveries totaling over $450 million. 

Recognized nationwide for our unwavering commitment and expertise, we boast top client ratings on platforms like Justia and Avvo, with perfect scores of 10/10. 

We have assisted over 5,000 individuals through serious injuries and helped them deal with the grief and damages they’ve experienced as a result. 

We understand how difficult an accident can be, and we ensure around-the-clock availability to attend to your legal needs; you’ll receive support whenever required.

Contact a drunk driving accident lawyer from our team

How Much Does It Cost To Retain a Top-Rated DUI Accident Lawyer?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t owe us any upfront fees to retain our services. Instead, we only receive payment if we win your case and obtain compensation for you—either through settlement or verdict. Ultimately, if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. 

This agreement guarantees that our primary focus is on maximizing your compensation without any financial risk on your part.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

The time you have to file a claim for a DUI accident, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state and can critically impact your ability to receive compensation. 

This legal time frame is typically two years in Illinois; however, this period varies across states.

For example, Maine and North Dakota have a statute of limitations extending up to 6 years, and Missouri provides a 5-year deadline. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Tennessee and Louisiana have a short 1-year deadline. 

Exceptions to The Time Limit

The statute of limitations often has various exceptions, which can either extend or shorten these timelines. 

One of the most common is the “discovery rule,” where a drunk driving accident victim might not realize they have suffered harm from an accident. The deadline in these cases only starts once the harm was discovered or should have reasonably been discovered. 

There are also situations where the deadline can be shortened. 

For instance, if your drunk driving accident was partially caused by a government entity, your deadline is typically significantly shorter and has more stringent notice requirements before you can file your claim. 

Timing is critical when filing a claim after an accident; missing the designated deadline set by the statute of limitations results in you losing your right to file a lawsuit altogether.

How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents?

Drunk driving accidents are tragically frequent, causing irreversible harm to individuals and families each year. Despite increased awareness and stiff penalties, the drunk driving statistics remain devastating:

  • A drunk-driving car wreck claims approximately 37 lives every day in the US. [1]
  • 28% of all overall driving fatalities are attributable to drunk driving. [2]
  • Ride-sharing options have decreased alcohol-related US traffic fatalities by 6.1%. [3]
  • Drivers with a BAC over 0.10 are 7 times more likely to be in fatal car accidents compared with sober drivers. [3]
  • 2 out of every 3 people will be affected by drunk driving throughout their lives. [4]

What Types of Drunk Driving Accident Cases Do We Handle?

In the face of a DUI accident, the type of collision can significantly influence both immediate dangers and long-term repercussions for all involved. 

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is prepared to handle a variety of personal injury cases that stem from different types of drunk driving accidents, including: 

  • Head-On Collisions – These devastating drunk driving accidents often result in severe injuries due to the extreme forces at play when two vehicles collide directly into each other. Our firm handles these complex claims attentively, understanding their distressing nature and substantial impacts on victims’ lives.
  • Rear-End Collisions – Even seemingly minor rear-end collisions can lead to significant trauma, such as whiplash or spinal damage. Our skilled team has extensive experience navigating the nuances of rear-end collision claims, advocating for just compensation to cover injury-related losses.
  • Fatal Car Accidents – When DUI incidents tragically result in fatalities, we are prepared to provide compassionate legal support for the families left behind, focusing on filing a successful wrongful death claim that meaningfully addresses their profound losses and any associated financial hardships.

We understand that every DUI accident case is unique and carries its own set of circumstances. We represent injured victims affected by various types of incidents, not limited to the specific kinds mentioned above. Other examples include:

  • Pedestrians and bicyclists hit by a drunk driver
  • Hit-and-run accidents involving drunk drivers
  • Vehicle rollover accidents as a result of a drunk driver

Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by a Drunk Driver?

Liability for injuries caused by a drunk driver can extend to several entities. Here are potential parties who might also be held legally accountable:

Drunk Driver

The intoxicated individual behind the wheel is usually primarily responsible as they made the decision to drive after consuming alcohol, clearly breaching their duty of care to other drivers on the road.

Establishments Serving Alcohol

Under dram shop laws, bars or restaurants that serve alcohol to someone who then causes injuries in a drunk driving accident case can be held liable. 

Hotel operators and Responsible Adults

In Illinois, laws extend liability to adults over the age of 21 who knowingly pay for hotel or motel rooms with the intention of allowing minors to consume alcohol and then get into an intoxicated driving accident, causing injuries. 

Adults Who Provide Alcohol to Minors

Adults providing alcohol directly to minors can also face liability should those underage individuals go on to cause drunk driving accidents after consuming the alcohol.

Person Owning, Renting, or Leasing

Individuals or entities who own, rent, lease, or allow others to occupy their building or premises can also be held liable if they had knowledge that alcohol would be sold there, and that sale then leads a drunk driver to cause an accident. 

Determining liability in cases involving drunk drivers can be highly complicated as it involves parsing through layers of legal responsibilities and potential defendants. This is why having knowledgeable personal injury attorneys by your side can tip the scales in your favor.

The Most Common Injuries Sustained in Drunk Driving Crashes

Drunk driving crashes typically result in devastating injuries, affecting victims physically, emotionally, and financially. The nature of these accidents often leads to severe and long-lasting trauma. Some of the most common injuries include the following: 

  • Spinal Cord Injuries – Impairment or complete loss of mobility can occur if an accident results in spinal cord damage; our firm handles such life-altering circumstances with the exhaustive investigation required for rightful compensation.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries – These vary from mild concussions to severe head injuries that can disrupt critical brain functions. The drunk driving accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers seek to secure essential funds for long-term rehabilitation and care needed in such cases.
  • Neck & Back Injuries – Whiplash is a commonly known but serious neck injury resulting from car accidents. Back injuries may include herniated discs or other spinal issues, which we ensure are fully addressed through legal claims.
  • Broken Bones – Drunk driving accidents often lead to fractures or breaks, requiring surgical intervention and lengthy recovery periods. We take this into account when advocating for your claim’s full value. 
  • Soft Tissue Injuries – Strains, sprains, and tears in muscles, tendons, or ligaments are common but can have a long-lasting impact on mobility and quality of life. We work to make certain these types of injuries are not underestimated by insurance companies in terms of their severity.
  • Amputations – Losing a limb is among the most severe consequences of drunk driving accidents, and such a life-altering injury demands comprehensive legal representation to seek compensation that reflects both current needs and future challenges.
  • Death – In the tragic event that an accident leads to loss of life, our firm supports families in filing wrongful death claims aimed at addressing not only financial losses but also emotional suffering.

These injuries cover just a fragment of the potential harsh realities that injured victims may face following an accident with a drunk driver. 

It’s important to recognize that in the aftermath of an accident with a drunk driver, there could be two distinct legal situations in which you may need to participate: civil and criminal.

Is Drunk Driving a Criminal or Civil Offense?

When a driver gets behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they not only face criminal charges for their actions but can also be held liable in civil court by victims seeking damages.

Criminal vs Civil Cases

While criminal cases against drunk drivers are initiated by the state to penalize unlawful behavior, civil cases center on victims’ rights to recover compensation for their injuries and losses. 

Criminal Case: In a criminal case, you may have to testify if you were injured by the drunk driver, but you would just be a witness – you aren’t “getting anything” out of testifying. The drunk driver faces penalties such as fines, probation, loss of license, and jail time. 

Civil Case: In a civil personal injury case, you personally are filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver to obtain compensation for your injuries and losses. 

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our focus is on representing you in these civil claims; it’s through this avenue that we can help secure financial compensation, which might cover medical costs, loss of income while recovering from a drunk driving accident-related injury, or other long-term consequences. 

What Happens to My Claim If the Criminal Charges Get Dismissed?

If criminal charges against a drunk driver are dismissed, it does not eliminate the possibility of pursuing a civil claim for compensation based on the same incident. 

A dismissal in criminal court could stem from various factors, including lack of sufficient evidence or procedural errors, but this has no direct bearing on the standard required to prove a civil claim against them. 

A personal injury lawsuit adheres to significantly different burden of proof standards than those necessary for convictions within the criminal system, and the standards in civil court are less stringent.

Ultimately, the criminal matter and the civil matter are not related. 

Does Fault Matter If a Drunk Driver Has Hurt Me?

When a drunk driver has injured you, the concept of fault may be central to your claim for damages, especially in at-fault states where determining who caused the accident affects which insurance company is responsible for compensating the injured party. 

Fault States

In the vast majority of cases, if a drunk driver has caused a drunk driving accident that resulted in injury, they would be considered at fault because driving under the influence is a clear breach of their legal duty to operate their vehicle with care. In these cases, the injured party would file an insurance claim against the drunk driver’s insurance.

No-Fault States

However, in no-fault car insurance states, your own insurance company, through personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, typically pays for medical expenses after a car crash regardless of who was responsible. 

Even so, you might be able to step outside the PIP system and pursue additional damages by filing a lawsuit against the defendant in certain cases, like when injuries or damages are severe and exceed the PIP limits.

If You Caused The Accident With a Drunk Driver

In cases where you are responsible for causing an accident but the other driver was intoxicated, this can impact the claim.

The presence of alcohol doesn’t automatically make the drunk driver liable in an accident if you are indeed the one who caused it. Essentially, liability rests upon determining negligence and proving which party’s actions led directly to the accident.

It is a complex legal matter that requires careful examination of all facts surrounding the incident. Having experienced legal counsel on your side can help unravel these intricacies to establish fault.

The rules concerning fault in motor vehicle accidents, including those involving drunk drivers, vary significantly from one state to another, making it essential to consult with an attorney experienced in drunk driving accidents. 

Why Choose Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers?

Choosing Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers means working with a firm that’s not just dedicated, but also successful, with proven success in car accident claims.

Notable settlements emphasize our commitment to obtaining the best outcomes, as seen in cases like the $175,000 auto accident settlement where we represented a married couple rear-ended by an inexperienced teen driver.

We recorded a remarkable wrongful death case settlement, standing at $2,200,000, awarded to family members of an individual who tragically lost his life due to a collision between two vehicles during work-related travel.

Jonathan Rosenfeld, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we fully understand that no sum of money can undo the injuries or bring back a loved one lost in a drunk driving incident. However, financial compensation can provide crucial support needed for rehabilitation and recovery from such a devastating drunk driving accident. We’re here to offer you comprehensive guidance through an initial consultation with no obligation or cost, ensuring your interests are safeguarded every step of the way. 

Call us at (888) 424-5757 or reach out online today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer.

Resources: [1] NHTSA, [2], [3] The Zebra, [4] MADD 

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

– Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

– Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

– Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

– Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother’s death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

– Lisa

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Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers
225 W Wacker Dr #1660
Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: (847) 835-8895
Toll Free: (888) 424-5757

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