Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Highland, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Highland, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, call the Highland, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Highland and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

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, your life was unexpectedly capsized through no fault of your own. The Highland, 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 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 just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, expertise and tenacious 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 gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Highland, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, discover how much your injuries may be worth by using 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 Highland, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Highland, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every auto wreck is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds 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 does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Skilled and compassionate 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Highland, IL individuals still choose to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for what they did. The Highland, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Highland, 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 enough to substantially impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a person suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Highland, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and harming you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the savvy and tenacious Highland, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Highland and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving while drunk on under the influence of drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving 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 Highland, IL?

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to use reasonable care caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

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 required to 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 philosophy 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 you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is vital to have passionate and accomplished Highland, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

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

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor 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 is different from 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 liable. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor 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 because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

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. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Highland, 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 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. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Highland, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your case right away to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is to blame for your damages, 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, physical therapy 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 lose a family member, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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

  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 unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills 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 caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the salary 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 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.

    In the case of future medical costs or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 hardships you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as there is no coverage for punitive damages According 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 behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Highland, 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 their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Highland-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in 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 regularly sharpening our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Highland and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Highland, 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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