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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Collinsville, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Collinsville, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver injured you or a family member, call the Collinsville, 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 Collinsville and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was immediately completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Collinsville, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, expertise and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Collinsville, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by utilizing 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 Collinsville, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system 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, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

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

Do I Need Collinsville, 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 accident. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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 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 is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on 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 dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. 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 honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Collinsville, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Collinsville, IL individuals still choose 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 negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Collinsville, 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 reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes 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 | Collinsville, 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 only .02 percent is enough to substantially impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - someone experiences reduced coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Collinsville, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. You need the savvy and proficient Collinsville, 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 discuss your options and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Collinsville and Illinois

Pursuant 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:

  • 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

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 Collinsville, 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 avoid harming you.
  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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. 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 financial recovery 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 crucial to have committed and accomplished Collinsville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Collinsville, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they served 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver responsible for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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 incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident case in Collinsville, 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 you were injured 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:

Experienced Collinsville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible for your damages, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict 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 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 treatment the day of the accident, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy 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 — 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 disability 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental trials you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries 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 love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant 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 deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 egregious behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Collinsville, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Collinsville-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our abilities to get the best results for our clients in Collinsville and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Collinsville, 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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