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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Rantoul, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Rantoul, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver injured you or a loved one, call the Rantoul, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Rantoul and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Rantoul, 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 before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the compassions, skill and aggressive legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Rantoul and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

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

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, veteran 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 Rantoul, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts liability 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, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a capable 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, 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 be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to 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 quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths 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 careless Rantoul, IL residents still make the terrible decision to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for what they did. The Rantoul, 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes 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 | Rantoul, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to considerably reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - a person experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Rantoul, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving drunk and harming you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the accomplished and proficient Rantoul, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Rantoul 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:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • An accident occurred that resulted in 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 include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Rantoul, 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 do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law 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 is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is imperative to have committed and accomplished Rantoul, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply 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 a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for 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 old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the private residence.

Every 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 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 the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to engage in an activity 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 Rantoul, 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 your accident was caused 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 hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Rantoul, 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 claim immediately to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  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 unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will refer to their network of economic experts to be able to precisely account for inflation.

  2. Noneconomic damages 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as 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 dangerous behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who drives intoxicated is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Rantoul, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Rantoul-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged 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 constantly honing our lawyer skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Rantoul and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Rantoul, 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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