Securing justice after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Joy, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Joy, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Joy, 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 Joy and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but irresponsible 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, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Joy, 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 are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, knowledge and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Joy, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the maximum financial recovery you deserve.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by using 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 Joy, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

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

Do I Need Joy, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to determine 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 an appointment with your primary care physician, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • 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 be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a capable 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, and a skilled 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 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 thorough investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more severe 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. Persistent 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact 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 it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die 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 declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Joy, IL residents still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being just so they enjoy themselves and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Joy, 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. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Joy, 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 even .02 percent is enough to significantly impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a driver experiences lowered coordination, inability to track movement, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Joy, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. Trust in the savvy and tenacious Joy, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Joy and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a driving under the influence 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 lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

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 motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal theory 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 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.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the money you are owed; 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 skilled Joy, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Joy, 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 referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified 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 show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused the drunk driving accident
  • 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 person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use something 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 Joy, 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 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Joy, 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 Compensation Can I Recover for My Joy, 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 is at-fault 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly 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 objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be paid for any medical bills that will arise 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 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 gas to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills or lost earning capacity, 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 mental tribulations you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent 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 grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver 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 motivates the insurance company to be fair because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies 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 conduct. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Joy, 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 who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Joy-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Joy and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Joy, 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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