Icy Roads or Under the Influence?

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I’m a personal injury lawyer in Illinois, and I’ve handled many car accident cases over the years. Last winter, there was one case I handled that was difficult to crack. I needed the help of a Chicago car accident attorney to get my client the settlement they deserved because I truly couldn’t figure out how to build a strong case.

Thankfully, with another lawyer on my side, we put together a strategy and got to the bottom of what really happened. My client had been driving on icy roads in the middle of January. Winter car accidents make things difficult in Illinois because it’s hard to determine when a driver has been negligent versus when winter weather is the ultimate cause of a collision.

A driver who slid over the median unexpectedly hit my client, and unfortunately, my client suffered a traumatic brain injury. The driver who hit my client claimed that they hit black ice on the road and there was nothing they could do to control their vehicle. The police couldn’t get to the scene right away, and by the time they arrived, the driver tested negative for alcohol on his breath.

Finding the Real Story

As a lawyer, I was suspicious of whether black ice was the sole cause of such a severe accident, and I knew I needed to investigate further. What I couldn’t figure out, however, was how to get more evidence on this guy.

Once I sought help from another attorney, our minds worked together. We began investigating where the driver had been prior to the collision. We checked his plates and started asking around. After months of questioning and using video footage to search for his car, we found out that the driver had been drinking at a local bar within an hour before the crash.

Convincing the Jury

His bar tab was large and witnesses at the bar saw him drinking. Using this evidence, we were able to prove to the jury that the crash was caused by more than just black ice. The police never gave the man a blood test for alcohol, and this extra testing may have confirmed our story further.


Because we weren’t pressing criminal charges, but were simply trying to win our client a civil settlement, the evidence we found was enough to win our case and maximize a settlement in court. This settlement allowed my client to receive the best treatment possible for their brain injury and I felt much better after seeking justice.

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