Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Knox County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Knox County, 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 Knox County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Knox County and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but reckless 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 just running errands, your life was immediately completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Knox County, 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 are losing time off work 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, knowledge and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Knox County, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing 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 Knox County, 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 full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, experienced and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

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

Every injury case is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with 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:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit fault 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to properly compensate you.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Knox County, IL and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish Knox County, IL residents 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 deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Knox County, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Knox 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 considerably impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is vital to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Knox County, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the experienced and aggressive Knox County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Knox County 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:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • 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 include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers 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 states that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. 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 injured you.

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 imperative to have aggressive and skilled Knox County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the financial recovery you deserve.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Knox County, 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, 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 laid out 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. 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 because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident case in Knox County, 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 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, the driver's employer may have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Knox County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your injuries, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation 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 caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 tribulations you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection 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 care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies According to 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 behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Knox County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand 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. That is why each of our Knox County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to defending the rights of 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 honing our abilities to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Knox County and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Knox County, 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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