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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Kankakee County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Kankakee County, IL. If a reckless drunk driver harmed you or someone you love, call the Kankakee County, 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 Kankakee County and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Kankakee County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their lives to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get peace of mind and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling like there was no way out. 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 fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, knowledge and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Kankakee County and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the maximum financial recovery you deserve.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by utilizing 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 Kankakee County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, seasoned and persistent 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 Kankakee County, 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 only require an appointment with your primary care physician, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their duty when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, 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 convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an experienced 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 clearly liable, other parties may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. 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 grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and knowledgeable 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 talk directly to 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Kankakee County, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Kankakee County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes 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 | Kankakee County, 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 only .02 percent is sufficient to greatly reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, an altered mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, 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 are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Kankakee County, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the accomplished and aggressive Kankakee County, 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 find out the best way to proceed and start on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Kankakee County 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident 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 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 Kankakee County, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver 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 defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to note 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 make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are legally compelled 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 principle of negligence per se states 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 crucial to have committed and skilled Kankakee County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Kankakee County, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar with 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 laws allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained 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 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 demonstrate:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk 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 old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. 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 led to loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be responsible for a portion of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Kankakee County, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who earns a living as a driver, such as 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Kankakee County, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck 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 make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 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 treatment the day of the injury, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. You will also receive compensation 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 medical 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 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 include anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • 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 had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives under the influence is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Kankakee County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Kankakee County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Kankakee County and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For expert, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Kankakee County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

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David and Fran Schneider

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