Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Freeport, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless 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, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Freeport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have committed their careers to helping people in similar circumstances get peace and maximum compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, knowledge and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Freeport, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Freeport, 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. Knowledgeable, veteran and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

Do I Need Freeport, 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 accident. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries 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 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 utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their obligation 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 if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. None of that is true, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you are owed.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Tenacious and knowledgeable 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. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Freeport, IL individuals still decide 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 be held accountable for what they did. The Freeport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states 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 | Freeport, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is enough to substantially hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, inability to follow moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a reckless Freeport, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving drunk and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the savvy and tenacious Freeport, 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 begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Freeport and Illinois

According 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:

  • 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 it is a more serious crime include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits 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 are legally compelled 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 stipulates that anyone who breaks the law is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. 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 prove at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the money you deserve; 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 key to have tenacious and skilled Freeport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their selfish 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit 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 less strict 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 the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, 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, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person 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 Freeport, 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, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Freeport, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is to blame for your injuries, 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, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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 objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also receive compensation 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to work, 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 gas to and from physical therapy 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 your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 be anything anything from difficulty turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious conduct. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who drives 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 Freeport, IL clients:

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Freeport, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Freeport-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Freeport and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For expert, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Freeport, 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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