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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Byron, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Byron, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Byron, 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 Byron and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still cause incredible damage. 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 Byron, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, knowledge and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Byron and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by an irresponsible 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 Byron, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, veteran and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Byron, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every accident is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. 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, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition 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 realize their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a detailed investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial 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 serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, 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 knowledgeable 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. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar 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.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Byron, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Byron, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Byron, 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 sufficient to greatly 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, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - a person experiences decreased coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and find other means of transport if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Byron, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the experienced and talented Byron, 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 begin on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Byron and Illinois

According 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 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 personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  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 driver's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart 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 to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate 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 get the compensation you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is critical to have dedicated and accomplished Byron, 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 Byron, IL?

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. 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 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. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Byron, 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, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Byron, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault 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 Byron, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the theory 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in 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 transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning potential, 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 burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments 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 impede you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • 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 compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that increase 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Byron, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. For that reason, each of our Byron-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Byron and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible actions did. For accomplished, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Byron, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

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ā€œGary 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!ā€

David and Fran Schneider

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