Securing justice after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Gladstone, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Gladstone, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, call the Gladstone, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Gladstone 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 driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Gladstone, 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 accumulating, you are losing time off work and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, skill and unshakable legal advocacy 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 that the vulnerable in Gladstone and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were injured by a reckless 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 Gladstone, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and persistent 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 Gladstone, 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 culpability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all lies, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. 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. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Gladstone, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Gladstone, IL individuals still choose to jeopardize others' safety just so they enjoy themselves and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a complete recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Gladstone, 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 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Gladstone, 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 significantly impair someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a person experiences decreased coordination, inability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Gladstone, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. Trust in the savvy and talented Gladstone, 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 road to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Gladstone and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  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 accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se means 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 granted automatically under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the money you are owed; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have passionate and skilled Gladstone, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

The driver is clearly to blame 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 anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant 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 explained 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 be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Gladstone, 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 earns a living as a 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

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

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

You can typically recover three types of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses 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 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 medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the settlement or verdict amount 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 mental hardships you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive impairments because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter 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 help get you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their 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 behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk 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 Gladstone, IL clients:

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Gladstone, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. That is why each of our Gladstone-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Gladstone and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For knowledgeable, compassionate and aggressive representation, call the Gladstone, 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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