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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Madison County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Madison County, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Madison County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Madison County and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but drunk 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 just running errands, your life was immediately upended through no fault of your own. The Madison 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 are accumulating, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, knowledge and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Madison County and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the great financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by using our free personal injury calculator.

Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois

521 W. Main Street
Suite 201 O
Belleville, IL 62220

Phone: (618) 500-4878

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What Can Madison County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, accomplished and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

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

Do I Need Madison 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 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, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. 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 cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a detailed investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Tenacious and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak 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.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive 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 deaths have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Madison County, IL residents still choose to put others at risk just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for a rideshare. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Madison County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth 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.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Madison County, 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 even .02 percent is enough to considerably reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a motorist experiences lowered coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Madison County, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the accomplished and proficient Madison County, 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 go over your case and start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Madison 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
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • 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 Madison County, IL?

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

  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 use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that drivers are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 theory of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law 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 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 insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is critical to have passionate and experienced Madison 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 Madison County, IL?

The driver is clearly at fault for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar 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 rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. 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 the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they sold to 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became inebriated 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 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident case in Madison 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, such as 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Madison County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your case right away to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, 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, physical therapy appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can truly 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 impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to work, 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 hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the compensation 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 emotional burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the irresponsible 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 love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant 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 increase your compensation, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant to 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 dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Madison County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. For that reason, each of our Madison County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV 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 sharpening our abilities to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Madison County and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Madison 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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