Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Prophetstown, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Prophetstown, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Prophetstown, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Prophetstown 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 put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, your life was immediately capsized through no fault of your own. The Prophetstown, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, expertise and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Prophetstown, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Prophetstown, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, 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 Prophetstown, 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 do not require much medical treatment, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. 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. Aggressive 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Prophetstown, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some selfish Prophetstown, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Prophetstown, 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 a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Prophetstown, 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 enough to significantly impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three alcohol beverages - someone experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and find other ways of transport if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a reckless Prophetstown, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case does not make you whole again. Trust in the savvy and tenacious Prophetstown, 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 start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Prophetstown and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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 bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. 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 factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the financial recovery you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is critical to have passionate and talented Prophetstown, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Prophetstown, 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 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 less strict than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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 making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit a third person 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 suit in Prophetstown, 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 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, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Prophetstown, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Prophetstown, 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 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, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed 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 long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 medical appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills 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 mental hardships you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Prophetstown, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Prophetstown-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Prophetstown and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For knowledgeable, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Prophetstown, 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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