Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Altona, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Altona, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver injured you or someone you care about, call the Altona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Altona and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still cause incredible damage. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, your life was immediately completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Altona, 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 are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, knowledge 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 secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Altona, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, see how much your claim 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 Altona, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, accomplished 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 Altona, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every injury case is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, 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. Skilled and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some careless Altona, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a maximum recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Altona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

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, over a third tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Altona, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to substantially reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a person suffers from lowered coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Altona, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the accomplished and aggressive Altona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Altona and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving while drunk on under the influence of drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a DUI becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • An accident occurred 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

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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

There are five elements needed in order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove duty of care and breach of duty. 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 receive the financial recovery you deserve; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is crucial to have committed and talented Altona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Altona, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your case. Other third parties include:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for your injuries
  • 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 drunk 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, it is negligent to permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Altona, IL, that means that you must show that the owner of the vehicle purposely allowed the other driver to use their car, 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 Altona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

You can typically recover three types 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 an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be paid 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the salary you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  2. Noneconomic damages 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who drives under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Altona, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. That is why each of our Altona-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to fighting on behalf 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 regularly fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to get great recoveries for our clients in Altona and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Altona, 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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