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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Dakota, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Dakota, 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 Dakota, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Dakota and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Dakota, 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 accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Dakota, 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 selfish drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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

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

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, seasoned and aggressive 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 fight back against bullies.

Do I Need Dakota, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars 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 is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility 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 the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, far too often that does not happen. 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 you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, 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 knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk 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 quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some selfish Dakota, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for a taxi. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a complete recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Dakota, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

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

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to significantly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Dakota, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. You need the accomplished and proficient Dakota, 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 path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Dakota 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 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 later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. 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 aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation 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 stipulates that anyone who breaks the law 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 can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

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 vital to have passionate and accomplished Dakota, 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 Dakota, IL?

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they sold to caused your injuries
  • That the the patron became inebriated 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 under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. 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 the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Dakota, IL, that means that you must show that the owner of the vehicle purposely allowed the other driver to use their car, 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 a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Dakota, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your injuries, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

There are three categories 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 an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the wages 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 medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 emotional pain you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 dangerous conduct. 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, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our Dakota, IL clients:

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Dakota, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. For that reason, each of our Dakota-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly fine-tuning our abilities to get maximum compensation for our clients in Dakota and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible actions did. For accomplished, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Dakota, 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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