Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Granite City, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Granite City, 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 Granite City, 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 Granite City and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but thoughtless 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 Granite City, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get peace of mind and maximum financial recoveries when they may be feeling like there was no way out. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, knowledge 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 recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Granite City, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the maximum financial recovery you deserve.

If you were injured by a selfish drunk driver, see how much your claim may be worth by filling out 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 Granite City, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

Do I Need Granite City, 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 accepts blame and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit liability in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave 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 ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some careless Granite City, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for what they did. The Granite City, 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 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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Granite City, 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 impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Granite City, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. Trust in the savvy and skilled Granite City, 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 go over your case and start on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Granite City and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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
  • An accident occurred that lead to 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 the penalty is more severe include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver 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 hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

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 motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states 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 have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. 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.

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 crucial to have aggressive and accomplished Granite City, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the compensation you deserve.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their reckless 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 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 bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused your injuries
  • 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 of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 case, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Granite City, 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 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

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

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can truly 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be paid for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need 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 work, 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 transportation 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 repaid for that too.

    In the case of 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 refers to 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 pain when carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive impairments because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended 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 increase your financial recovery, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

In addition, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our Granite City, IL clients:

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Granite City, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our Granite City-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities 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 regularly sharpening our abilities to get maximum compensation for our clients in Granite City and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Granite City, 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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