Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Cahokia, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Cahokia, IL. If a reckless drunk driver hurt you or someone you care about, call the Cahokia, 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 Cahokia and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause unimaginable damage. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was immediately completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Cahokia, 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 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 unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Cahokia and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your damages may be worth by using 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 Cahokia, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, accomplished and persistent 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 Cahokia, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, 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:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, 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 criminal court. 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 company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is crucial 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 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. Aggressive 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Cahokia, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Cahokia, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Cahokia, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, difficulty using the steering wheel 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 are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the terrible consequences of a dangerous Cahokia, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the experienced and aggressive Cahokia, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. 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 Cahokia and Illinois

Under 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 it 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 resulted in bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant 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 negligence was the direct cause of 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. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 principle of negligence per se states 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 duty of care and breach of duty. 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.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the money you deserve; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is critical to have committed and accomplished Cahokia, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the financial recovery you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Cahokia, IL?

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 liable. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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 make a claim against the owner. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident suit in Cahokia, 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 your accident was caused 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. 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 Cahokia, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. 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 Cahokia, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible for your injuries, 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the settlement or verdict 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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. 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 resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to work, you will also be compensated for the money you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 include anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship 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 camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant to 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 conduct. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who drives under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Cahokia, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Cahokia-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us 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 regularly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Cahokia and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Cahokia, 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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