Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Glen Carbon, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Glen Carbon, 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 Glen Carbon, 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 Glen Carbon and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still cause incredible devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Glen Carbon, 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 are accumulating, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, expertise and aggressive legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Glen Carbon and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, see how much your injuries may be worth by utilizing 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 Glen Carbon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, veteran and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Glen Carbon, 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 claim. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people 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 drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their commitment 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 persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all lies, and an accomplished 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 obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Aggressive and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Call 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 Glen Carbon, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some careless Glen Carbon, IL individuals still choose to jeopardize others' safety just so they party and avoid paying for a taxi. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Glen Carbon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that 19.7 percent 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 | Glen Carbon, 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 just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially reduce 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, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key 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 follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a reckless Glen Carbon, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. You need the experienced and aggressive Glen Carbon, 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 start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Glen Carbon and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a DUI 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 lead to 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 subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Glen Carbon, 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 driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. 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 demonstrate 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, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have dedicated and experienced Glen Carbon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Glen Carbon, 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor 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 more liberal than many other states' in that your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to someone underage. You just have to show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they served was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $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 the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident suit in Glen Carbon, IL, that means that you must show that the owner of the vehicle purposely gave the keys to the drunk driver, 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 have some liability. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Glen Carbon, 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 determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your damages, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is a non-arguable dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. 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 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 medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional hardships you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

In addition, our Glen Carbon, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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Glen Carbon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. For that reason, each of our Glen Carbon-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not 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 consistently honing our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Glen Carbon and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Glen Carbon, 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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