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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Plainfield, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Plainfield, 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 Plainfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Plainfield and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still cause unfathomable devastation. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Plainfield, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did 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 litigating and trying cases, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Plainfield, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Plainfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, experienced and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Plainfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other parties may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor 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 your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe 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. Tenacious and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact 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 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.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Plainfield, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Plainfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Plainfield, 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 even .02 percent is sufficient to greatly impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from reduced coordination, inability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is vital to exercise great caution and find other ways of transport if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Plainfield, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving drunk and harming you or a family member. 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. Trust in the knowledgeable and skilled Plainfield, 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 Plainfield and Illinois

According 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
  • 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 bodily harm

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  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 use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects 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 other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine 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 the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. 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.

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 imperative to have passionate and skilled Plainfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly to blame for their horrible 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served was responsible for 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 person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Plainfield, 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 your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. 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 Plainfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every liable 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 Plainfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the worst 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 restitution.

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 injury. It is an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability 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 Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery 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 compensation 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 burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other 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 care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Plainfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. For that reason, each of our Plainfield-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our abilities to secure the best results for our clients in Plainfield and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Plainfield, 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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