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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Anchor, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Anchor, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, call the Anchor, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Anchor and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Anchor, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients and seeing them made whole again. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, expertise and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Anchor, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by utilizing 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 Anchor, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, experienced and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Anchor, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts culpability and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to 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 we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Anchor, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless Anchor, IL residents still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Anchor, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Anchor, 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 substantially impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - a driver experiences lowered coordination, inability to track moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time 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 have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a dangerous Anchor, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. You need the experienced and skilled Anchor, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Anchor and Illinois

Pursuant 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 driving under the influence becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • 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 Anchor, IL?

Generally, 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 had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to use reasonable care is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits 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 other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se stipulates 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 the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show 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 compensation you deserve; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is key to have dedicated and skilled Anchor, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Anchor, 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 known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Each year 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 incurring damages, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable 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 suit in Anchor, 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 someone who works 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 hired and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Anchor, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Damages Are Available for My Anchor, 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 responsible for your damages, 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need 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 caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, we will also help you receive compensation for the money you would have earned but are no longer able to.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will refer to their network of economic experts to be able to precisely account for inflation.

  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 mental effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as 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 argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Anchor, 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 focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Anchor-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our abilities to get great recoveries for our clients in Anchor and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Anchor, 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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