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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Effingham, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Effingham, 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 Effingham, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Effingham 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 thoughtless drivers can still cause unimaginable destruction. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Effingham, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their careers to helping people like you get peace of mind and full compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it in the recent 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 more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Effingham and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless 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 Effingham, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

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

That depends on the specifics 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 the driver accepts liability 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 often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a knowledgeable 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an experienced 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 obviously liable, other entities may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. 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 appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, 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 help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to 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 honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Effingham, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Effingham, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Effingham, 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 significantly impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and find other ways of getting home if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Effingham, IL driver not caring about the rules, driving drunk and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the accomplished and skilled Effingham, 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 find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Effingham 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:

  • 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 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 Effingham, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists have an obligation 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 doctrine of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute 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 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 insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is crucial to have aggressive and accomplished Effingham, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

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

It is important to find all liable parties, especially if the driver has policy limits that do not fully compensate you for your damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to make a claim against:

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 damages. 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 prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they served caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk 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 inebriated at the private residence.

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 caused 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, the owner may be liable for percentage of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, it is negligent to permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident suit in Effingham, 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 your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. 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 Effingham, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. 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 Effingham, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. 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 — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to work, you will also be compensated for the salary 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills 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 refers to 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 be anything anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your compensation, 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 can argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Effingham, 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 who care more about money than morals. That is why each of our Effingham-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to standing up for 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 regularly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Effingham and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish actions did. For knowledgeable, compassionate and aggressive representation, call the Effingham, 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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