Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Alton, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Alton, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Alton, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Alton and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but irresponsible drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Alton, 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 piling up, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and everything seems different than it was in the recent past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, skill and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Alton, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, see how much your claim may be worth by using our free personal injury calculator.

Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois

521 W. Main Street
Suite 201 O
Belleville, IL 62220

Phone: (618) 500-4878

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

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, seasoned and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

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

Every auto wreck is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver accepts culpability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that ends up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation 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 alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Tenacious 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. Contact 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 honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Alton, IL 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 death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some selfish Alton, IL residents still choose to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held responsible for breaking the rules. The Alton, 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 alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

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

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to greatly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - someone experiences lowered coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is key to exercise great caution and find other means of transport if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a dangerous Alton, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the savvy and skilled Alton, 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 road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Alton 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 drunk driving becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe include:

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is crucial to have aggressive and talented Alton, 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 Alton, 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict than many other states' in that your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to someone underage. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to 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 of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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 injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be liable for a portion of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident case in Alton, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by a commercial driver, such as 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Alton, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault for your injuries, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  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 emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. 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 wages 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 send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the compensation 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can include anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant 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 appalling behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives under the influence is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Alton, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. That is why each of our Alton-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Alton and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible decisions did. For knowledgeable, passionate and aggressive representation, call the Alton, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

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ā€œGary 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!ā€

David and Fran Schneider

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