Making you whole again after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Rankin, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Rankin, 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 Rankin, 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 Rankin and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still cause unfathomable destruction. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Rankin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their lives to helping individuals and families like you get peace and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, knowledge and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Rankin, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, see how much your claim may be worth by using 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 Rankin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, seasoned and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

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

Every injury case 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 culpability and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. 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 cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit guilt 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 is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to properly compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing 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. Skilled 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

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 death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless Rankin, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety just so they party 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 what they did. The Rankin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Rankin, 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 significantly reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - someone experiences lowered coordination, inability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Rankin, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting 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 is not enough. Trust in the savvy and talented Rankin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Rankin 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 DUI becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. 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 taken care of as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. 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.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 key to have tenacious and experienced Rankin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Rankin, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your claim. 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 were hurt. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served 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 person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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, the maximum is $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 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 responsible for a portion of your damages. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit someone else 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 claim in Rankin, 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 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, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Rankin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible for your injuries, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the salary 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 physical therapy 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 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 effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue 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 punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Rankin, 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 focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. For that reason, each of our Rankin-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to secure the best results for our clients in Rankin and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible actions did. For expert, passionate and aggressive representation, call the Rankin, 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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