Making you whole again after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers East Peoria, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in East Peoria, 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 East Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in East Peoria 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 home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The East Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their lives to helping individuals and families like you get peace of mind and full compensation when they may be feeling like there was no way out. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was in the not-too-distance past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our East Peoria, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by a selfish 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 East Peoria, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, veteran 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 East Peoria, 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 claim. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. 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 not want to admit guilt in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a good defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is crucial 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 serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless East Peoria, IL residents still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The East Peoria, 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. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | East Peoria, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is enough to greatly hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless East Peoria, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or a loved one. 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 savvy and aggressive East Peoria, 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 start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in East Peoria 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 it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to 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 it is a more serious crime are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant'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 noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained 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 specifically states that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy 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 granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have committed and accomplished East Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in East Peoria, IL?

The driver is clearly at fault for their selfish decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant 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 more liberal 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 liable. You just have to prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. 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 because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for a portion of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in East Peoria, 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. 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 East Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault 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 East Peoria, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, 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 physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the amount 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 urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be reimbursed 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent 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 once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies According to 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 behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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East Peoria, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless 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 are owed. That is why each of our East Peoria-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to standing up for 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 regularly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to deliver the best results for our clients in East Peoria and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For expert, passionate and relentless representation, call the East Peoria, 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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