Making you whole again after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Oquawka, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Oquawka, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, call the Oquawka, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Oquawka 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 cause unimaginable damage. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Oquawka, 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 keep coming in, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it in the not-too-distance past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Oquawka, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover 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 Oquawka, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Oquawka, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars 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 the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, 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 refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a capable 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 the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince 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 skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. 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 car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of 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. Aggressive and dedicated 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily 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 stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Oquawka, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety just so they party and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a complete recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for what they did. The Oquawka, 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Oquawka, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is enough to greatly reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Oquawka, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. You need the savvy and aggressive Oquawka, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Oquawka 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 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

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 Oquawka, 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 driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's negligence is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers are legally compelled 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 philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. 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.

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 key to have tenacious and talented Oquawka, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Oquawka, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

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 the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they served caused your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver at fault for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally 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 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to 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 Oquawka, 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 your accident was caused by someone who works 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 contracted and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Oquawka, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine 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, chiropractic appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the money 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 medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs 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 effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident 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 affection and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as 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 egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Oquawka, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Oquawka-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Oquawka and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For skillful, compassionate and relentless representation, call the Oquawka, 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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