Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Bridgeport, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Bridgeport, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver injured you or someone you care about, call the Bridgeport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Bridgeport and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was immediately upended through no fault of your own. The Bridgeport, 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 everything seems different than it was in the not-too-distance past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and unshakable legal counsel 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 Bridgeport and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your claim may be worth by utilizing 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 Bridgeport, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, veteran and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Bridgeport, 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 the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. 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 not want to admit liability 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, 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 only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, 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 beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Tenacious and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless Bridgeport, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Bridgeport, 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, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Bridgeport, 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 considerably impair someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a person suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a reckless Bridgeport, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the savvy and tenacious Bridgeport, 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 find out the best way to proceed and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Bridgeport 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 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

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 Bridgeport, 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 defendant did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are required to 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 principle of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. 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, 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 vital to have dedicated and experienced Bridgeport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Bridgeport, 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 the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they sold to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron became inebriated because of the alcohol that was sold to him

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 old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be liable for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person 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 Bridgeport, 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 someone who earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. 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 Bridgeport, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive 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 Damages Are Available for My Bridgeport, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. 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 physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

You can typically recover three types of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also receive compensation for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive impairments the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant 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 behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Bridgeport, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Bridgeport-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted 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 claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our lawyer skills to get great recoveries for our clients in Bridgeport and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible actions did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Bridgeport, 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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