Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Dixon, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Dixon, 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 Dixon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Dixon and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but thoughtless drivers can still cause unimaginable damage. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Dixon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their lives to helping individuals and families like you get peace of mind and full financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are piling up, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the not-too-distance past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Dixon and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the great compensation you deserve.

If you were injured by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out 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 Dixon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned and tenacious 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 Dixon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If there is no dispute about who is at fault 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 an attorney for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. 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 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. 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 that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all lies, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Dixon, IL residents still decide to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for an Uber. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Dixon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Dixon, 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 even .02 percent is sufficient to considerably impair someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, an altered mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a motorist suffers from decreased coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and find other means of transport if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Dixon, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the experienced and proficient Dixon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Dixon and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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 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 subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Typically, 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 defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant 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 driver's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are required to 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 principle of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law 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 the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is crucial to have dedicated and skilled Dixon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the compensation you deserve.

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

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served caused your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant 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 led to 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. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit a third person 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 case in Dixon, 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 you were injured by someone who works as a driver, such as 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:

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

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused 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 money 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 hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning capacity, 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 defines 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 pain when bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because there is no coverage for punitive damages 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. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Dixon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Dixon-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their education and abilities to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in 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 maximum compensation for our clients in Dixon and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Dixon, 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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