Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Champaign County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Champaign County, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or a family member, call the Champaign County, 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 Champaign County and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Champaign County, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, expertise and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Champaign County, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the great financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, discover how much your damages 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

View Location

What Can Champaign County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, seasoned 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 Champaign County, 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 culpability 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:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people 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 drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a detailed investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, 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 be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

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 familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest 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.?

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty 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 steadily declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Champaign County, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being 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 reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Champaign County, 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 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 | Champaign County, 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 even .02 percent is enough to substantially impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - someone suffers from lowered coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Champaign County, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the accomplished and tenacious Champaign County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and begin on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Champaign County 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 driving under the influence becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

View More FAQs

How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Champaign County, 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 keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. 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 prove is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the compensation you deserve; 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 key to have aggressive and experienced Champaign County, 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 Champaign County, 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to 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 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 at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller places 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 caused 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, the owner may be liable for percentage of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages 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 case in Champaign County, 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 had had to much too drink.

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 also owe you damages. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Champaign County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the theory 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 rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that we expect to arise 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 disability 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 medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other 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 guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their 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 egregious behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

Call Burger Law Now

Champaign County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you are owed. For that reason, each of our Champaign County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our abilities to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Champaign County and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Champaign County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

Request a Free Consultation


“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

Hurt? Hire Us Today or call (314) 500-HURT

Other Locations

Schema