Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers El Paso, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in El Paso, 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 El Paso, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in El Paso 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 drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. 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 El Paso, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients and seeing them made whole again. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, expertise and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our El Paso, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the best possible financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, see how much your damages may be worth by utilizing 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 El Paso, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, seasoned and tenacious 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 El Paso, 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 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 other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit liability in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their duty 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 say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Skilled and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily 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 strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless El Paso, IL residents still choose to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. 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 breaking the rules. The El Paso, 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 alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | El Paso, 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 sufficient to substantially impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences lowered coordination, inability to trace moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is key to exercise great caution and find other means of transport if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a thoughtless El Paso, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you care about. 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. Trust in the experienced and aggressive El Paso, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in El Paso 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:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver 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 defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists 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 stipulates 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 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 crucial to have aggressive and skilled El Paso, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the financial recovery you are owed.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in El Paso, 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

Many states have what is known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out 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 show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for your injuries
  • 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 intoxicated at the party.

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 because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

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. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, 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 case in El Paso, 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 have some liability. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced El Paso, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to determine as many liable parties as possible.

What Damages Are Available for My El Paso, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone 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, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows 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 gas to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused 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 grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious conduct. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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El Paso, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you are owed. For that reason, each of our El Paso-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to standing up for 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 consistently sharpening our abilities to get great recoveries for our clients in El Paso and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous actions did. For accomplished, passionate and relentless representation, call the El Paso, 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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