Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Morris, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Morris, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Morris, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Morris and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still cause incredible devastation. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Morris, 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 everything seems different than it was in the recent past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, knowledge and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Morris and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by an irresponsible drunk driver, see how much your damages 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 Morris, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

Do I Need Morris, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, 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:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, 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 the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, 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 a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, 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 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some careless Morris, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. 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 breaking the rules. The Morris, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Morris, 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 just .02 percent is enough to substantially impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a driver experiences lowered coordination, inability to track moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a reckless Morris, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a loved one. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. Trust in the experienced and tenacious Morris, 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 discuss your options and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Morris and Illinois

Pursuant 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 driving under the influence 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 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

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 Morris, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  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 negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates 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 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 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 prove 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, 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 imperative to have committed and accomplished Morris, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you are owed.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Morris, 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 allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply 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 at fault. You just have to prove:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol 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 person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant 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. In a negligent entrustment claim, 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 it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Morris, 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 was in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who works as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. 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 Morris, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is to blame for your injuries, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can be expected to make you whole, 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 treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. 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 receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the settlement or verdict amount 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 include anything from pain when carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner 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 advice and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, 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 win you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Pursuant 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 dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Morris, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. For that reason, each of our Morris-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not 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 consistently sharpening our abilities to get the best results for our clients in Morris and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous actions did. For accomplished, passionate and relentless representation, call the Morris, 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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