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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Kankakee, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Kankakee, 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 Kankakee, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Kankakee and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still cause unfathomable devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Kankakee, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have committed their careers to helping individuals and families like you get justice and maximum financial recoveries when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, knowledge and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Kankakee, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were harmed by a careless drunk driver, discover 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 Kankakee, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, accomplished and relentless 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, 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries 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 in criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, 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 carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more serious 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 knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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 in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Kankakee, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Kankakee, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found 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, almost 40 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Kankakee, 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 substantially impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a motorist suffers from decreased coordination, inability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and find other ways of getting home if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Kankakee, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the experienced and skilled Kankakee, 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 discuss your options and start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Kankakee 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 driving under the influence 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  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 accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. 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 most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. 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 key to have committed and experienced Kankakee, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their selfish 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

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able 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 less strict 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they served was responsible for your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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 liable for some of your damages. According to the philosophy 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 it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Kankakee, 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, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted 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 Kankakee, 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 Kankakee, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. 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 lower back injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need 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 resulted in 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated 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 effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended 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 help win you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who drives intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Kankakee, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Kankakee-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 or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Kankakee and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Kankakee, 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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