Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Belvidere, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Belvidere, 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 Belvidere, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Belvidere and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause incredible devastation. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Belvidere, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, skill and tenacious legal counsel 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 secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Belvidere, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were hurt by an irresponsible drunk driver, find out how much your claim may be worth by using 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 Belvidere, 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 the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, accomplished and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Belvidere, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your case. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who injure people 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 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • 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 carry out a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive 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 deaths have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Belvidere, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety 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 deserve to be fairly compensated with a maximum recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Belvidere, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Belvidere, 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 greatly hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a motorist suffers from reduced coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. 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 reckless Belvidere, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. You need the savvy and talented Belvidere, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Belvidere and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a it 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that drivers are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law 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 have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have committed and accomplished Belvidere, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly liable for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified 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 show significant impairment 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 through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to caused 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 person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Belvidere, 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, the driver's employer may have some liability. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Belvidere, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Damages Are Available for My Belvidere, 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 compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is a non-arguable dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, 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 — 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 long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure 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 emotional tribulations you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede 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 recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while 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 Belvidere, IL clients:

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Belvidere, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Belvidere-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 consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Belvidere and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish decisions did. For accomplished, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Belvidere, 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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