Making you whole again after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Rock Island, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Rock Island, IL. If a reckless drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the Rock Island, 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 Rock Island and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Rock Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling like there was no way out. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you are losing time off work and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, expertise and forceful 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 won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Rock Island and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. 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 harmed by a selfish drunk driver, find out 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 Rock Island, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, seasoned and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Rock Island, 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 blame 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:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince 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 lies, and an experienced 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 clearly to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, 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. Contact 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 straightforward with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Rock Island, IL residents still choose to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for a taxi. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Rock Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Rock Island, 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 considerably hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a person experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and find other means of transport if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Rock Island, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the accomplished and talented Rock Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Rock Island and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a driving under the influence becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the following five elements:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates 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 the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the financial recovery you are owed; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is imperative to have aggressive and experienced Rock Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the compensation you are owed.

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

It is important to find all liable parties, especially if the driver has policy limits that do not fully compensate you for your damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to make a claim against:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict 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 demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron became inebriated 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 not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the party.

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, 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 of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, it is negligent to permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident suit in Rock Island, 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 your accident was caused by someone who earns a living as a 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. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Rock Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen 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 find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Tort 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 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 pain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

You can typically recover three types of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an objective dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be paid 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 caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to work, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses 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 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 difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Rock Island, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. For that reason, each of our Rock Island-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Rock Island and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For expert, passionate and aggressive representation, call the Rock Island, 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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