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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Pontiac, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Pontiac, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or a family member, call the Pontiac, 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 Pontiac and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but irresponsible drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized through no fault of your own. The Pontiac, 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 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 in the not-too-distance past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the compassions, knowledge and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Pontiac, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

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

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, seasoned and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

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

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

Every auto wreck is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with 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 many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, 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 in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are pre-existing or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to properly compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, 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 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to 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 Common is Drunk Driving in Pontiac, IL and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Pontiac, IL residents still choose to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for what they did. The Pontiac, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

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

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Pontiac, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to considerably impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - someone suffers from reduced coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Pontiac, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the knowledgeable and tenacious Pontiac, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Pontiac 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 drunk driving 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

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 to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy 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 demonstrate 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 vital to have aggressive and skilled Pontiac, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor 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 is different from 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to 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 responsible for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be responsible for a portion of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Pontiac, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Pontiac, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to determine as many liable parties as possible.

What Damages Are Available for My Pontiac, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can truly compensate you, 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 accident. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses that will 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 permits you to work, 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure 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 mental trials you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive impairments the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as there is no coverage for punitive damages Under 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 drives intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant disregard your safety.

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

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Pontiac, 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 who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Pontiac-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our abilities to deliver the best results for our clients in Pontiac and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish actions did. For expert, passionate and relentless representation, call the Pontiac, 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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