Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Polo, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Polo, IL. If a selfish drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the Polo, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Polo 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 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 turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Polo, 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 are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, knowledge and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Polo, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the great financial recovery you deserve.

If you were harmed by a selfish 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 Polo, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, experienced and tenacious 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 Polo, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every crash is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a knowledgeable 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 hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that ends up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident 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.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, 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. Contact 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish Polo, IL individuals still choose 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 deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Polo, 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Polo, 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 substantially impair 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 - the product of about three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences decreased coordination, inability to trace movement, challenges steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the terrible consequences of a reckless Polo, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting 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 Polo, 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 start on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Polo and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs 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 lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to 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 Polo, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  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 driver's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. 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 factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. 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.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is key to have tenacious and skilled Polo, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

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

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit 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 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver at fault for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, 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 be liable for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, it is negligent to permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident case in Polo, 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 someone who earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. 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 Polo, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault for your injuries, 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 pain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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 a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and in-home care. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused 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 Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the settlement or verdict amount 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 effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, 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 help get you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Polo, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our Polo-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to secure the best results for our clients in Polo 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 Polo, 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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