Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Pearl City, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Pearl City, 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 Pearl City, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Pearl City 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 careless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Pearl City, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have committed their lives to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get justice and great financial recoveries when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills keep coming in, 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 before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Pearl City, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your damages may be worth by filling out 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 Pearl City, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, seasoned and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

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

Every injury case is unique, 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 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 often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and a talented 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 obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. 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. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Pearl City, IL individuals still decide to put others at risk 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 reckless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Pearl City, 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 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Pearl City, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Pearl City, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the savvy and aggressive Pearl City, 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 go over your case and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Pearl City 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to 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 later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car 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 factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that drivers are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. 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 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 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 key to have passionate and experienced Pearl City, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Pearl City, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their irresponsible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

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 bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they served was responsible for 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 person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Annually, 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, 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 a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable 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 claim in Pearl City, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, such as 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. 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 Pearl City, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. 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 Pearl City, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, 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, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can genuinely compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 objective dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. 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 — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. 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 wages 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 hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can include anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their 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 appalling behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

In addition, our Pearl City, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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Pearl City, 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 money than morals. That is why each of our Pearl City-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Pearl City and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Pearl City, 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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