Securing justice after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Bloomington, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Bloomington, 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 Bloomington, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Bloomington and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but careless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Bloomington, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, knowledge and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Bloomington and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the best possible financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries 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 Bloomington, 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. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, experienced and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Bloomington, 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 claim. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a capable 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 recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Tenacious and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Bloomington, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being just so they party and avoid paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Bloomington, 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 almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Bloomington, 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 enough to significantly hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, an altered mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a person experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Bloomington, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. You need the savvy and tenacious Bloomington, 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 find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Bloomington and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or 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
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident 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 personal injury

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant 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 led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained 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 motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy 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 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.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is crucial to have tenacious and skilled Bloomington, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the compensation you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Bloomington, 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 rules allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Every 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Bloomington, 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 your accident was caused 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. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

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

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Bloomington, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. You will also be reimbursed 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical costs 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 emotional pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the love 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 care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as there is no coverage for punitive damages According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

In addition, our Bloomington, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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Bloomington, 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 their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Bloomington-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our abilities to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Bloomington 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 skillful, empathetic and aggressive representation, call the Bloomington, 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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