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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Mattoon, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still cause unfathomable devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly upended when you did nothing wrong. The Mattoon, 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 everything seems different than it was in the recent past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, skill and forceful legal counsel 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 Mattoon, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, see how much your claim 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 Mattoon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

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

Do I Need Mattoon, 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 claim. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, 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. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest 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 Mattoon, IL and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some careless Mattoon, IL residents still decide to put others at risk just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Mattoon, 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 reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Mattoon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to significantly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a reckless Mattoon, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the knowledgeable and talented Mattoon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Mattoon and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

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

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate 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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine 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 duty of care and breach of duty. 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.

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 critical to have committed and experienced Mattoon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the compensation you are owed.

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

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict 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 prove:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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 incurring damages, 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 be responsible for percentage of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Mattoon, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living 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 hired and directed the driver. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Mattoon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is responsible for your damages, 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

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 figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also receive compensation for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the money you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery 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 be anything anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting 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 are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies 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 appalling conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Mattoon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. That is why each of our Mattoon-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our abilities to deliver the best results for our clients in Mattoon and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Mattoon, 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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