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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Livingston County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Livingston County, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, call the Livingston County, 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 Livingston County and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Livingston 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 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 fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, knowledge and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Livingston County, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the best possible compensation you deserve.

If you were injured by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by using 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 Livingston County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, seasoned and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

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

Every accident is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and knowledgeable 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Livingston County, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. 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 accountable for breaking the rules. The Livingston County, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Livingston County, 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 impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the devastating consequences of a dangerous Livingston County, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a family member. 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. You need the knowledgeable and proficient Livingston County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Livingston County and Illinois

According 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 drunk driving becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant 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 caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, 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 associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 principle of negligence per se stipulates 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 the first two elements. 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.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is crucial to have dedicated and accomplished Livingston County, 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 Livingston 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

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. 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 someone underage. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they served caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk 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 driver at fault for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be liable for a portion of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else 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 suit in Livingston 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 was too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who works as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Livingston County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

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

  1. Economic damages — This refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages 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 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 gas to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated 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 pain you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • 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 partner from the affection and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as there is no coverage for punitive damages 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 egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Livingston County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. That is why each of our Livingston County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on 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 regularly honing our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Livingston County and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Livingston 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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