Illinois Courts and Punitive DamagesIllinois courts generally do not support imposing punitive damages in personal injury claims. However, this is not always true for DUI accidents, and courts occasionally allow victims of a DUI accident to seek punitive damages in their claim.
In a DUI accident, the victim has to prove:
- that the driver consumed enough intoxicant to make them lose full control of their mental and physical faculties
- that impairment caused the DUI accident and injury
- the driver showed disregard for the safety of others by driving drunk
Insurance Settlements and Punitive DamagesPunitive damages in a DUI accident claim are an area of conflict for insurance companies. An insurance policy does not cover for punitive damages. In this case, the money is paid out of the defense’s personal assets. Insurance is there to protect personal assets, so if you are seeking punitive damages in your DUI accident claim, this pressures the insurance company to settle and protect their clients’ assets.
This is why many DUI accident claims tend to settle at higher values than non-DUI car accidents
. You can pressure the insurance company to settle for your full terms and avoid them low-balling your claim. Your DUI accident claim should be reviewed by a Chicago personal injury lawyer who knows when to seek punitive damages.
How a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
At the start of your DUI accident claim you should get advice on what kind of damages you can seek. An experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer will know when it may be a good idea to attempt to seek punitive damages in addition to normal compensatory damages.
A Chicago personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. can evaluate your case for free and help you file your DUI accident claim, contact us today – (312) 263-1080