Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Macon County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Macon County, IL. If a reckless drunk driver harmed you or someone you love, call the Macon County, 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 Macon County and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Macon County, 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 keep coming in, 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, skill and forceful legal counsel 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 recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Macon County, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

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

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

Do I Need Macon County, 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 case. 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 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 will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a skilled 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 parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a detailed investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is crucial 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 severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Aggressive and knowledgeable 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some reckless Macon 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 pay for what they did. The Macon 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes 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 | Macon County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to considerably reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a person experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. 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 reckless Macon County, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case does not make you whole again. You need the knowledgeable and skilled Macon County, 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 start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Macon County and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

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 Macon County, IL?

Generally, 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 defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. 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 specifically states that motorists are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. 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 is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is vital to have committed and skilled Macon County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served was responsible for 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places 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 making a claim for the accident, 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 also owe you compensation. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Macon County, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

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

What Damages Are Available for My Macon County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, 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 for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can genuinely compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows 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 invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure 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 effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter 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 maximize your compensation, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Macon County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our Macon County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to defending the rights 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 consistently sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Macon County and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Macon 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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