Negligence Per Se and Drunk Driving Crashes

 Posted on February 13,2024 in Auto Accidents

Aurora car accident lawyerIn many car accident cases, one of the difficulties that can arise is trying to prove the at-fault driver truly is the driver who caused the crash. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to try to deny a claim by trying to shift blame to the injured driver. This is why it is so important to retain the services of an Illinois car accident lawyer to help pursue damages.

But there are car accident cases where the legal doctrine of “negligence per se” can be used to show fault. Negligence per se is a legal doctrine that holds individuals automatically negligent if they violate a statute or regulation intended to protect the public from harm, such as laws prohibiting driving under the influence. If someone causes an accident while driving drunk, they are considered negligent per se because they violated a law designed to prevent the exact harm that occurred.

How Does Negligence Per Se Work?

In the context of a drunk driving crash, Negligence per se can be a crucial element in determining liability by shifting the burden of proof. Instead of having to prove that the driver acted or behaved in some negligent manner and caused the accident, the plaintiff (the injured party) only needs to demonstrate that the driver violated Illinois drunk driving laws.

By driving under the influence, the driver demonstrated an apparent disregard for the safety of others and breached their duty of care owed to fellow motorists, pedestrians, and passengers.

The concept of Negligence per se simplifies the legal process by establishing a presumption of Negligence once the violation of the law is proven. In other words, if a driver is found to be operating a vehicle while intoxicated and causes an accident, they are presumed to have acted negligently, making it easier for the injured party to establish liability.

Although Negligence per se simplifies the car accident claim process by establishing the Negligence of the at-fault driver, it is important to note that the injured party must still prove that:

  • The driver’s decision to drink and drive caused the accident.
  • The plaintiff suffered injuries as a direct result of that crash.
  • Those injuries resulted in both economic and noneconomic losses for the plaintiff.  

Contact an Aurora, IL Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation

If you were injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, you must receive the full compensation you may be entitled to. Call Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Kane County, IL drunk driving accident attorneys and find out what legal recourse you may have.  

Share this post: