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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Macoupin County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Macoupin County, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver injured you or someone you love, call the Macoupin County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Macoupin County and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still cause incredible destruction. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized through no fault of your own. The Macoupin County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and maximum financial recoveries when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. 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 before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise and aggressive legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Macoupin County and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your damages may be worth by filling out 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 Macoupin County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable 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 a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, veteran and aggressive 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 Macoupin County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every crash is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, 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:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a knowledgeable 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • 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 friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, 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. Persistent and knowledgeable 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to 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 honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Macoupin County, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Macoupin County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Macoupin 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 enough to considerably hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences decreased coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Macoupin County, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. You need the experienced and tenacious Macoupin 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 start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Macoupin County and Illinois

Under 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
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident 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

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

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

There are five elements needed in order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim:

  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 use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  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 the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 aggressive and talented Macoupin County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Macoupin 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

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

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they served caused 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

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, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Macoupin 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. 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 Macoupin County, 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 Damages Are Available for My Macoupin County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is at-fault 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

You can typically recover three types 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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused 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 transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive impairments the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are meant 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 get you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because there is no coverage for punitive damages Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious conduct. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Macoupin County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Macoupin County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us 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 negotiation and trial skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Macoupin County and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible decisions did. For expert, compassionate and relentless representation, call the Macoupin 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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