How Does a Drunk Driving Conviction Impact Your Negligence Lawsuit?

How Does a Drunk Driving Conviction Impact Your Negligence Lawsuit?It sounds simple: Wait for the prosecution to convict the intoxicated driver and then use the conviction to win your accident claim. As any experienced Chicago car accident lawyer can tell you, winning your negligence case is not that easy. There are many practical and legal issues to consider.

Key factors in DUI accident cases

If an intoxicated driver caused death or injuries, then the driver should be held accountable for his/her wrong. There’s no excuse for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some of the major concerns are:

  • The standard of proof. In criminal cases, the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the plaintiff must prove its case by an easier standard – the preponderance of the evidence. Generally, this means if a defendant is convicted of a DUI, he/she was likely at fault for the accident. If the defendant is acquitted, that doe mean the driver is innocent of civil responsibility. Because the criminal standard is much tougher, acquitted defendants can still be held liable for your injuries or the death of a loved one.
  • How the case is proved. Generally, both criminal and civil cases introduce the results of breath or blood tests to prove someone drove while intoxicated. Because questions do arise about the admissibility of breath and blood tests, it is important to begin the civil lawsuit as quickly as possible. Our Chicago attorneys work to prove the defendant would have been liable even if the driver hadn’t been drunk. We work with investigators, the police, and witnesses to show a driver sped, ran a red light, drove recklessly, or disregarded your safety. If a lawyer just waited for the criminal case to take place, they would jeopardize your ability to prove fault in other ways.
  • The ability of the defendant to pay. If the drunk driver had insurance, we seek damages from the intoxicated driver’s insurance policy. Many drunk drivers don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance to pay for all your pain and suffering, lost wages, and your medical bills. If you have uninsured and underinsured coverage, then your own policy should pay the balance of any damage claim – up to the policy limits.
  • Who else might be liable. The owners of the car that struck you may be liable if the owners and the driver are different. If a tavern or business that sold liquor to someone reasonably knowing the patron might drive while intoxicated and the driver did cause the accident, then the tavern or business may be liable to pay some of your damages – up to preset limits.

A drunk driver can also be sued for punitive damages to punish the driver and to deter the driver from ever driving while intoxicated again.

Drunk drivers often cause serious injuries and death. They can’t react to emergencies. They often veer into your lane of traffic. It’s almost impossible to drive defensively because sober drivers can’t anticipate what the intoxicated driver will do. At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago car accident lawyers hold drunk drivers accountable for the harm and tragedies they cause. For help now, please call 312-313-1621 or use our contact form to reach us.

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"Neal Gainsberg was a great lawyer. He represented me at a small claims trial and obtained a great result. Neal was there for me and answered all my questions even though my case was not that large."

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J.T., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was a great lawyer. He represented me at a small claims trial and obtained a great result. Neal was there for me and answered all my questions even though my case was not that large."

K.R., Chicago, IL

"After my former lawyer refused to continue with my auto accident case, Neal Gainsberg took over the case, and he was able to obtain a settlement for the other driver’s policy limits. He was actively involved in my case, returned all my calls, and explained any issue that I had during the case. After I spoke with Neal, he was able to resolve any problems or issues. Neal provided exceptional representation against the insurance company for the other driver. Since Neal settled my case, I have recommended him to my family members and friends. If you have a legal issue, you should call Neal and hire him to be your attorney."

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K.R., Chicago, IL

"After my former lawyer refused to continue with my auto accident case, Neal Gainsberg took over the case, and he was able to obtain a settlement for the other driver’s policy limits. He was actively involved in my case, returned all my calls, and explained any issue that I had during the case. After I spoke with Neal, he was able to resolve any problems or issues. Neal provided exceptional representation against the insurance company for the other driver. Since Neal settled my case, I have recommended him to my family members and friends. If you have a legal issue, you should call Neal and hire him to be your attorney."

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E.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in my Chapter 13 case. He knew all the details about bankruptcy and my case, explained everything to me in the beginning, made every issue easy to understand, and provided the help I needed during the five years of the plan. As a result of Neal’s legal assistance, I was able to make all my plan payments and get a fresh start. I highly recommend that anyone considering bankruptcy to give Neal a call."

N.S., D.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was our lawyer in a car accident case. We were both injured in addition to our 16 month old daughter. Even though the other driver ran the red light and we had witnesses of her illegal conduct, her insurance company at first denied our claim and said it was our fault. We hired Neal and he fought the insurance company hard. Without having to go to court, he was able to convince the insurance company that it was their driver’s fault. Neal got a great settlement for us and our child within three months of the accident. We were very happy with Neal, he kept us informed about everything, and eased our stress from the accident. If you want an excellent car accident attorney, you need to hire Neal!"

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N.S., D.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg was our lawyer in a car accident case. We were both injured in addition to our 16 month old daughter. Even though the other driver ran the red light and we had witnesses of her illegal conduct, her insurance company at first denied our claim and said it was our fault. We hired Neal and he fought the insurance company hard. Without having to go to court, he was able to convince the insurance company that it was their driver’s fault. Neal got a great settlement for us and our child within three months of the accident. We were very happy with Neal, he kept us informed about everything, and eased our stress from the accident. If you want an excellent car accident attorney, you need to hire Neal!"

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M.T.G., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg took my personal injury claim against large store after I fell on water and injured my knee and back. The store employees disputed that anything happened and the manager accused me and my son, who witnessed the fall, of making it up. Neal brought a lawsuit against the store, took several depositions of the store employees, and obtained a great settlement for me and my family. Neal fought hard on my case, and I was very pleased with the results."

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"Neal is a great attorney. He helped us with several legal issues, including obtaining a large settlement for us following a car accident. He worked very hard on our case from the start, answered all our phone calls and questions, and kept us continually updated. Since then, we have used Neal for other civil matters. We have known Neal for over 13 years, and call him whenever we have a legal question. We know Neal will be there to help us."

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V.S.G. and M.G., Richton Park, IL

"Neal is a great attorney. He helped us with several legal issues, including obtaining a large settlement for us following a car accident. He worked very hard on our case from the start, answered all our phone calls and questions, and kept us continually updated. Since then, we have used Neal for other civil matters. We have known Neal for over 13 years, and call him whenever we have a legal question. We know Neal will be there to help us."

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R.P., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg is a smart and an aggressive lawyer. He did a great job on my case. He helped me with a money dispute with a former friend and obtained a judgment for me. Neal listened and paid attention to any question I had, answered my calls right away, and was there for me at every point during the case. He knew exactly what to do in court. If you are looking to get compensation, I highly recommend that you hire Neal."

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L.S., Chicago, IL

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Gainsberg Law P.C.
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J.O., Indiana

"Neal Gainsberg at first represented me in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case. He explained everything to me and developed a payment plan that I could afford. Whenever I had any questions, Neal responded quickly to any emails or phone calls. Unfortunately, I lost income during my plan, and Neal recommended that I convert the case to a Chapter 7 case. Despite my worries about my finances, Neal made everything easy for me, converted the case, and made sure that I received a fresh start. Neal was very knowledgeable about bankruptcy law, and I highly recommend him as a bankruptcy lawyer."

M.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in a personal injury case after a vehicle struck a motorcycle that I was riding on. Neal made sure I understood my rights as an injured party, and that I was receiving the proper medical attention. He did a great job in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company and making sure all my medical bills were paid and that I was compensated for my injuries and loss time at work. I recommend Neal as a lawyer to anyone who unfortunately is injured in an accident."

M.S., Chicago, IL

Gainsberg Law P.C.
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M.S., Chicago, IL

"Neal Gainsberg represented me in a personal injury case after a vehicle struck a motorcycle that I was riding on. Neal made sure I understood my rights as an injured party, and that I was receiving the proper medical attention. He did a great job in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company and making sure all my medical bills were paid and that I was compensated for my injuries and loss time at work. I recommend Neal as a lawyer to anyone who unfortunately is injured in an accident."
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