Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lincoln, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Lincoln, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver harmed you or a family member, call the Lincoln, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Lincoln and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, your life was immediately upended through no fault of your own. The Lincoln, 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 in the not-too-distance past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, skill and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Lincoln, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you get the great financial recovery you deserve.

If you were injured by a selfish drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Lincoln, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, veteran and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

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

That depends on the specifics 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 is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. 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 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 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 get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. 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 grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive 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 speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless Lincoln, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Lincoln, 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. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Lincoln, 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 just .02 percent is enough to substantially reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Lincoln, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. You need the experienced and skilled Lincoln, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lincoln 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:

  • 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 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 Lincoln, 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 driver 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 injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to use reasonable care caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, 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 also economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation 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 means that anyone who violates a state statute automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. 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.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the money you deserve; 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 dedicated and accomplished Lincoln, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a bar or restaurant 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 is different from many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they sold to 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $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. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Lincoln, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who earns a living as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. 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 Lincoln, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is to blame for your injuries, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict 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 accident. It is an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be paid 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 resulted in a disability 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 invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills 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 mental trials you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. 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 helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Lincoln, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Lincoln-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Lincoln and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Lincoln, 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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