Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers La Harpe, IL

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

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but irresponsible drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately capsized when you did nothing wrong. The La Harpe, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, skill and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in La Harpe and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 La Harpe, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned 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 fight back against bullies.

Do I Need La Harpe, 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 gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts culpability 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, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a good 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 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 is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize 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 if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a thorough 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 will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Skilled and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

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

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish La Harpe, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety 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 are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The La Harpe, 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 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | La Harpe, 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 greatly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a dangerous La Harpe, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or someone you love. 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 talented La Harpe, 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 go over your case and start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in La Harpe and Illinois

Pursuant 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 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime are:

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

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate 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 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 accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 stipulates that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, 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 passionate and skilled La Harpe, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the compensation you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their irresponsible 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold 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 holds a private party — if the driver liable for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places 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, the maximum is $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 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 file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else 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 case in La Harpe, 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, 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced La Harpe, 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 accident immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your damages, 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, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of 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 trials you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

In addition, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our La Harpe, IL clients:

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La Harpe, 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 think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. For that reason, each of our La Harpe-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in La Harpe and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's terrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the La Harpe, 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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