Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Edwardsville, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Edwardsville, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Edwardsville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Edwardsville and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but irresponsible 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 unexpectedly capsized through no fault of your own. The Edwardsville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have committed their lives to helping people in similar circumstances get peace and maximum compensation when they may be feeling like there was no way out. We know the medical bills are piling up, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, knowledge and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Edwardsville, 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 harmed by an irresponsible drunk driver, see how much your injuries may be worth by filling out 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 Edwardsville, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, veteran and persistent 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 stand up to bullies.

Do I Need Edwardsville, 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 case. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit fault in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a capable 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. 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 you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • 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 carry out a detailed investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially beneficial 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 significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of 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 knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, 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 talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Edwardsville, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Edwardsville, 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 states that 19.7 percent 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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Edwardsville, 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 hinder 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 inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is key to follow proper road safety and find other means of getting home if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Edwardsville, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming 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 cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the knowledgeable and tenacious Edwardsville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Edwardsville and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving 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 bodily harm

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 Edwardsville, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  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 driver's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates 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 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 philosophy of negligence per se stipulates 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 have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the financial recovery you are owed; 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 crucial to have tenacious and talented Edwardsville, 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 Edwardsville, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your case. 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 you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor 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 resulted in loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Edwardsville, 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, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. 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 Edwardsville, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. 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 Edwardsville, 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 to blame for your damages, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the settlement or verdict 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 accident. It is a non-arguable dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that we expect to arise 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 resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, 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 hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs 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 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 include anything from pain when sleeping in certain positions to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their 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 reckless behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Edwardsville, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless 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 Edwardsville-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to defending the rights 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 honing our lawyer skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Edwardsville and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Edwardsville, 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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