Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Coleta, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Coleta, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or a family member, call the Coleta, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Coleta and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Coleta, 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 keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was in the recent past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise and forceful legal counsel 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 for our Coleta, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your claim 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 Coleta, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, experienced and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Coleta, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts culpability 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 often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially vital 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 severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and knowledgeable 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk 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.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Coleta, IL residents still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety 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 justly compensated with a complete recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for breaking the rules. The Coleta, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Coleta, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to considerably hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a driver experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Coleta, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences 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 Coleta, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Coleta 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 DUI 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the following five elements:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not use reasonable care.
  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 lost wages as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law 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 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; 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 dedicated and experienced Coleta, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the compensation you deserve.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Coleta, IL?

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 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 demonstrate:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they served caused 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 holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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 caused loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may also owe you compensation. 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 that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident claim in Coleta, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused 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 Coleta, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Damages Are Available for My Coleta, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is to blame for your damages, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the financial recovery 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 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, 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 receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need a financial recovery 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional trials you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when sleeping in certain positions to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because there is no coverage for punitive damages 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 egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Coleta, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our Coleta-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV 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 honing our abilities to get maximum compensation for our clients in Coleta and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Coleta, 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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