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Abels & Annes, P.C. Chicago Injury Blog

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Can Lead to Drunk Driving Accidents

St. Patrick’s Day brings a huge celebration to Chicago. The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that about seven percent of Chicagoans—approximately 201,500—are of Irish-American heritage. The rest of the city’s population, however, along with thousands of visitors, are ready and willing to join in the holiday and be “Irish for a day.” With the holiday falling on a Saturday in 2018, you can expect even more people will turn out for the hundreds of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the city.

The official party kicks off at about 9:00 a.m., when about 400,000 or so people will show up to watch the Chicago River turn green. Then, the St. Patrick’s Day parade will begin about noon, heading north from the Balbo and Columbus intersection. The afterparties will continue late into the night—and often into the next day, with the whole weekend becoming a celebration. The South Side and Wrigleyville are only a couple of the many popular spots to drink green beer and celebrate authentic or adopted Irish heritage.

St. Patrick’s Day provides a great celebration to bring the city together and have fun, as well as a boost for local businesses and tourism in Chicago. Unfortunately, it also marks a prime time for people to try to drive after drinking and for drunk driving accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that drunk drivers cause one-third of traffic fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the USDOT started a campaign to banish drunk driving, just like St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland. Despite the best efforts of government agencies and law enforcement, however, drunk driving continues to mar this holiday with accidents, injuries, and fatalities in Chicago and across the United States.

Drunk Driving on St. Pat’s

Chicago offers so many opportunities for safe travel after drinking: public transportation, cabs, Uber, and more. Unfortunately, many people still decide to put a damper on the day and get behind the wheel of their own vehicle after they have had one too many green beers or Irish coffees. Chicago traffic worsens and becomes even more of a nightmare on busy weekends such as St. Patrick’s Day, with the risks of crashes significantly increased with more drunk drivers on the road.

Many people do not realize how much alcohol is too much to drive. Even though they may feel in control, their reflexes, focus, and judgment may be impaired, which can lead to serious and dangerous mistakes on the road. Combine such impairment with the traffic in Chicago on a holiday and it should be no surprise that drunk driving accidents occur.

Holding Drunk Drivers Liable for Your Injuries

Drunk drivers can cause crashes that leave you suffering from serious injuries. You may feel pain, be limited in your ability to work or move around, and require extensive treatment before you can get back to normal. Once your injuries have healed, you may still face a mountain of medical bills, as well as lost income if you missed work. Often, the effects of a drunk driving accident can linger for months or years. In other situations, your injuries may leave you with permanent impairments or disabilities and the drunk driver’s decisions will completely change the rest of your life.

Because the losses from a drunk driving accident can be so severe, it’s important that you understand your rights and how to take action to hold the drunk driver liable for your injuries and losses. Each case will differ, however, and you should be aware of certain steps to take to protect and exercise your legal rights.

Call the police – While it is always wise to call 911 after a car crash, it is especially important if you believe that the driver who caused the accident may have been drinking. Do not confront the driver yourself, as drunk individuals can sometimes become combative and aggressive, especially if they feel defensive. Instead, call the authorities and have them use their own methods to determine whether the driver was impaired, including field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. If the police believe the driver violated Illinois law, they can arrest the driver and a prosecutor can issue charges of driving under the influence. A conviction in a DUI case will often help your claim that the driver was intoxicated.

Seek medical help – If you believe you’re injured, you should never wait to undergo a medical evaluation. A timely diagnosis can help prove the extent of your injuries and justify all of your future medical treatments and costs. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it cannot hurt to get checked out to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Call an attorney – Finally, you should always discuss your drunk driving accident with an attorney who has experience handling this type of complicated case. The right lawyer will evaluate your rights and the value of your claim. We can help you file an insurance claim and handle the claim process. Insurance companies can be more difficult than you might think – even in cases involving drunk driving. We will advocate on your behalf to ensure drunk drivers are held fully accountable for their actions. If needed, we will file a personal injury claim in court on your behalf and fight throughout the litigation process for the settlement you deserve.

Contact a Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Help Today

The aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be traumatic. You may be facing devastating injuries and losses, while wondering how you can get justice and financial recovery from the drunk driver who caused your pain and suffering. The Chicago car accident attorneys at the law firm of Abels & Annes are here to help. Case evaluations are free, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation. Contact us online or call 312-924-7575 for more information about how we can assist you.

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