Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Fairview Heights, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Fairview Heights, 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 Fairview Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Fairview Heights and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but irresponsible 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 Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Fairview Heights, 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 keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, skill and unshakable legal advocacy 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 Fairview Heights, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a selfish drunk driver, see how much your damages may be worth by using 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 Fairview Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

Do I Need Fairview Heights, 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 determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 obtain key evidence in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate 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 speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri 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, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Fairview Heights, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety 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 the harm they have caused. The Fairview Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Fairview Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to substantially impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a driver experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Fairview Heights, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the knowledgeable and tenacious Fairview Heights, 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 begin on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Fairview Heights and Illinois

Under 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 driving under the influence 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

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

Typically, 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 driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 theory of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. 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.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is vital to have aggressive and talented Fairview Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Fairview Heights, 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

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for 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 drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. 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 led to 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 liable for some of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use something 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 Fairview Heights, 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 was in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by a commercial driver, such as 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Fairview Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen 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 everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Damages Are Available for My Fairview Heights, 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 is to blame for your injuries, 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, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical costs 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 refers to 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 difficulty standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner 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 counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant disregard your safety.

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

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Fairview Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you deserve. That is why each of our Fairview Heights-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Fairview Heights and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Fairview Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

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