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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Henry County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Henry County, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver hurt you or someone you care about, call the Henry County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Henry County and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Henry County, 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 keep coming in, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, skill and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Henry County, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, find out 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 Henry County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, accomplished and persistent 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 Henry County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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 drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. 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 at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Skilled and dedicated 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly 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 29 percent of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Henry County, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for a rideshare. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Henry County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Henry County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from reduced coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Henry County, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case does not make you whole again. Trust in the savvy and tenacious Henry County, 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 discuss your options and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Henry County 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 it 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

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 Henry County, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver 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 defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 doctrine of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of as long as you can demonstrate 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, drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is imperative to have aggressive and talented Henry County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment 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 show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to caused 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 of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident claim in Henry County, 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 your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, such as 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:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Henry County, 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 responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is at-fault for your injuries, 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 firm dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that will 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 caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the money 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 a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive impairments due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are intended 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 get you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives under the influence knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Henry County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Henry County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers 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 consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to get great recoveries for our clients in Henry County 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 the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Henry County, 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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