Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Charleston, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Charleston, 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 Charleston, 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 Charleston 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 reckless drivers can still cause unfathomable destruction. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Charleston, 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 accumulating, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and everything seems different than it was in the not-too-distance past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the compassions, skill and unshakable legal advocacy 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 for our Charleston, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your damages may be worth by using 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 Charleston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, 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 the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

Do I Need Charleston, 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a knowledgeable 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 on state charges. 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 adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, 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. This is especially important 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 difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and dedicated 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, we answer all of your questions for free. 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 straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Charleston, IL residents still choose to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Charleston, 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 found that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

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

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of only .02 percent is enough to substantially reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a motorist experiences decreased coordination, inability to trace moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless Charleston, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming 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 accomplished and skilled Charleston, 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 start on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Charleston and Illinois

According 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 DUI 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 bodily harm

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 Charleston, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. It is important to mention 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 the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 doctrine of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 imperative to have passionate and talented Charleston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the financial recovery you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Charleston, 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

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, 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 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for your injuries
  • 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 responsible for your injuries 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 a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for a portion of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else 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 claim in Charleston, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Charleston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash 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 be expected to make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as braces. 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to work, 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 gas to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills 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 include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Charleston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Charleston-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to fighting on behalf of 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 constantly sharpening our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Charleston and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For expert, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Charleston, 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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