Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Rio, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Rio, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or someone you love, call the Rio, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Rio and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

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 on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Rio, 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 everything seems different than it was in the recent past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Rio, 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 injured by a reckless drunk driver, see 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 Rio, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

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

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

Every crash is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. 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, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their obligation 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 they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. 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 higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of 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. Aggressive and knowledgeable 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with 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.?

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless Rio, IL residents still make the terrible decision to put others at risk just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for a taxi. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Rio, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Rio, 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 enough to greatly hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Rio, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving drunk and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. Trust in the accomplished and skilled Rio, 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 start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Rio 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
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime include:

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  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 is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. 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 aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the financial recovery you deserve; 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 key to have committed and experienced Rio, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer 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 drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. 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 the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages 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 Rio, 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 was too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by a commercial driver, such as 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. 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 Rio, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Rio, 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 is responsible for your damages, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is a non-arguable dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also receive compensation for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 emotional hardships you have been put through, 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 if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed 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 compensation, 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 are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Pursuant 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 conduct. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who drives drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Rio, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Rio-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities 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 get maximum compensation for our clients in Rio and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible decisions did. For expert, empathetic and aggressive representation, call the Rio, 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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