Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Herrin, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Herrin, 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 Herrin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Herrin and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

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 lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Herrin, 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 keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the not-too-distance past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the compassions, skill and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Herrin, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a careless drunk driver, see how much your injuries 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 Herrin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

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

Do I Need Herrin, 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 accident. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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. Reach out to 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 the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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 are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some selfish Herrin, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to put others at risk just so they party and avoid paying for a taxi. 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 Herrin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes 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 | Herrin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to substantially reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from lowered coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Herrin, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming 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. Trust in the knowledgeable and skilled Herrin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Herrin 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 it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant 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 driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  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 mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 philosophy of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute 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 have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 key to have aggressive and skilled Herrin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Herrin, 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

Many states have what is known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they served caused your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year 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, 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 was driving someone else's car, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to engage in an activity 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 Herrin, 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 you were injured by someone who works as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. 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 Herrin, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Tort 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 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, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. 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 receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in 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 gas to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration 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 trials you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are meant 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 maximize your compensation, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Herrin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you are owed. That is why each of our Herrin-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our abilities to secure the best results for our clients in Herrin and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For expert, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Herrin, 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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