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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Galesburg, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Galesburg, IL. If a selfish drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the Galesburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Galesburg and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

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 coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Galesburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law truly care about out clients and their cases and families mean something to us. We know the medical bills are piling up, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and everything seems different than it was in the not-too-distance past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Galesburg and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your damages 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 Galesburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, experienced 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 Galesburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries 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 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 get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize 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 if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and a skilled 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 obviously liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive 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. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Galesburg, 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, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Galesburg, IL residents still choose to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Galesburg, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes 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 | Galesburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to substantially impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Galesburg, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring 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 knowledgeable and talented Galesburg, 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 healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Galesburg 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 DUI becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • An accident occurred 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 personal injury

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 Galesburg, IL?

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

  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 the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, 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 also monetary losses.

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 dictates that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle 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 the first two elements are taken care of as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. 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 get the compensation 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 vital to have tenacious and experienced Galesburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their irresponsible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. 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 be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to prove:

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

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places 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, the maximum is $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 a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Galesburg, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Galesburg, 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 accident immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault for your injuries, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid for any medical bills that we expect to 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the wages 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 invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs or lost earning potential, 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 pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous 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 Galesburg, IL clients:

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Galesburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Galesburg-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in 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 consistently sharpening our lawyer skills to get the best results for our clients in Galesburg and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Galesburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

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ā€œGary 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!ā€

David and Fran Schneider

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