Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Forreston, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Forreston, 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 Forreston, 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 Forreston and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

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 home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was immediately upended when you did nothing wrong. The Forreston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping people in similar circumstances get justice and the best possible 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 everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, knowledge and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Forreston and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your claim 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 Forreston, 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 the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, experienced and persistent 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 Forreston, 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 determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, far too often that does not happen. Even if 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 waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a detailed investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on 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 ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to 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 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Forreston, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for a taxi. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Forreston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Forreston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is enough to greatly impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Forreston, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the savvy and proficient Forreston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. 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 Forreston 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 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant 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 negligence is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se states 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 committed and skilled Forreston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the compensation you deserve.

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

The driver is clearly to blame for their irresponsible 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

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 liable. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for your injuries
  • 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 holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they 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 Forreston, 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 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 hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Forreston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Forreston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills 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 pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting 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 loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant 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 appalling 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 Forreston, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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Forreston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. That is why each of our Forreston-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly sharpening our abilities to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Forreston and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's terrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Forreston, 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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