Securing justice after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Pekin, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Pekin, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, call the Pekin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Pekin and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless 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 upended through no fault of your own. The Pekin, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, expertise and tenacious 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 Pekin 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 injured by a careless drunk driver, find out how much your damages may be worth by using 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 Pekin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, veteran and tenacious 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 Pekin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every accident is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. 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 you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. None of that is true, 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 at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Tenacious and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, 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. Reach out to 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 straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless Pekin, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a complete recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Pekin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

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 over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Pekin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is enough to greatly impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - a person suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the terrible consequences of a reckless Pekin, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. You need the experienced and talented Pekin, 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 path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Pekin 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 DUI 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

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Pekin, 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 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 defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 principle of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute 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 at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the financial recovery 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 imperative to have dedicated and skilled Pekin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your case. Other third parties include:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. 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 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 with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • 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 responsible for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment 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 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 file a suit against the owner. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Pekin, 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 you were injured by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

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

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Pekin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone 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 involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as braces. 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to work, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning capacity, 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • 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 typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant disregard your safety.

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

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Pekin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless 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. For that reason, each of our Pekin-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to fighting on behalf 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 constantly sharpening our abilities to get great recoveries for our clients in Pekin and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Pekin, 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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