Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers O'Fallon, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in O'Fallon, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the O'Fallon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in O'Fallon and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but reckless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, your life was immediately completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The O'Fallon, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, skill and aggressive legal counsel 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 over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our O'Fallon, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries 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 O'Fallon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system 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 relentless 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 O'Fallon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. 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 may not be worth it to hire an attorney. 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 injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their responsibility 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 were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a detailed investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Aggressive and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in O'Fallon, IL 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, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish O'Fallon, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety 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 be held accountable for breaking the rules. The O'Fallon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | O'Fallon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to greatly hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty using the steering wheel and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and find other ways of transport if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless O'Fallon, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. You need the experienced and skilled O'Fallon, 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 begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in O'Fallon 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 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 ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in O'Fallon, 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 use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

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 stipulates that drivers are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy 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 the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the compensation you are owed; the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is vital to have dedicated and accomplished O'Fallon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in O'Fallon, 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

Many states have what is known as 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 more liberal 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they sold to caused 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver liable for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $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 be liable for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable 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 O'Fallon, 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 a commercial driver, such as 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 O'Fallon, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every liable 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 O'Fallon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the financial recovery 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 a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery 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 tribulations 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 pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 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 brazen disregard your safety.

In addition, our O'Fallon, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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O'Fallon, 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 who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. For that reason, each of our O'Fallon-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our lawyer skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in O'Fallon and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible behavior did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and relentless representation, call the O'Fallon, 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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