Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers La Salle, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in La Salle, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or someone you love, call the La Salle, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in La Salle and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause unfathomable destruction. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The La Salle, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their careers to helping people like you get a sense of healing and the best possible compensation when they may be feeling like there was no way out. 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 before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in La Salle and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were injured by a careless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 La Salle, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, experienced and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

Do I Need La Salle, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds 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 does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Tenacious and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in La Salle, 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 fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless La Salle, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety just so they party and avoid paying for a taxi. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a maximum recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The La Salle, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | La Salle, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to substantially reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - a motorist suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless La Salle, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the knowledgeable and aggressive La Salle, 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 find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in La Salle 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 DUI 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in 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 La Salle, 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 defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of 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 other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means 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 taken care of under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show 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 critical to have passionate and experienced La Salle, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in La Salle, 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they sold to 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 holds a private party — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in La Salle, 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 earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. 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 La Salle, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault 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 La Salle, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your damages, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. 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 physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 accident. It is a firm dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that will 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 long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the salary you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • 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 need to be repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning capacity, 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident 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 shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair 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 seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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La Salle, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our La Salle-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to fighting on behalf 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 consistently honing our abilities to secure maximum compensation for our clients in La Salle and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the La Salle, 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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