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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Peoria, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Peoria, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver harmed you or a family member, call the Peoria, 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 Peoria 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 reckless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately capsized through no fault of your own. The Peoria, 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 you cannot earn a living right now 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 commitment, skill and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Peoria and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

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

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

Do I Need Peoria, 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 the driver accepts liability 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 avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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 obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other entities may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim 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 severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with 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.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Peoria, IL individuals still choose to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Peoria, 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 impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless Peoria, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. You need the experienced and proficient Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Peoria and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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 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 the class of felony increases are:

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

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the following five elements:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, 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 economic damages.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation 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 doctrine 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 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 receive the compensation you deserve; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is crucial to have tenacious and experienced Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the compensation you deserve.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were hurt. 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 someone underage. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron 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 liable for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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 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, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Peoria, 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, 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. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Peoria, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. 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 Damages Are Available for My Peoria, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. You will also be paid 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, 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 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 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant to 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 dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Peoria, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. That is why each of our Peoria-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to get great recoveries for our clients in Peoria and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish actions did. For skillful, passionate and relentless representation, call the Peoria, 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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