Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Abingdon, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Abingdon, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Abingdon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Abingdon and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Abingdon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law truly care about out clients and their cases and families mean something to us. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, knowledge and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Abingdon, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the best possible financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your damages may be worth by filling out our free personal injury calculator.

Chicago

Chicago

22 W Washington St
Suite 1500 A
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 500-4878

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What Can Abingdon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, veteran and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

Do I Need Abingdon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a good defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Abingdon, IL residents still decide to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for a rideshare. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Abingdon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Abingdon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is enough to considerably impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - someone suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Abingdon, IL driver not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. Trust in the accomplished and talented Abingdon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Abingdon and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a driving under the influence becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Abingdon, IL?

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the following five elements:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the financial recovery you are owed; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have dedicated and talented Abingdon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Abingdon, IL?

It is important to find all liable parties, especially if the driver has policy limits that do not fully compensate you for your damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to make a claim against:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to prove:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Abingdon, IL, that means that you must show that the owner of the vehicle purposely gave the keys to the drunk driver, and that the owner knew or should have known that the driver was too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Abingdon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of cases and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

What Damages Are Available for My Abingdon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the money you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount adjusts for inflation as well.

  2. Noneconomic damages 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

In addition, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our Abingdon, IL clients:

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Abingdon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. For that reason, each of our Abingdon-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our abilities to get the best results for our clients in Abingdon and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish decisions did. For accomplished, passionate and relentless representation, call the Abingdon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

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“Gary and his team provided us with effective, efficient and highly professional service. Gary provides sound advice and is a trustworthy and ethical attorney. I highly recommend the team!”

David and Fran Schneider

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