Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Normal, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Normal, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the Normal, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Normal and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Normal, 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 keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it in the not-too-distance past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, expertise and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Normal, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you get the best possible compensation you deserve.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your damages may be worth by utilizing 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 Normal, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, veteran and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Normal, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics 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 do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries 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 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 does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends 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 convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, 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 fully 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 complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Tenacious and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact 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 it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless Normal, IL individuals still choose to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a maximum recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Normal, 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 almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Normal, 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 impair someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a dangerous Normal, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving drunk and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the accomplished and proficient Normal, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Normal 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 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime include:

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

Typically, 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 driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  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 the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show 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 accomplished Normal, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the compensation you deserve.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Normal, 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict than many other states' in that your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they served was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 driver at fault for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $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 liable for a portion of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else 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 suit in Normal, 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 earns a living as a driver, for example 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Normal, 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 accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

You can typically recover three types of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed 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 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, 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 medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, 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 conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Normal, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Normal-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Normal and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Normal, 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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