Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Danforth, IL

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

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless 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 the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Danforth, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their careers to helping people in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, expertise and aggressive legal representation 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 secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Danforth and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries 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 Danforth, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, experienced 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 Danforth, 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 gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that winds up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive 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. Contact 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 we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some reckless Danforth, IL residents still decide to put others at risk just so they party and avoid paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Danforth, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Danforth, 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 considerably impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is key to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a dangerous Danforth, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving drunk and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the savvy and skilled Danforth, 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 feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Danforth 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred 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 personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. 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 most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. 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; 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 vital to have aggressive and accomplished Danforth, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

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

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified 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 show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

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 incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in 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, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to 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 suit in Danforth, 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, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

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

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, 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 relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 injury. It is a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be paid 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 disability that no longer allows 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as 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 drives intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Danforth, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. For that reason, each of our Danforth-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights 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 fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Danforth and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish actions did. For accomplished, passionate and aggressive representation, call the Danforth, 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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