A retired Chicago Fire Department ambulance commander and his wife were killed in a tragic suspected drunk driving accident on the East 103rd Street Bridge in Chicago on July 28. Richard and Susan Biehl were driving home from an East Chicago casino at around 1 a.m. when their truck was struck head-on by a Chevy Sedan, causing their vehicle to roll over and land upside-down.
Police say that they suspect the 30-year-old driver of the Chevy may have been intoxicated and speeding at the time of the accident. He allegedly crossed the center lane and struck another vehicle before crashing into the Biehl’s truck.
Richard Biehl was brought to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he later died. Susan Biehl was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Hospital.
The Chevy driver remains in critical condition. The Chicago Police Department has said that they plan to file charges against him.
Like most other states, Illinois has dram shop laws that allow victims of drunk driving accidents to file lawsuits against the businesses that served the drunk driver, depending on circumstances.
If a bar, nightclub, restaurant, or other alcohol-serving establishment continues to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, they may be considered in violation of dram shop laws. This means that they can be held liable for damages related to the drunk driving accident. According to this law, alcohol vendors have a responsibility to stop serving someone who is visibly drunk. When a vendor fails to stop serving and that customer ends up causing an accident that injures someone else, the injury victim could have grounds for a dram shop lawsuit against the vendor.
Earlier this year, Anthony’s Restaurant & Pub in Joliet, Illinois was sued under the dram shop law after staff allegedly served alcohol to an underage girl who ended up causing an accident that night. The lawsuit was filed by a passenger in the underage girl’s vehicle.
We spoke to lawyer for fatal drunk driving accidents, Brian Kent about the legal options victims and families have following a drunk driving accident.
When a drunk driving accident takes an innocent life, it’s normal for the victim’s family to seek justice. Drunk drivers don’t consider the devastating consequences that can result from their decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. The families who have to suffer because of this decision deserve financial compensation for their suffering.
The families of drunk driving accident victims may have the option to seek justice and financial compensation by filing a lawsuit. Dram shop laws allow these families to sue alcohol vendors who continued to serve the person who caused the accident after that person was already visibly intoxicated. Additionally, these families also sometimes have the option to file wrongful death lawsuits.
Determining a family or victim’s legal rights following a drunk driving accident is complicated. It’s usually necessary to have your case reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to fully understand your legal options.