Making you whole again after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Harrisburg, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Harrisburg, IL. If a reckless drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the Harrisburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Harrisburg and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause unimaginable damage. 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 Harrisburg, 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 are losing time off work and everything seems different than it was before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Harrisburg, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a selfish drunk driver, discover how much your damages 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 Harrisburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, 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. Talented, experienced and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Harrisburg, 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault 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 often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a good defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, 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 hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and a talented 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 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 anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to properly compensate you.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, 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 talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Harrisburg, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Harrisburg, 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 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Harrisburg, 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 greatly reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to follow proper road safety 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 to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Harrisburg, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the savvy and skilled Harrisburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Harrisburg and Illinois

Pursuant 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • 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 bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Harrisburg, 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 did not use reasonable care.
  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 defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law 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 is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the financial recovery you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have dedicated and accomplished Harrisburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the financial recovery you are owed.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your claim. Other third parties include:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were hurt. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for your injuries
  • That the the patron became inebriated because of the alcohol that was sold to him

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 old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. 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 resulted in 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, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else 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 Harrisburg, 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, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Harrisburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. 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 Harrisburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability 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 Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation 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 effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Harrisburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. For that reason, each of our Harrisburg-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to standing up for 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 sharpening our lawyer skills to get the best results for our clients in Harrisburg and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For expert, compassionate and aggressive representation, call the Harrisburg, 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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