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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Olney, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Olney, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or someone you care about, call the Olney, 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 Olney and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Olney, 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 are piling up, 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, skill and aggressive legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Olney and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. 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 injuries may be worth by using 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 Olney, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. 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 Olney, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every crash is different, 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, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a knowledgeable defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. 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 require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Skilled and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to 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 straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Olney, IL residents 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 reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Olney, 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 almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Olney, 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 driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a person experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is key to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Olney, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the accomplished and tenacious Olney, 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 Olney and Illinois

According 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 drunk driving 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  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 driver's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is crucial to have passionate and talented Olney, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Olney, 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 referred to as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified 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 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 demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 make a claim against the owner. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Olney, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. 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 Olney, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. 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 Olney, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your injuries, 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, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  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 urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. 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 able to work while you recovered. 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning potential, 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can include anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties 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 significant other 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 guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because there is no coverage for punitive damages 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 reckless 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 Olney, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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Olney, 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 whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Olney-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our abilities to deliver the best results for our clients in Olney and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Olney, 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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