Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lansing, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Lansing, 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 Lansing, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Lansing and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately capsized through no fault of your own. The Lansing, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their lives to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and great compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills are piling up, 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 fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the compassions, knowledge and unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Lansing and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, see how much your damages 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 Lansing, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, veteran and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Lansing, 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 probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that winds up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Tenacious and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to 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 the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Lansing, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Lansing, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Lansing, 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 sufficient to substantially impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - someone suffers from reduced coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is vital to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Lansing, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving drunk and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and talented Lansing, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and begin on the path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lansing 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 it 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 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

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

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

Typically, 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 was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

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 stipulates that drivers 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 theory of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the money you deserve; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is crucial to have tenacious and experienced Lansing, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the compensation you deserve.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your claim. Other third parties include:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served was responsible for your injuries
  • That the the patron became inebriated because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the private residence.

Every year 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 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 the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Lansing, 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 you were injured by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

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

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Lansing, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is responsible 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, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can genuinely compensate you, but the amount 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 objective dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be reimbursed 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve a financial recovery 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 defines 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 pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in 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 love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies 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 appalling conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Lansing, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. That is why each of our Lansing-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged 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 and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Lansing and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For expert, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Lansing, 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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