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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Hooppole, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Hooppole, 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 Hooppole, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Hooppole and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Hooppole, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their lives to helping individuals and families like you get peace and full compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, knowledge and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Hooppole and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your claim may be worth by filling out 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 Hooppole, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, experienced and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

Do I Need Hooppole, 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 case. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. 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 utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that winds up injuring 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 pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and dedicated 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, our consultations and initial investigations are 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 honest 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 Hooppole, IL and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some careless Hooppole, IL individuals still decide to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Hooppole, 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 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 almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Hooppole, 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 enough to substantially impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and find other means of transport if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a dangerous Hooppole, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the knowledgeable and talented Hooppole, 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 discuss your options and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Hooppole and Illinois

Under 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different 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 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 philosophy of negligence per se stipulates 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 under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the financial recovery you deserve; the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is imperative to have dedicated and accomplished Hooppole, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their selfish 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

Dram shop laws allow 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • 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 person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, 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 the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident suit in Hooppole, 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 earns a living 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:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Hooppole, 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 Hooppole, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

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 impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that will arise 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 permits 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses 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 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 sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • 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 had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage 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 secure you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 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 reckless conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Hooppole, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. For that reason, each of our Hooppole-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our abilities to get great recoveries for our clients in Hooppole and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Hooppole, 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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