Securing justice after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Justice, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Justice, 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 Justice, 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 Justice and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but irresponsible drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Justice, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Justice, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by an irresponsible drunk driver, discover 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 Justice, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

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

Do I Need Justice, 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 decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts liability 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, 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 injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that ends 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 is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent 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. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk 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 Common is Drunk Driving in Justice, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Justice, IL residents still decide to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. 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 breaking the rules. The Justice, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Justice, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to considerably impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences reduced coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to exercise great caution and find other means of getting home if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Justice, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving drunk and harming you or a loved one. 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 accomplished and tenacious Justice, 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 go over your case and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Justice and Illinois

Pursuant 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 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 bodily harm

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  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 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 negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation 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 stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate 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.

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 dedicated and experienced Justice, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly liable for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served 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 holds a private party — if the driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, 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 was driving someone else's car, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the theory 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 it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Justice, 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 a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Justice, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen 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 find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional pain you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are meant 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 maximize your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because there is no coverage for punitive damages 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 dangerous conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Justice, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible 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 Justice-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed 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 investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our abilities to deliver the best results for our clients in Justice and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's terrible actions did. For expert, empathetic and aggressive representation, call the Justice, 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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