According to a Chicago Tribune article, a Lisle man struck two pedestrians in River North Chicago, sending both women to the hospital. Fortunately, the women are reported to be in stable condition. The crash took place in the 100 block of Ontario Street, between LaSalle Avenue and Wells Street. After the accident, police cited the driver for negligent driving, failing to reduce speed, failure to yield to pedestrians, and for driving under the influence. A victim of a drunk driving crash has the right to bring a lawsuit to recover for any resulting suffering and losses. The best recourse is to contact a local injury attorney with experience in handling car accidents.
Innocent victims of drunk driving accidents can sustain many kinds of injuries, from mild scrapes and abrasions to more severe ailments such as head trauma and paralysis. Unfortunately, many people die each year in car accidents involving a drunk driver. According to national statistics, in 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving accidents, translating to one every 51 minutes. In terms of dollars and cents, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually.
On a more local level, in 2011, Illinois reported a total of 279 fatalities involving alcohol-impaired driving. It is no wonder that the National Transportation Safety Board (the “NTSB”) recently recommended that states reduce the permissible blood-alcohol concentration by more than a third, to .05% from the current standard of .08%.
The NTSB is suggesting the change due to the fact that many people are injured or killed each year by drivers who have not reached the legal threshold for being drunk, but who nonetheless have a reduced ability to see, make decisions or operate a vehicle. Of course, the main idea behind the recommended change is to make the roads safer for all drivers and pedestrians. According to the recent article, officials proposing the change are hoping that the reduced blood-alcohol level will deter drinking and driving among heavy drinkers as well as social drinkers. But not everyone sees it this way. In fact, critics of the proposed limit argue that changing the level to .05% will simply criminalize what would typically be considered responsible behavior. They say that such a change would do nothing to stop the heavy drinkers from driving drunk.
Proponents argue, however, that most of the industrialized world utilizes .05% as the acceptable blood-alcohol limit. While the NTSB’s intentions are good, if states agree to implement the recommended change, studies will have to be done to see whether the .03% reduction will decrease the number of car crashes involving impaired drivers. In addition to drunk driving, there are many other reasons people get into car accidents, including distractions from cell phone use, either texting or talking, unexpected roadwork construction, ineffective signage, and pure driver carelessness, to name a few.
There are established factors that one must prove in order to recover damages from a car accident: 1) the person who caused the accident had a legal responsibility called a “duty of care”; 2) a breach of that duty must occur; 3) the breach of duty must have caused the accident; and 4) injuries resulting from the accident must be incurred. A local personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident cases can help you to maximize your recovery.