Securing justice after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Marion, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Marion, IL. If a selfish drunk driver injured you or someone you love, call the Marion, 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 Marion and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still cause incredible destruction. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Marion, 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 piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, knowledge and tenacious legal advocacy 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 more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Marion and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the maximum financial recovery you deserve.

If you were injured by a thoughtless drunk driver, see how much your claim may be worth by utilizing 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 Marion, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, accomplished 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 Marion, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If there is no dispute about who is at fault 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:

  • 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 fault in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. 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 they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, and an accomplished 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 to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, 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 dedicated 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to 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 direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Marion, 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 death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Marion, IL residents still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Marion, 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 states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Marion, 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 sufficient to significantly hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a driver experiences lowered coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Marion, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the experienced and skilled Marion, 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 go over your case and start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Marion and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving while drunk on under the influence of 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 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

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

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

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists are required to 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 doctrine 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 the first two elements are taken care of as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have dedicated and experienced Marion, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. 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 the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places 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 resulted in 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 also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident claim in Marion, 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 you were injured 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 be partially to blame. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Marion, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. 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 Marion, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also be paid for any medical bills 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits 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 Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning potential, 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 tribulations you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • 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 recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant 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 deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies 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 behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives intoxicated how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Marion, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Marion-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in 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 constantly fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Marion and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Marion, 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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