Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Montgomery, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Montgomery, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver hurt you or someone you love, call the Montgomery, 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 Montgomery 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 thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was unexpectedly upended when you did nothing wrong. The Montgomery, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping people like you get justice and maximum compensation when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, knowledge and forceful 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 gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Montgomery, 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, find out how much your injuries 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 Montgomery, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, seasoned and relentless 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 Montgomery, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every auto wreck is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit liability in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if 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 they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, 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 everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing 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. Persistent and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Montgomery, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Montgomery, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Montgomery, 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 significantly hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Montgomery, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the savvy and talented Montgomery, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Montgomery and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a DUI 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Montgomery, 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 defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible 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 economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle 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 violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. 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 at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the money you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have tenacious and accomplished Montgomery, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the financial recovery you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Montgomery, IL?

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were hurt. 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 be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served caused your injuries
  • 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 holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use a thing 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 Montgomery, 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 someone who works as a 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 Montgomery, 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 Montgomery, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil 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 be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, 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 tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that will 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 disability that no longer permits you to work, you will also be compensated for the wages you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, 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 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 mental pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse 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 that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as there is no coverage for punitive damages According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Montgomery, 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 money than morals. For that reason, each of our Montgomery-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 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 abilities to secure the best results for our clients in Montgomery and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and aggressive representation, call the Montgomery, 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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