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Hit by a drunk driver? They should be held accountable

When you were heading out on a drive, you were just hoping to get some fresh air. You wanted to take a break from your work and cruise around. You didn't expect that anything would go wrong.

It was early in the evening, so the idea that a drunk driver would hit you never crossed your mind. Unfortunately, that's what happened. A driver coming toward you was weaving in the lane, and there was no way to avoid a hit. You were fortunate that they didn't hit you head on, but they did manage to hit the side of your vehicle.

Today, you're still dealing with pain and injuries from the crash. It will be a while before you can even consider returning to work or doing the things you enjoy. It's a frustrating situation to be in.

Illinois takes drunk driving seriously

As a victim of a drunk driving crash, it's important that you know that the laws of the state do take drunk driving seriously. The driver may immediately lose their license, and since you were hurt, they may face aggravated DUI charges. You should know that the driver will lose their license for a year if they won't submit to chemical testing following the crash.

You are able to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver, but they will also more than likely face criminal charges. When you pursue that claim is up to you, and it's usually a good idea to get started early. Keep in mind that if you wait for the driver's conviction, it may help you seek a higher settlement.

For example, if the driver is charged and convicted for crashing into you in a school zone, they'll get a Class 4 felony. If someone was killed, that would jump up to a Class 2 felony offense.

Seeing that a driver was penalized harshly may help you have more leverage when you negotiate with their insurance agency. You can show that the driver was definitely at fault and should be held accountable for any medical care you need, your lost wages and any other financial effects from the incident. Whether this driver was a college-aged student who was out drinking with friends or an older individual with a history of drunk-driving offenses, knowing that they are no longer on the road may also help you as you work toward healing from your own injuries.

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